Bradenton Insurance Litigation Lawyer
American insurance companies have almost three million employees. Many of these workers are lawyers or legal support professionals. These employees have only one goal. They look to deny claims whenever possible. The insurance company makes money by collecting premiums, not by paying claims. If the insurance company cannot deny the claim, it at least tries to delay payment. The longer it holds onto the money, the more interest it earns on those funds. Most companies use the myth of rampant insurance fraud as an excuse to take such actions.
At the Cahall Law Firm, our passionate Bradenton insurance litigation lawyers don’t accept excuses, like mythological insurance fraud. We cannot match the resources of a big insurance company, but there are other weapons in this fight. For example, we have fairness on our side. Most policyholders faithfully pay premiums for many years without filing a single claim. They lived up to their obligations. Legally, the insurance company must do the same thing.
The Initial Investigation
Many insurance claims, especially property insurance claims, happen when a major storm hits Florida. Frequently, insurance companies try to use the sudden rash of claims as an excuse to drag their feet. Legally, however, they have the same responsibilities.
Insurance companies must promptly acknowledge policyholder claims. That acknowledgement must not only be prompt. It must also lay out a roadmap for an investigation, such as when to expect a visit from an insurance adjuster.
This investigation must be efficient, thorough, and transparent. Adjusters cannot rubber-stamp claims as “paid” or “unpaid.” They must diligently examine all the facts and generate a report which is based on those facts, and not on their own suppositions.
If the insurance company pays the claim, that payment must be for the full insured value of the property. Depreciation doesn’t count. If the insurance company doesn’t fully pay the claim, there must be a clear-cut and accessible grievance process.
Insurance Denial Appeals
Usually, this grievance process involves an Administrative Law Judge and an arbitration hearing. It’s usually against the law in Florida for policyholders to sue their own insurance companies in court.
An ALJ is not a fully independent judge. Usually, these individuals are employees of an arbitration company. Since the insurance company pays the arbitration company, many ALJs are slanted toward the insurance company’s point of view.
Nevertheless, at the arbitration hearing, our Bradenton insurance litigation attorneys can make legal arguments, introduce evidence, and challenge the other side’s evidence, just like at a full trial. So, in this hearing, it’s essentially lawyer vs. lawyer, and the odds are relatively even.
As a result, many insurance companies are unwilling to risk a trial. So, they often offer to settle claims on policyholder-friendly terms. That’s especially true since the insurance company usually wants to keep its paying customer happy.
Successful plaintiffs are not only entitled to damages. They are also entitled to attorneys’ fees, in most cases.
Count on a Dedicated Manatee County Lawyer
Aggrieved consumers usually have legal options in Florida. For a free consultation with an experienced insurance litigation attorney in Bradenton, contact the Cahall Law Firm, PLLC. After-hours, virtual, and home visits are available.