One of the most complex areas of law is bad faith insurance. Any company that holds a policy for you is expected to act to protect your rights and interests. If you believe your insurer has failed to properly pay out on a claim or has failed to defend you properly in a lawsuit, you'll need to work with a qualified, Chicago bad faith insurance lawyer who is familiar with Illinois' Insurance Code and any other relevant laws. You'll also need to do your part by working with your lawyer and providing the documentation and other information he'll need to properly defend you.
If you've hired a Chicago bad faith insurance lawyer to represent your interests, understanding what "bad faith" really is will help you avoid unpleasant surprises as your case moves forward. A policy provides specific coverage that protects you in some way, usually financially, in the event of unforeseen damages or circumstances in exchange for your premium payments. The company agrees to:
If your company has denied a claim you feel is valid, unnecessarily delayed or underpaid your claim or failed to protect your interests in a lawsuit, a Chicago insurance lawyer can help, but he or she will only be effective if you are willing to do your part.
If you don't clearly explain the situation from your perspective or leave out details, your attorney can't represent you to the best of his abilities. Tell him the circumstances surrounding the company's refusal to pay as well as the details of the accident or loss in question. The more detail you provide, the better. Leaving out information can come back to haunt you if your legal representative is blind-sided by the insurer.
Hopefully, you've been keeping track of all correspondence and documents. Turn over every letter, claim and policy document that your attorney feels is relevant. It's always a good idea to keep copies of your correspondence with the insurance company, but it can be crucial in a lawsuit. Your attorney may also need the following documents:
Your Chicago bad faith insurance lawyer may be handling the legal aspects of your case, but he or she will need to talk to you regularly in order to clarify issues. He or she will also need to take your complete statement at some point and may need you to testify in a deposition. Yes, this can be time consuming, but it is being done in order to protect your rights and further your case. Do everything you can to make yourself available when your attorney needs to meet with you or discuss your situation over the phone.
Lawsuits take time. Be patient. Your lawyer is doing everything he can, and in most cases delays are beyond his control.
An attorney experienced in bad faith insurance cases can help you get the compensation you deserve, including penalties and attorney’s fees in some situations. Doing your part to help the process along can contribute to a favorable ruling in court.
James T. Nyeste Attorney at Law CoverageLaw.com