Insurance Law – RMK Law Firm
In the legal context, insurance disputes can crop up in nearly any kind of case. That is particularly true in Montana, which has unique laws imposing duties on insurance companies that may not exist in other states. Simply put, insurance law is far more nuanced than simply making a claim and waiting to see if the insurance company agrees to pay it.
For instance, an insurance company may have a duty to defend its insured against a claim by providing a lawyer even if ultimately has no duty to indemnify the insured by paying the claim. And in certain circumstances, the insurance company may even have a duty to pay certain portions of claims before the dispute is settled. Often, the very first step of a case is a complex analysis of whether insurance coverage exists.
Thus, if litigation of any kind is a possibility, you would be wise to consider insurance issues at the outset. From coverage disputes to bad faith issues, our attorneys have a wealth of experience in the area.
We’ve gathered some of the most frequently asked questions about an insurance lawyer and answered them below.
What Does a Billings, MT Insurance Attorney Do?
Insurance law covers issues relating to insurance claims and policies. An insurance lawyer can handle all aspects of the claims process for insurance companies and policyholders, including:
- Bad faith
- First-party wage and medical coverage
- Products liability
- Premises Liability
- Medical Malpractice
- Legal Malpractice
- Insurance coverage
- Third-party liability in an auto accident
The team at RMK Law has successfully represented clients in a broad range of circumstances. Including:
- Ensuring the rights of policyholders are protected if they are sued
- Making sure insurance companies comply with regulations
- Helping to determine if and when an insurance company must pay a claim
Insurance companies have a team of experts and attorneys working with them. We often represent policyholders, leveling the playing field, fighting for a more favorable settlement, and protecting them from excessive financial loss.
How Much Does an Insurance Lawyer in Billings, MT, Cost?
Fees depend on the type of case and the attorney. The three most common fee arrangements are:
- In situations where the fees are based on contingency, the cost depends on the outcome of your case. The lawyer is paid out of the process of the claim or suit. This is the most common payment arrangement, especially in cases where the client is injured.
Flat rate –
- In cases with a well-defined problem, the attorney may estimate how much the case is worth based on the time and effort required.
IME billing –
- The attorney fee is based on the amount of time the lawyer and their staff spend on the case.
Insurance lawyers often charge by the hour, but the other fee arrangements may apply in complex cases. The Rules of Professional Conduct provide guidelines for attorneys to follow when setting their fees.
Do I Need a Lawyer for an Insurance Claim?
Many people expect that if they have paid their premium, cooperate with the insurer, and follow the requirements for filing a claim, they will get a fair settlement. However, that isn’t always the case. The insurance company may gather evidence and use it to deny the claim or give you a very low settlement offer.
Seeking legal help before the insurance company acts can help protect your rights. As a policyholder, you are entitled to a fair settlement. When an insurance company fails to investigate honestly or refuses to pay a clearly covered claim, it’s known as acting in bad faith. Tactics that may indicate an insurance company’s bad faith includes:
- Delaying payment
- Ignoring the person making the claim
- Offering significantly less than the claim’s worth
- Misleading policyholders regarding policy coverage
- Interpreting the language of the contract in an unreasonable manner
- Requiring an excessive amount of claims processing paperwork
- Failing to give a good reason for claim denial
The insurance lawyers at RMK Law in Billings, MT, can determine whether the insurer is using faulty insurance tactics and take action that can help you get appropriate compensation for your claim.
What Are the Three Types of Insurance Lawyers?
Several different lawyers may be involved with an insurance claim. However, if it becomes a litigation issue, are three types of attorneys typically involved with insurance cases.
These attorneys review the files of insured individuals and determine if the insurance company owes coverage in a particular case. Sometimes the determination is made before the company decides to extend coverage. Most often, there is not enough time for the review and consideration before the insurer must assign liability counsel. As a result, the coverage counsel may recommend the company no longer insure the individual. They may also suggest filing a lawsuit to determine if the company must protect the policyholder.
This is the lawyer assigned by the insurance company to represent the insured in a lawsuit. Generally, the insurance company decides who represents a policyholder when handling a claim. In some cases, the insured may choose the lawyer who represents them from a list of companies that frequently work with the insurer. Depending on the policy, the insurance company and the insured individual split the attorney fees.
Liability counsel answers the complaint in the lawsuit, handles the discovery process, files the appropriate motions, and represents the insured at trial if needed. The lawyer keeps the insurance company up-to-date on the status of the case, which helps the insurer feel confident their interests are protected and ensures the lawyer fees are paid.
Policyholders may wish to hire their own counsel, ensuring their rights are protected. Monitoring counsel reviews the liability counsel’s files confirming they are taking the right steps for the insured. In addition, the policyholder may have to defend themselves in a dispute with the insurance company regarding coverage. The monitoring counsel can represent the insured if they want to bring a bad faith or faulty insurance claim against the company since they are hired solely by the policyholder.
An insurance lawyer from RMK Law can assess your case and determine how to proceed. If there is proof of bad faith by an insurance company, you may have grounds for a claim.
Some of Our Insurance Litigation Cases
- Litigated scores of cases involving allegations against insurance companies for bad faith and violations of Montana’s Unfair Trade Practices Act.
- Litigated numerous cases involving declaratory judgment actions over insurance coverage issues and insurance companies’ duty to defend.
- Litigated issues involving insurance companies’ claims handling and advance payment of medical expenses and other undisputed expenses like lost wages.
- Served as an expert witness in a case involving claims against an insurance company for violations of Montana’s Unfair Trade Practices Act.
- Litigated a case involving claims by an auto body collision company against an insurance company for underpayment of claims, bad faith, and violation of Montana’s anti-steering laws.
- Litigated a case involving claims alleging that an insurance company wrongfully sought property damage subrogation against a party who was not at fault in an accident.
Contact Us Today to Assist in Your Insurance Case
Whether you are a consumer or a business, we are adept at handling the legalities of insurance cases. From coverage & bad faith to violations & disputes. You can count on us to know how to help. Contact us today at (406) 601-1400 to speak with an attorney.