What Are Damages That Are Generally Sought And Could Be Won In A First-Party Insurance Claim Dispute?
The damages typically sought during a first-party insurance claim are the costs of putting the property back to its pre-loss condition, interests, and attorney’s fees. In addition, property owners also sometimes seek damage for contents, such as clothes, artwork, etc., and additional living expenses. If a homeowner experiences a loss and has to move out of the house for several months and rent a place comparable to the property they moved out of, depending on the policy, those kinds of additional living expenses are also covered. You would have to buy extra food because you couldn’t use your kitchen and eat out instead of buying groceries, which can also be covered.
In Your experience, Does Simply Having An Attorney Involved In My Case Tend To Make The Insurance Company Evaluate Or Approach A Case Differently Than If I Were Coming Into This Alone?
Insurance companies know that if an attorney is involved, they’re not going to be able to bully the homeowner, assuming it’s an experienced attorney who knows what they’re doing. However, I’m not going to say that you must have an attorney every time there’s a loss. Often we will help people through the claims process if we feel like we can help them without actually having them hire us. If we can quickly help them resolve their issues or tell them what to do and the insurance company does the right thing and doesn’t need to hire us, that’s great. We love it when it happens, and we’re happy to do it. But unfortunately, the fact of the matter is the vast majority of the time, the insurance company is not going to do the right thing unless an attorney is holding their feet to the fire.
How Does Your Firm’s Experience And Reputation In Your Area Play Into How Those Insurance Companies Are Going To Evaluate A Case From The Start?
Having been in this area since 2012, going on ten years now, I know many defense attorneys. I’m familiar with them, we have good business relationships and personal relationships, and it makes it much easier to get these claims done if it’s someone you’ve been working with for several years. I believe experienced attorneys are those who not only know the opposing counsels and have relationships with them but also have relationships with the judges and are comfortable in court to have sort of a sense of the way that they’re going to rule because they’ve argued motions in front of them before.
What Do You Say To Potential Clients Who Are Maybe Thinking “It’s Clear The Damage That Happened, It Wasn’t Our Fault, It’s A Valid Claim, Certainly I Can Handle This On My Own. I Had A Policy In Place, That’s What I’m Paying For”?
I always tell clients who are unsure of hiring our firm to give it a shot, but they are likely to be calling again in a few months, wishing they would have enlisted our service from the start.
What Would You Say Sets You And Your Firm Apart In Handling These First-Party Insurance Claims Or Bad Faith Claims In Florida?
We have the experience of a more prominent firm but the feel of a smaller firm. We’re a family-owned firm, and we can practice in a way that we want to practice. We don’t have the kind of overwhelming caseload that an attorney might have at a large firm. This means we are able to deliver the type of results that one would expect from the larger firms but at a much faster rate. We always put the clients first. We care more about what the client’s results will be rather than the attorney’s fees, and we’re never going to treat the client as a number. A client can speak with an attorney at any time regarding the status and updates on their case, and we also like to educate the homeowner about the process so that they learn from this and are in a position where they feel like they’ve learned about the insurance claims process from the way that we explain to them.
Not everybody wants to be so terribly involved in these claims. We do have many clients who, after we sign them up, never hear from them again until we settle the case, but many clients also want updates. We always offer to let these clients call whenever they would like to be updated on their case. If you want an update every week or every other week, give us a call, and we’ll be happy to update you on your claim, tell you everything that’s happening, and educate you on the process. I don’t think you can find that at the larger firms, and I would imagine you would have a hard time finding the same level of access to your attorney or a paralegal and get an update every week if you want one.
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