The hope is that an insurance claim in the wake of a severe storm or other peril that damages your home can be resolved through informal negotiation. However, insurance companies have a strong financial incentive to deny, delay, or lowball claims. Although most insurance claims that go into litigation settle short of trial, the most effective negotiations are based on strong trial preparation. This blog highlights several strategies to strengthen the trial posture of a case.
Avoiding a Shift of Focus: The insurance carrier will frequently try to shift the discussion to focus on alleged negligence or inappropriate conduct of the insured. The attention of the judge and intermediate settlement discussions need to remain on the insurance company’s conduct and coverage issues rather than the alleged fault or negligent conduct of the insured.
Authenticity vs. Histrionics: Many policyholders expect their attorney to pound on tables, level insults, and disparage the opposing parties, witnesses, and attorneys. This form of bluster and posturing does not impress juries or judges. Courtesy and professionalism toward everyone in the courtroom, including the insurance attorney on the other side of the aisle constitutes a more effective way to get positive results. While this in no way should mitigate the tenacious pursuit of the clients’ goals and legal rights, theatrics are more likely to adversely impact credibility than fool anyone.
Use a Clear Simple Presentation: While insurance claims disputes might involve complex legal or contractual issues, the key to a persuasive presentation is constructing an understandable straightforward narrative. The goal is to construct legal arguments that the judge and jury can follow. While there might be a plethora of complex technical disputes regarding policy language, the basic premise must remain clear and simple. The insurance company violated its promises to protect an insured against designated financial risks. Juries can understand the notion that an insurer accepted premiums, which entitled the insured to the expectation that the carrier would step up to the plate when it was time to cover a loss. If the insurance company wants to complicate things, such an approach is beneficial to a policyholder with a clear and articulate presentation.
These are just a few ways that our law firm approaches cases in an effort to maximize our results at trial. Our Miami bad faith insurance law firm invites you to contact us if you are having difficulties with your insurance company. Florida insurance claims lawyer J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo handles claims against insurance companies in Miami and throughout Florida. The Law Firm of J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A. offers free consultations and case evaluations. No Recovery, No Lawyer Fees. Call 305-461-1095 or Toll Free 1-866-71-CLAIM.