Law Office Of Paul DePetris
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New Jersey First Party Bad Faith Insurance Lawsuit Facts

Read below to learn more about this topic.

Or, to receive a no cost phone consultation about what the Law Office of Paul DePetris might be able to do for you, call Mr. DePetris at 609-714-2020 or send an email to Mr. DePetris at paul@newjerseylemon.com.

The information in this article is only for New Jersey Law Division, Civil Part cases and not for other New Jersey court cases, such as those in New Jersey Special Civil Court, New Jersey Small Claims Court or New Jersey Chancery Court!!! Do not use this article if you have a New Jersey Special Civil Court, New Jersey Small Claims Court or New Jersey Chancery Court case!!! Also, no website is a substitute for competent advice from a New Jersey lawyer!

Warning – this article does not necessarily include each and every New Jersey court rule that may apply to your New Jersey case! The Law Office of Paul DePetris does not guarantee that the statutes, rules, codes, files or forms on this website are the latest versions of the statutes, rules, codes, files or forms, that they lack typographical errors or that they have not been amended, repealed or superseded by other federal or state law. The New Jersey Statutes, United States Statutes, New Jersey Administrative Code and Federal Code in this database are not annotated. Accordingly, this database may include laws that: (1) never became operable due to unmet conditions; (2) expired; (3) were repealed or amended; (4) were declared void by a court of law; (5) or are otherwise invalid. Further, effective dates of the laws are not necessarily included in the database. Accordingly, you should not rely upon the statutes, rules, codes, files or forms on this website contained in this database for any purpose and before taking any legal measures, you instead should read all applicable federal and state source law and case law and consult with an attorney for any changes in the laws. Be certain to cross reference all applicable rules before preparing, filing or serving any papers!!! For example, Special Civil Part Rules often cross reference other rules – rules that apply to Special Civil Part Cases as well as to other types of civil cases not being heard in Special Civil Part.

WHAT IS A NEW JERSEY FIRST PARTY BAD FAITH NEW JERSEY INSURANCE CLAIM?
• A "first party insurance" claim against a New Jersey insurance company is a New Jersey lawsuit by a New Jersey insured against his New Jersey insurance company because of its failure to settle the New Jersey insured’s claim, as opposed to a New Jersey lawsuit based on the New Jersey insurance company's failure to settle a third party tort claim for a reasonable sum.
• A New Jersey insurance company owes a duty of good faith to its insured in processing a first party insurance claim. We begin by noting that every contract imposes on each party the duty of good faith and fair dealing in its performance and its enforcement.
• In addition to the express terms of a New Jersey insurance contract, the law provides that every contract contains an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. This means that, even though not specifically stated in the New Jersey insurance contract, it is implied or understood that each party to the New Jersey insurance contract must act in good faith and deal fairly with the other party in performing or enforcing the terms of the New Jersey insurance contract.
• To act in good faith and deal fairly, a New Jersey insurance company must act in a way that is honest and faithful to the agreed purposes of the New Jersey insurance contract and consistent with the reasonable expectations of the parties.
• A New Jersey insurance company must not act in bad faith, dishonestly, or with improper motive to destroy or injure the right of the other party to receive the New Jersey insurance benefits of the New Jersey insurance contract.
• First, the New Jersey plaintiff must prove that some type of contract existed between the parties.
• There can be no New Jersey breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing unless the parties have a New Jersey insurance contract.
• Second, the New Jersey plaintiff must prove that the New Jersey defendant acted in bad faith with the purpose of depriving the New Jersey plaintiff of rights or benefits under the New Jersey insurance contract.
• Third, the New Jersey plaintiff must prove that the New Jersey defendant’s conduct caused the New Jersey plaintiff to suffer injury, damage, loss or harm.

THE FAIRLY DEBATABLE STANDARD – THE BASIS FOR FINDING A NEW JERSEY INSURANCE COMPANY ENGAGED IN BAD FAITH IN FAILING TO PAY A NEW JERSEY INSURANCE CLAIM
• To show a New Jersey insurance claim for bad faith, a New Jersey plaintiff must show the absence of a reasonable basis for denying benefits of the New Jersey insurance policy and the New Jersey defendant's knowledge or reckless disregard of the lack of a reasonable basis for denying the New Jersey insurance claim. It is apparent, then, that the tort of bad faith is an intentional one.
• The lack of a reasonable basis may be inferred and imputed to a New Jersey insurance company where there is a reckless indifference to facts or to proofs submitted by the New Jersey insured.
• Perhaps the concept of bad faith is easiest to understand in the context of the denial of benefits on the basis of noncoverage, such as for experimental surgery under a medical-New Jersey insurance policy. Under the "fairly debatable" standard, a New Jersey insured who could not have established as a matter of law a right to judgment on the substantive claim would not be entitled to assert a New Jersey insurance claim for a New Jersey insurance company's bad-faith refusal to pay the New Jersey insurance claim.
• A more difficult application of the standard arises when the issue involves not a denial or refusal to pay a New Jersey insurance claim but, inattention to payment of a valid, uncontested claim. Nevertheless, the test appears to be essentially the same. A New Jersey insurance company acts in bad faith in delaying the processing of a valid claim when: (1) the New Jersey insurance company's conduct is unreasonable, and (2) the New Jersey insurance company knows that the conduct is unreasonable or recklessly disregards the fact that the conduct is unreasonable.
• Thus, for example, when a New Jersey insurance claim is lost in the computer, those processing the New Jersey insurance claim should not be penalized for their efforts when, through no intentional act, a New Jersey insurance claim runs afoul of the system. Neither negligence nor mistake is sufficient to show bad faith.

WHAT DAMAGES CAN A NEW JERSEY INSURED RECOVER IN A NEW JERSEY FIRST PARTY BAD FAITH NEW JERSEY INSURANCE CLAIM?
• Under New Jersey contract law, a New Jersey insurance company who breaches a New Jersey insurance contract is liable for all of the natural and probable consequences of the New Jersey breach of that New Jersey insurance contract.
• Compensatory damages are designed to put the injured party in as good a position as he would have had if performance had been rendered as promised.
• Implicit in these principles is some notion of foreseeability – did the New Jersey insurance company know or should they have reasonably foreseen that the New Jersey insureds were "at risk" of economic loss in addition to the New Jersey insurance policy benefits and that "ascertainable economic damages would ensue from the conduct" of the carrier?
• Absent egregious circumstances, no right to recover for emotional distress or punitive damages exists for a New Jersey insurance company's allegedly wrongful refusal to pay a first party insurance claim.

NEW JERSEY FIRST PARTY BAD FAITH INSURANCE CLAIMS SUMMARIZED
• A New Jersey insurance company may be liable to a policyholder for bad faith in the context of paying benefits under a policy.
• The scope of that duty is not to be equated with simple negligence.
• In the case of denial of benefits, bad faith is established by showing that no debatable reasons existed for denial of the New Jersey insurance benefits.
• In the case of processing delay, bad faith is established by showing that no valid reasons existed to delay processing the New Jersey insurance claim and the New Jersey insurance company knew or recklessly disregarded the fact that no valid reasons supported the delay. In either case (denial or delay), liability may be imposed for consequential economic losses that are fairly within the contemplation of the New Jersey insurance company.
• New Jersey courts deciding New Jersey bad faith first part New Jersey insurance cases carefully scrutinize the proofs of extra-contractual damages to insure that juries are not given potentially misleading items of evidence – the evidence of losses due to the New Jersey insurance company’s bad faith must generally be connected with the provable losses that were fairly within the contemplation of the New Jersey insurance company when it made its New Jersey breach of good faith in processing the New Jersey insurance claim.

NEED HELP WITH YOUR NEW JERSEY CASE?
Handling your New Jersey case wrong from the beginning may only cost you more money and time in the end!! Do it right the first time by seeking legal advice from a competent New Jersey lawyer!
Let the Law Office of Paul DePetris help you with your New Jersey case. Not all New Jersey cases require you to pay expensive legal fees to get legal help.

WHY SHOULD NEW JERSEY PRO SE PLAINTIFFS AND NEW JERSEY PRO SE DEFENDANTS SEEK HELP FROM A NEW JERSEY LAWYER?
Handling your New Jersey case wrong from the beginning may only cost you more money and time in the end!! Do it right the first time by seeking legal advice from a competent New Jersey lawyer!
Many New Jersey pro se plaintiffs and New Jersey pro se defendants make the mistake of not consulting a New Jersey lawyer before filing New Jersey Court papers only to later learn that the New Jersey pro se plaintiffs and New Jersey pro se defendants made serious mistakes that could cause them to lose their New Jersey case. Let the Law Office of Paul DePetris help you with your New Jersey case.

CAN I RELY ON NEW JERSEY COURT PERSONNEL FOR LEGAL ADVICE?
New Jersey Court employees cannot give you “free” legal advice and a New Jersey Court judge may refuse to let you claim that you were right in taking an action (or in deciding not to take action) because you relied on advice from such employees. Most New Jersey Court employees are not trained New Jersey attorneys and therefore, they may not know what advice to give you. Working at the New Jersey Court as a non-judge is not the same as practicing law.

CAN I RELY ON NEW JERSEY COURT FORMS PROVIDED BY THE NEW JERSEY COURT?
The New Jersey Court usually provides certain types of New Jersey Court legal forms to the public and those forms are often very helpful. However, beware relying on New Jersey Court forms provided by the New Jersey Court – the New Jersey Court forms are often deceptively simple, while New Jersey cases often are much more complex than they first appear to be. There is simply no substitute for a competent New Jersey attorney licensed to practice law in New Jersey who has experience handling New Jersey cases. New Jersey Court forms don’t talk and New Jersey Court forms and their directions rarely, if ever, cover every possible situation, set of facts or legal issue that may arise in a New Jersey case. Each New Jersey case has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges. If you can afford a competent New Jersey attorney, it is best to have the New Jersey attorney prepare your New Jersey Court paperwork for you.

CAN I HANDLE A NEW JERSEY CASE MYSELF?
Many New Jersey pro se plaintiffs and New Jersey pro se defendants can and do successfully handle New Jersey cases, from filing the first paperwork to the collection of a New Jersey Court judgment. However, many other New Jersey pro se plaintiffs and New Jersey pro se defendants also make mistakes that lead to the dismissal of their New Jersey cases or that result in the entry of a New Jersey Court money judgment against them. The greater the money at stake, the greater the reason to consider using the services of a competent attorney licensed to practice law in New Jersey to handle part or all of the New Jersey case. The following are reasons to use an attorney to handle part or all of your New Jersey case:
• New Jersey Court fees often change
• New Jersey Court rules often change
• New Jersey Court employees cannot give you “free” legal advice and a New Jersey Court judge may refuse to let you claim that you were right in taking an action (or in deciding not to take action) because you relied on advice from such employees
• New Jersey Court forms available on websites may not cover every situation you may face in Court
• each New Jersey case has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges
• it is very common for New Jersey pro se plaintiffs and New Jersey pro se defendants to file inadequate or incorrect New Jersey Court complaints that result in the New Jersey Court complaints or answers to New Jersey Court complaints being rejected by the New Jersey Court or being dismissed by the New Jersey Court after filing and before or after trial because of procedural deficiencies.
• it is not uncommon for judges to get very frustrated by an unrepresented party’s lack of preparation or ignorance of the facts or law of the New Jersey case.
• a Court has the power to punish unprepared New Jersey plaintiffs and New Jersey defendants, such as by throwing their New Jersey case out of Court or limiting what they can present at the New Jersey Court trial.
• New Jersey has many published cases, laws, regulations, Court rules and rules of evidence that can be very tricky to understand and that can be used to prevent you from doing much of what you want to do at the New Jersey Court trial.
• it is very common for Courts to refuse to allow a party to use or refer to documents or items at the New Jersey Court trial that the person themselves never prepared. Often New Jersey plaintiffs and New Jersey defendants stumble into New Jersey Court with a video, photograph, bill or affidavit or other form of written statement, thinking they are going to use it as proof that they lost money or that they are not responsible for someone else’s damages, only to have a New Jersey Court judge tell the New Jersey plaintiffs and New Jersey defendants that it is not going to even consider such items or documents.
• without the proper preparation, items and documents may never be considered by the New Jersey Court. Also, if there are any legal issues to be dealt with at the New Jersey Court trial, you must be prepared to argue them, which may require you to refer to Court rules, evidence rules, laws, regulations or published cases.
• you cannot show up at the New Jersey Court expecting the judge hearing your New Jersey case to explain Court rules, evidence rules, Court procedure or the details of the law that applies to your New Jersey case. The judge hearing your New Jersey case is not permitted to give you legal advice.

It is important to remember that even if you have an attorney, you could lose your New Jersey case. Hiring an attorney to handle part or all of your New Jersey case does not guarantee your success. However, it may provide what is needed to win your New Jersey case or to avoid certain mistakes.

DOES THE LAW OFFICE OF PAUL DEPETRIS HAVE EXPERIENCE HANDLING NEW JERSEY CASES?
Yes. Paul DePetris has performed the following tasks:
• handled New Jersey cases for plaintiffs and defendants across New Jersey, from Bergen County New Jersey to Cumberland County New Jersey, including representations of individuals, small businesses and large corporations.
• settled New Jersey cases for plaintiffs and defendants across New Jersey.
• reviewed many New Jersey Court settlement agreements.
• enforced many New Jersey Court settlement agreements.
• provided New Jersey pro se plaintiffs and New Jersey pro se defendants with New Jersey Court legal advice and prepared New Jersey Court legal forms
• prepared and filed many New Jersey Court complaints
• tried New Jersey Court jury trials
• mediated many New Jersey cases
• argued New Jersey Court motions
• handled New Jersey Court proof hearings
• handled New Jersey Court post judgment collection proceedings

Mr. DePetris has appeared before the Superior Court of New Jersey in the following counties:
• Atlantic County New Jersey Court
• Bergen County New Jersey Court
• Burlington County New Jersey Court
• Camden County New Jersey Court
• Cape May County New Jersey Court
• Cumberland County New Jersey Court
• Essex County New Jersey Court
• Gloucester County New Jersey Court
• Hudson County New Jersey Court
• Mercer County New Jersey Court
• Middlesex County New Jersey Court
• Monmouth County New Jersey Court
• Morris County New Jersey Court
• Ocean County New Jersey Court
• Passaic County New Jersey Court
• Salem County New Jersey Court
• Somerset County New Jersey Court
• Sussex County New Jersey Court
• Union County New Jersey Court
• Warren County New Jersey Court

IN WHAT NEW JERSEY COUNTIES WILL THE LAW OFFICE OF PAUL DEPETRIS HANDLE NEW JERSEY CASES?
The Law Office of Paul DePetris offers to handle and help individuals and businesses with New Jersey Court Claims cases in North, Central and Southern New Jersey, including cases in the following New Jersey counties:
• Atlantic County New Jersey Court
• Bergen County New Jersey Court
• Burlington County New Jersey Court
• Camden County New Jersey Court
• Cape May County New Jersey Court
• Cumberland County New Jersey Court
• Essex County New Jersey Court
• Gloucester County New Jersey Court
• Hudson County New Jersey Court
• Mercer County New Jersey Court
• Middlesex County New Jersey Court
• Monmouth County New Jersey Court
• Morris County New Jersey Court
• Ocean County New Jersey Court
• Passaic County New Jersey Court
• Salem County New Jersey Court
• Somerset County New Jersey Court
• Sussex County New Jersey Court
• Union County New Jersey Court
• Warren County New Jersey Court

WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO HIRE AN ATTORNEY TO HANDLE MY NEW JERSEY CASE FROM BEGINNING TO END?
In many situations, the Law Office of Paul DePetris offers alternatives to handling New Jersey cases for an hourly fee, such as by offering to handle your New Jersey case up to trial for a fixed fee or to help you handle your New Jersey case by yourself. Such flexible methods may allow you to keep the amount legal fees you spend on your New Jersey case to a fixed sum, while providing you the help you need to handle your New Jersey case. For a no obligation phone consultation about what the Firm might be able to do for you, call Mr. DePetris at 609-714-2020 or send an email to Mr. DePetris. 
 

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