The insurance industry is worth tens of billions of dollars. Even in today’s economy where claims have become more common, we’re still seeing a very positive outlook for businesses that cover everything from home damages to car accidents.
How has the insurance industry grown into such a behemoth? In large part by doing everything in their power to avoid paying out fair claims to people like you.
That may sound cynical but it’s indeed in an insurer’s best interest to pay as little as possible in claims while collecting as much as possible in premiums. That’s where insurance attorneys come in.
Insurance attorneys are trained to fight with insurers that make bad faith offers or decline the claims of insured individuals. If you’re struggling to work with your insurance company or an opposing party’s, keep reading to understand how to find the perfect attorney to represent your interests.
- Think About Whether or Not You Need an Attorney
We always advocate for people to lawyer up when dealing with difficult insurance companies. Before you take that advice though, try to get an idea of what the upside of gaining legal council might look like.
When you hire insurance attorneys they’re going to collect their payment by taking a portion of whatever amount of money they’re able to get you from a settlement. If they ask for 40% of your settlement but were only able to drive up your settlement offer by 20%, you’ve lost money.
All of that to say that if you’re getting extended an offer without representation that seems fair, you may be better served taking it instead of fighting.
- Search Online Reviews
Online reviews provide consumers like you immediate context on businesses across several niches. The legal industry is no exception.
Run a local search on sites like Yelp or Google to find which insurance attorneys are the most loved near where you live. We recommend shortlisting companies that have over 10 reviews and an average rating for 4-stars or higher.
Note that not every insurance attorney will have a presence on review sites. That doesn’t automatically mean they’re bad at what they do.
- Consider Years in Practice
Every attorney has to get their start somewhere. We recommend that start not be on your case.
While that might sound bad, the truth is, becoming good at winning cases is a process that takes practice. The more practice your attorney has negotiating with insurers and getting in front of juries, the more secure your outcome will be.
- Analyze Areas of Expertise
Given how complex the law is and how much it varies from niche to niche, your perfect lawyer should be an expert in the kind of insurance case you’re dealing with. For example, if you’re thinking of suing your homeowner’s insurance company, find an attorney that explicitly markets their experience doing that.
You don’t want an attorney that spends half of their time managing divorce cases championing your insurance needs.
- Schedule Appointments
By now, you should have an idea as to which insurance attorneys in your area are worth having conversations with. Take that shortlist of prospects and start scheduling appointments.
As you try to get time on the books, pay attention to the ease in which an attorney allows you onto their calendars. If you’re really struggling to find availability, keep in mind that the attorney you’re considering is likely busy and may be not as responsive as you’d like when managing your case.
- Inquire About Case Win Rates
There’s nothing wrong or insulting about asking an attorney about their track record when you first meet them. After all, understanding how often they deliver favorable results for their clients is a great way to discern how likely they are to get you the result you’re looking for.
Any lawyer that can’t summarize for you basic data about the outcomes of their cases or that’s coy about sharing that information is best avoided.
- Understand If They’re Willing to Go to Court
No parties in insurance disputes want to go to court. Trips to courtrooms are costly, time-consuming, and outcomes are very unpredictable.
Given those factors, it’s almost always in the interest of everybody involved to arrive at a settlement.
Still, on very rare occasions, insurers and victims are not able to come to terms on how best to mediate disputes. When that happens, a trip to the courtroom may be necessary.
Will your lawyer back you if court ends up being the only way to get the compensation you’re entitled to? Be sure to ask them.
Lawyers that refuse to go to court are missing a key piece of leverage when it comes to your case.
- Go With Your Gut
You’re going to be working with the attorney that you choose to hire a lot as you navigate …