Companies you purchase your auto, home and life insurance policies from (i.e. first-party carriers) owe you a duty to act in good faith. Workers’ compensation is similar to first-party policies like these in that the carrier owes you the same courtesy.
To act in good faith means your Colorado workers’ compensation insurer is obligated to investigate your claim or pay you benefits you’re entitled to under the law. If they fail to do this or mislead you, you have the right to seek both economic and non-economic damages through an insurance bad faith suit.
However, you do not have grounds for a bad faith suit if the insurance carrier simply makes a decision you do not agree with.
An insurance bad faith suit is separate from a Colorado workers’ compensation suit in that you cannot seek economic and non-economic damages resulting from an insurance company’s bad faith conduct in a workers’ compensation suit. You can only seek the benefits outlined in Colorado’s workers’ compensation statutes.
Intentional misleading by an insurance company resulting in economic hardship, stress and despair qualifies for an insurance bad faith suit.
One issue with a Colorado insurance bad faith suit – your workers’ compensation attorney will not be able to fully represent you according to Rules of Professional Conduct. Therefore, another attorney either inside or out of the firm will need to come in and co-counsel the bad faith case.
Learn more about insurance bad faith conduct and what you can do if you’re affected it by reading a new article in the Colorado workers’ compensation knowledge center today.