If your insurance company has acted in bad faith or you're considering filing suit against them for whatever reason, you may be wondering what will actually happen once you've taken that first step and scheduled a consultation with legal representation to discuss whether or not you may have a case.
Insurance companies have been known to work very hard at dissuading their clients from taking legal action, and we generally find that clients who are thinking about suing their insurance companies do so only after exhaustive attempts at negotiation have failed.
If you've had issues with your claims adjuster or agent, you've taken it above their head and spoken to higher-ups within the company, and you're still not seeing results, it may be time to involve an attorney in order to get a satisfactory resolution. If you decide to take that step, here are a few things you need to know.
The Insurance Company's Lawyer Will Become Involved
The moment the words "lawyer" or "lawsuit" are heard by your insurance company, they will likely want to involve their own legal representation from there on out. Before you let your insurance company know you're even considering legal action, be sure to have your own legal representation in place so you're not left scrambling to find the right attorney with little time left to deliberate.
You may even find that the insurance company gets their lawyer or lawyers involved if they merely suspect a suit may be forthcoming, whether you've mentioned it or not. If you have continued to dispute your insurance company's behavior and find them becoming less and less communicative, you may want to speak with a lawyer, even if they haven't mentioned it themselves.
The Insurance Company May Become Adversarial...
While filing suit is your right when it comes to making sure your individual rights are protected, your insurance company may respond with hostility at the idea of facing court fees, legal costs, and the time spent defending themselves in court.
Communications will often break down, and you may find that your insurance company will only deal with your legal representation and will no longer communicate directly with you. For this reason, you may want to look into switching your insurance company as soon as possible. This is especially true if you are using this company for only one type of insurance.
You May Still Be Able to Work With Them
We don't recommend going into the process with the assumption that your insurance company will become hostile, just preparation in case it does. Especially in cases wherein many lawsuits are being filed over a similar issue (in the aftermath of natural disasters, for instance), many insurance companies understand that legal actions will likely be undertaken and clients are still able to communicate on unrelated matters.
If you carry a home and car insurance policy with the same insurer and are filing suit over issues resulting from serious flood damage to your home, it may not affect your car insurance policy and you may have no issues there.
While we do suggest preparation in case you need to switch insurance companies for all policies, you won't necessarily need to switch.
It May Not Ever Make the Courtroom
Although most insurance disputes are resolved without having the matter decided by a judge or jury, the best way to reach a favorable outcome is to prepare a case as if it will be decided by a judge or jury. That often takes time and the litigation process can be costly and expensive for all parties.
In the end, the choice to pursue legal action against your insurance company is a serious one. If your insurance company is denying claims that it should be paying out for, stonewalling you in the claims process, or you feel that they are acting in bad faith, then it's likely time to request a consultation with legal representation to learn what your options are.
You Deserve Representation.
Bluestein Attorneys has experience in dealing with lawsuits against insurance companies, and we'd be happy to sit down with you and take a look at your unique situation. We pride ourselves on making sure our clients' individual rights are protected.
Whether you're dealing with a Personal Injury case, Workers' Compensation, Social Security Disability, need help from one of our SC Veterans' Advocates, or any other legal issue, we are here to help. Reach us by phone at (803) 779-7599 or contact us online at any time to request your FREE consultation.