There are specific procedural mishaps that are common to many insurance coverage disputes. Fortunately, with awareness, insurance companies and businesses can actively avoid many of these problems. It also helps to have professional legal assistance from a lawyer experienced in insurance coverage lawsuits and claims. If you do business in West Virginia (WV), Kentucky (KY), or Ohio (OH), the attorneys at Jenkins Fenstermaker, PLLC can help you avoid common problems in insurance coverage disputes.
Avoiding the Most Common Problems in Insurance Coverage Disputes
What Hurdles Can an Experienced Lawyer Avoid in Insurance Coverage Cases?
One of the issues our attorneys see most frequently involves voluminous, unnecessary discovery requests. This issue arises in the discovery process. The problem is that many discovery requests do not add to the case. Requests for the claims manual, the underwriting manual, and reinsurance are just some of the discovery demands common to insurance disputes. Scholars explain that these discovery requests are often intended to place pressure on the insurance company; however, professionals note that this can backfire.
In fact, far-reaching discovery is frivolous and often creates animosity among participants of the case. Instead of moving forward, many cases are hampered by years of unnecessary discovery proceedings.
Common Errors in Insurance Coverage Disputes Often Involve Expert Witnesses.
A second common issue in insurance cases involves the use of expert witnesses. Experts are commonly hired to testify about the facts of a case. Here's the problem: Experts are utilized even when they are not needed. For this reason, it is important that parties begin examining the required elements of proof for experts from the onset of the case.
It is important to note that some experts are prohibited. The use of an expert in a bad faith claim can also backfire. This might be applicable, for example, when a plaintiff attempts to use an expert witness for policy interpretation. With proper preparation, a defense attorney can keep the testimony off the record three out of four times. This is because the expert testimony must be on a topic concerning something outside of general knowledge. As a result, policy language often does not require an expert.
The Failure to Enforce the Duty to Cooperate Can Upset an Insurance Coverage Case.
An additional problem that can derail a case is when the duty to cooperate in a claims investigation is avoided. The investigation is designed to help the insurance company assess whether the insured is actually covered. An exception may apply in some cases. If the insured does not cooperate in an investigation, this will usually trigger further court actions, which will ultimately order the insured to cooperate.
These procedural problems are common to insurance disputes and can potentially drag on a matter unnecessarily. Other problems might concern issues such as late notice, consent to settle, collusion, reimbursement of defense costs, or failure to exhaust primary coverage.
What Your Company Should Do When Common Problems in Insurance Coverage Disputes Arise
If your company is presented with an insurance dispute, it is imperative to have qualified legal assistance. A firm versed in insurance law can help expedite the matter in an efficient way and avoid most common problems in insurance coverage disputes. To learn more, speak to an insurance law attorney in your area. If you are in WV, KY, or OH an experienced insurance attorney at Jenkins Fenstermaker can assist you today. Contact us here or use our toll-free number: (866) 617-4736.