Hiring an insurance dispute lawyer can help if issues arise after you file a claim. After all, you want to receive the greatest payout, whereas an insurer may contest the amount. Each case is different and you may only contest a part of the claim instead of the entire claim.
It is possible to contest insurance disputes on your own, but if you decide not to, where do you begin?
The first step is to do some homework and learn what these types of lawyers do when disputes arise. Lawyers who help policyholders with insurance claim disputes specialize in this area. That means they keep up to date on any changes or new laws in the industry.
Having someone on your side improves your chance of a favorable outcome. Here’s what you need to know about hiring an insurance dispute lawyer.
Have you suffered a major loss involving fire or theft, or some other calamity? Well, after you file a claim, you may begin to worry about whether or not it will be denied. This is why it is best to know your rights in these situations.
The financial interests of the insurance company and you are naturally in conflict. At its core, an insurance claim is a business negotiation, and you may have to fight to get coverage or a payout. Educating yourself is crucial to fighting a dispute and a good place to start is with your policy. Read it, especially the declarations page and any riders/endorsements to it.
After reading it you may find you do not have a claim at all. In other cases, if your insurance company has been responsive and willing to talk, then you may opt to handle it directly with them. When insurance bad faith practices occur, that is when a qualified attorney comes in.
Most people opt to hire a dispute attorney because it takes precious time to understand how the legal system works. If you do opt to hire counsel, make sure you hire someone who is an expert in these types of cases as not all lawyers are created equal.
Insurance dispute attorneys tend to focus on insurance company claims. This means they work on filing paperwork disputing a denial to which you are lawfully entitled.
Think of it this way: A divorce attorney focuses on divorce cases, and a criminal lawyer deals with criminal law. Just as others specialize, insurance dispute lawyers have expertise in the insurance benefits industry and understand the intricacies. Insurance attorneys work with insurers, adjusters, medical experts, and others to help build your case.
Insurance disputes happen for many reasons. Companies may delay payment, deny claims and extend settlement negotiations if they are not acting in good faith.
As a policyholder, you should know that disputes can occur with various types of insurers. This includes homeowners insurance, auto insurance, boat insurance, and life insurance. Most people turn to an attorney when an event such as a natural disaster causes significant damage and the insurance company refuses to pay.
When filing an insurance claim, you could also run into issues like:
An insurance dispute lawyer handles all such problems. He or she can also handle claims like:
If you have never hired an attorney, you may not know where to start. Word of mouth is a good starting point for tracking down the right lawyer. Ask your friends, family, and colleagues if they can refer you to an excellent insurance dispute lawyer.
Another option is to search online. Look for professionals in your state who specialize in representing policyholders.
Check out your local State Bar Association. Their listings tell you how much experience a lawyer has and his or her specialty. Contact information is also provided.
Try not to rush the process. Take your time to speak with each candidate that seems like a good fit and make sure you understand everything he or she tells you.
The cost of hiring an insurance dispute lawyer varies. The size of the firm, the lawyer’s experience, and the geographic location all make a difference to the cost. You save money working with associates in a law firm, as solo dispute attorneys charge $200-$450 per hour, on average.
Ask for a contingent fee agreement, which means if you win the case, the attorney gets a percentage. 33% is the average contingency fee but can fluctuate a few percentage points depending on where you live.
You should also be prepared for court costs and expenses your lawyer incurs working on your case. This is largely dependent on the law firm or the attorney representing you. Most good attorneys give you a cost estimate upfront, so you know what to expect. Always ask questions if you do not understand something in the contract, such as “administrative costs.”
Brian works directly with you, explaining your options, rights and realistic expectations. When you have experienced a loss, you expect your company to be there for you. Many times they are. But for those times when a provider is denying your claim and acting in bad faith, having someone knowledgeable on your side makes a difference.
Call Brian now at (954) 859-5145 to start the process.