Knowing what qualities to look for when hiring a bad faith insurance lawyer can increase your chances of winning your claim. The best bad faith insurance lawyer will be familiar with federal and state insurance laws. The lawyer’s legal career will demonstrate experience with bad faith insurance law. The lawyer should have an excellent record of winning bad faith insurance claims and lawsuits. He or she should be a responsive communicator and transparent regarding the legal fees.
The lawyer should have positive reviews and testimonials from previous clients. More importantly, the lawyer should have enough resources to handle your claim or lawsuit. Consider those qualities when looking for the best bad faith insurance lawyer for your claim.
What Is a Bad Faith Insurance Claim?
A bad faith insurance claim arises when an insurer breaches its legal duty. Your insurance company may, for instance, fail to honor the implied or expressed obligations outlined in your insurance policy.
Insurers may also act in bad faith if they knowingly use unfair tactics to devalue or deny your valid claim. Bad faith insurance claims fall into two categories: First-party and third-party claims.
First-Party Bad Faith Insurance Claims
A first-party bad faith insurance claim arises when your insurer uses malicious tactics to reduce the value of your claim or deny it altogether. It could be a claim for health, property, business, or any other covered loss. Poor claim investigation, unjustifiable denial of a legitimate claim, and unnecessary delays in the claims process are examples of first-party bad faith insurance practices.
Third-Party Bad Faith Insurance Claims
Your insurer must use reasonable care when evaluating third-party claims. They must also settle valid third-party damages that fall within your policy limits An example of a third-party bad faith insurance claim is when someone files a personal injury claim against you for an accident that is covered by your insurance. If your insurer does not settle the claim to protect your assets, the third party can request an assignment of your bad faith claim and take legal action against the insurance company.
Qualities to Look for when Hiring a Bad Faith Insurance Lawyer
You have the right to pursue the compensation you are entitled to if your insurer has engaged in bad faith practices. The odds are against you if you sue an insurance company for denying your claim without a lawyer. The reason is that insurance companies generally have plenty of resources and a seasoned legal team to battle legal disputes.
Knowing how to find the best bad faith insurance lawyer can prove helpful when you have grounds for a bad faith insurance claim. Here are qualities to consider when looking for a bad faith insurance lawyer:
In-Depth Knowledge of Bad Faith Insurance Laws
The lawyer you select should be familiar with relevant laws and court decisions to effectively represent your claim. In-depth knowledge of all levels of laws (local, state, and federal) and common bad faith insurance practices is essential in getting a favorable outcome from a claim denial appeal. Initial consultations allow you to assess your prospective lawyer’s knowledge of bad faith insurance laws.
Exclusive Practice in Bad Faith Insurance Law
Look for a lawyer who has dedicated his or her legal practice to resolving insurance bad faith disputes. Such a lawyer will know how to read and interpret the most recent health research. The lawyer should also know how to disprove an insurance company’s claims that a treatment is medically unnecessary or ineffective.
Excellent Record of Accomplishment
Besides dedicating the legal practice to bad faith insurance law, the lawyer must have an outstanding record of helping clients win claims and lawsuits. The lawyer should know how to navigate the hurdles of appealing a claim denial.
Your prospective lawyer should, for instance, know the strategies for compelling your insurer to speed up the claims process. The lawyer should be a skilled negotiator to negotiate a reasonable settlement for you. The lawyer should also be a competent litigator to argue your case in court competently.
Your bad faith insurance claim might take months or even years before it’s resolved. Find a lawyer who will answer your questions and address your concerns on time. Try to determine how a prospective lawyer communicates before the initial consultation. You can, for instance, assess how long that lawyer takes to answer your call or reply to your email or text.
The lawyer you pick should have a transparent attorney-client fee agreement. This agreement should outline the amount of legal fees and when they should be paid. It should also clearly state the costs of prosecuting the case, who will pay them, and when they should be paid.
Positive Online Reviews and Testimonials
Check the nature of feedback a lawyer on your shortlist has received. Visit the lawyer’s website to check the reviews and testimonials left by current and former clients.
Another option for researching client reviews of a lawyer in your shortlist is to check the state bar association. This site will give you information about the lawyer’s year of admission to the bar and where he or she is licensed to practice. You will also find out whether that lawyer has a clean professional record.
Strong Financial Muscle and Enough Staff Members
As previously mentioned, insurance companies usually have plenty of resources and a team of skilled attorneys to fight litigation from disgruntled policyholders. You need to involve a lawyer with adequate resources to level the playing ground. A lawyer with several staff members helping with your case can best represent your interests and get you a reasonable bad faith claim settlement amount. Such a lawyer should also be ready to take your claim to court and fight persistently against the insurer’s team of well-paid lawyers.
How Much Do Bad Faith Insurance Claim Lawyers Cost?
The workload involved and the length of time the case takes to resolve determines how much a bad faith insurance lawyer will cost. Fortunately, many bad faith insurance lawyers in Nevada get paid on contingency.
In a contingency fee agreement, your lawyer gets paid after settling or winning your case. Your lawyer does not collect any legal fees if the case is lost. You and your attorney go over the fee agreement when you first contact him or her. The attorney can answer questions you have, such as how much he or she receives in legal fees and if he or she bills you for out-of-pocket expenses.
Another advantage of the contingency fee agreement is that legal fees are deducted from your settlement amount or court award. The court sometimes orders the insurer to pay your legal fees. In that case, you will not incur any fees for the legal services rendered by your lawyer. Instead, the liable insurance company pays those fees.