Posted on: 11 May 2021Share
Pursuing insurance litigation can seem like a drastic step. However, there are times when hiring an insurance litigation attorney to sue may be the best available option. How can you tell, though? If you see any of these four signs, it might time to litigate.
An Outright Denial of a Claim
This is the most obvious reason to speak with an insurance litigation attorney. If you have received a formal letter denying your claim, you're likely out of other options besides suing. Insurers rarely restart negotiations after rejecting claims unless there's strong evidence they got something badly wrong.
Make sure the insurance company has sent you a formal rejection. You don't want to jump the gun, even if it feels like rejection is coming. The courts frown on lawsuits coming to them too early, and you'll need some proof that the case is ripe for legal review before you sue. Otherwise, the judge might dismiss it without prejudice and tell you and the insurer to keep working on negotiations.
It's rare for an insurance company to flat-out ignore inquiries. Even if the insurer has a very low opinion of the case, they should at least make an effort to respond to your formal requests.
Bear in mind that a non-response within a couple of weeks of filing your demand isn't unusual. However, you should get a letter or phone call from a claims adjuster within a couple of months. If not, you can always contact the insurance company to learn what's going on.
However, there may come a point where none of this gets results. At that stage, you may need to sue.
It's also possible for the negotiation process to not bear fruit. The insurer might insist on continuing to negotiate, but there does come a time where they need to commit to an acceptable settlement offer or face a lawsuit.
Once more, you don't need to jump the gun on ending negotiations. If you're been through a couple of rounds of offers and counteroffers, it's probably not time to sue. However, if the negotiations continue without getting much closer to the number you need to see, it might be time for drastic measures.
Invocation of Clauses
Sometimes, it's the unjust invocation of a clause in the insurance policy that triggers litigation. For example, an insurer might insist that the conditions of a claim meet the requirements for a state limit in the policy. The claimant may say that an entirely different section of the policy applies. If the two parties can't agree, insurance litigation might be the answer.
Contact a firm like Berg Plummer Johnson & Raval, LLP to learn more.