What State Law Applies to a Bad Faith Claim?

Usually, a bad faith claim happens when your insurance claim is denied or the insurance company provides you an amount that is lower than what is fair. When this happens, you can sue to demand the insurance payout you deserve. Essentially, you and your attorney argue that your insurance company’s decision to not pay for your accident was made in bad faith, or with fraudulent intent.

These claims can be very complicated and difficult for the layperson to understand. Court cases over bad faith involve lawyers arguing vigorously about which aspects of which contract apply where.

These cases can be more complicated than the contract language, though. You may have purchased your car insurance policy in Oklahoma, but your insurance company may be based in an entirely different state. Or you may have traveled to Oklahoma but purchased your policy somewhere else.

At the Cain Law Office, our knowledgeable attorneys won a big victory for consumers when the Oklahoma Supreme Court reviewed a case called Martin v. Gray, 385 P. 3d 64 (Okla. 2016). The case ultimately decided which state’s laws apply when you make a bad faith claim in Oklahoma.

What the Case Is About

In 2013, a woman named Kourtni Martin was in a car crash in Oklahoma City. She was seriously injured and had medical expenses that she needed covered under the Uninsured Motorist (UIM) provision of her policy.

Instead of paying Martin what her policy promised, the insurance company offered her a lower amount using provisions found in Kansas laws because her parents had purchased her policy in that state. After a lawsuit in a lower court, the Oklahoma Supreme Court found that the court should have used Oklahoma laws, not Kansas laws.

What the Court Determined About Which State Law Applies

A key part of the court’s opinion is its decision that courts going forward should apply “the law of the state with the most significant relationship to the alleged violation.” Since Martin’s crash and injury happened in Oklahoma, the suit should have been tried using Oklahoma’s laws.

This decision could have many consequences for Oklahoma accident victims who are facing off against their insurance companies. At the Cain Law Office, we are available to evaluate your claim for free and help you demand the full and fair compensation you deserve.

Talk to a Bad Faith Lawyer Now

The experienced bad faith attorneys at the Cain Law Office can help you understand your legal rights when it comes to dealing with insurance companies so you are not taken advantage of. We hold these deep-pocketed companies accountable when they fail to act in good faith, leaving accident victims to suffer as a result.

Call us or contact us online for a free legal consultation today. We are here to help you navigate this difficult situation and move forward with your life.