When you file a claim with your insurance company, you have to hope that the amount they decide to pay will be fair. One of the most common reasons that we pursue lawsuits against insurance companies is for “bad faith” practices, where your company fails to act in your best interests. Your company may refuse to settle or negotiate your claim, instead betting on the idea that you will back down and avoid challenging their decision.
If the settlement you get is not fair, you might have to consider insurance litigation.
Suing your insurance company might seem like a daunting task. They’ve probably got a team of lawyers. They deal with this type of thing all the time. Meanwhile, you have probably never had to handle a lawsuit ever before in your life.
It’s enough to discourage you from pursuing a settlement that is rightfully yours, but should it be? You pay your insurance to cover you when disaster strikes, and you deserve compensation when they fail to fulfill your duty.
The litigation process can be stressful, for sure, but you can get through it if you know what you’re in for. Here’s what to expect when you decide that insurance litigation is the best option.
The Insurance Litigation Process
Here’s how the litigation process works. You and your insurance company both hire attorneys. When you hire an attorney, you should ensure that they have experience with insurance litigation and have a good reputation. After you’ve found representation and pay for court costs, the next part of the process is a phase called “discovery,” during which both sides investigate the facts of the case. Your lawyer may ask you for a copy of your insurance policy, either from you, your broker, or your insurance company. They will investigate your policy and the details surrounding your claim.
Bothattorneys share documents and conduct depositions, or interviews, of those involved. These interviews are under oath.
If the idea of enduring one of these depositions scares you, then you’ll be relieved to know that your attorney will prepare you for it and be there with you to stop any unfair lines of questioning. After the discovery part of the process, you and the insurance company may come to a settlement. Your lawyer will work to negotiate a favorable settlement.
If you don’t settle, your case will go to trial, where you will be called on to testify as a witness. About 90 percent of cases settle before going to court.
The whole process can take years to complete, especially if you go to trial, but when you recover the compensation that you need to move on with your life, it’s worth it.
What You Can Recover
What you can recover through insurance litigation depends on your case, but they can include:
- The full amount of your economic loss, which can include property damage, medical expenses, and lost wages.
- Attorney fees and court costs.
- Pain and suffering.
Talk to an attorney about what you can expect to recover for your case.
What Happens If I Don’t Win?
There is always the possibility that you could lose your case in court. What happens then? Again, it depends on your situation. If you hired an attorney who charges on a contingent fee basis, you won’t have to pay for your attorney. In such an arrangement, your attorney will only collect a percentage of the amount they recover for you if you win.
Do you feel you’ve been mistreated by your insurance provider? Insurance litigation may be the answer. Talk to the attorneys at RRBH Law today to learn more about how you can recover your losses.