Insurance Law Attorney
“Attorney James E. Smith helped get me a $1 Million settlement when I was in a motorcycle accident while I was in the United States. He helped me get through a foreign legal and medical bureaucracy so that I could have peace of mind until I returned home to the Czech Republic.”
Do you believe you have an insurance claim?
All of us pay a lot of money for all kinds of insurance. Liability, fire, flood, medical, homeowner’s, car, boat, life, disability, theft and
employer group insurance are all benefits which we pay for. Insurance law can be complicated.
If you have a dispute with an insurance company of course you can talk to your insurance agent, but you should probably speak to your own attorney too. Insurance companies are businesses even though they serve a public purpose of covering losses which occur by other people, by nature or unforeseen circumstances
An insurance policy is a contract with definitions, exclusions and limitations which you most likely have no choice but to accept on the insurance company’s terms and conditions. Often the insurance company tries to avoid paying your claim by invoking the language of the policy to deny you your claim.
Claims adjusters are told to pay you only if they have pay, and to pay no more than the company has to pay you. Also, if someone makes a claim against you, the insurance company has a duty to defend you and pay the claim by the third party if it is legitimate, and to not expose you financially to a lawsuit judgment.
Here are some reasons you may need to speak to an attorney even when the insurance company says that it will provide one for you:
There is always a conflict of interest when the insurance company is paying for your attorney no matter how nice that attorney appears to be.
- Someone hits your car or you hit someone else’s car.
- You have an accident on someone else’s property or someone has an accident on yours.
- You or your business is sued for an event, something you did or not did, or for an accident.
- An insurance company denies your claim for an accident you believe that you have insurance for.
- An insurance company wants to take your statement from you to see if it should provide or pay you coverage.
- An insurance company says that it is going to only pay part of your claim.
- An insurance company states that it will cancel coverage because of a pre-existing condition.
- An insurance company wants to conduct an independent medical examination of you or do an appraisal of your property.
- An insurance company says that you or your dependent or employee are a not insured.
- An insurance company wants you to sign a Release or Waiver or settle your case quickly.
Insurance law is complicated and there are many more scenarios than those above and many other types of insurance, e.g., travel interruption, accidental death and indemnity, general commercial liability, underinsured motorist coverage, construction bonds, excess liability, marine, med pay, etc.
Many policies now require arbitration of insurance claims and disputes. If there is an issue involving insurance coverage or paying your claim it is best to consult with an attorney and not try to go it alone. The insurance company may be breaching its contract with you, or even breaching its duty of good faith and fair dealing with you.
Although you may be offered what seems like a fair settlement do not settle before the extent of your injury or damages is known.
Even after paying your attorney you will almost always come out with more money in your pocket with a lawyer.
Don’t let the statute of limitations run on your claim because you believed that the other guy’s insurance company will eventually pay you.
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