If you are wondering about how to resolve an insurance dispute or have started searching for the term “insurance attorney near me,” you are on the right track. Insurance companies are a business enterprise that is in it to make money. They are not necessarily worried about making sure you receive fair compensation for your claim. If you are confronting an insurance dispute where you believe the insurance company is not treating you fairly, you may need to bring in other professionals to help. Here are the steps you may need to take to resolve this issue in your favor:
1. Have the Vehicle Independently Appraised
There are many different types of legal disputes that may arise between an insurance company and the insured or a third-party claimant, but one of the most common issues involved in insurance coverage law pertains to the amount of compensation the insurance company is willing to pay for your property damage. Often, the insurance company may offer a lower figure than you believe is fair. This may be in evaluating the value of your vehicle before considering it totaled or the insurance company saying the repairs are less than you are being charged. To resolve this issue, it may be informative to have an independent appraiser determine the value of your vehicle’s repair or replacement rather than depending on an adjuster who works for the insurance company.
2. Consult with Insurance Dispute Attorneys
If your insurance dispute extends beyond property damage, you may want to consult with one or two Cincinnati insurance attorneys who can explain your rights and explain whether the insurance company’s settlement or position is fair. Insurance companies often rely on having an upper hand on their customers and may offer a lowball settlement offer to people who do not have competent legal assistance. Hiring an experienced Cincinnati insurance attorney can show the insurance company that you are taking the situation very seriously and that you expect to be reasonably compensated. An insurance claims lawyer can review evidence of the damages you have sustained and try to negotiate a fair settlement for you.
3. Request Mediation
Your insurance contract may have a provision that requires you to try to resolve an insurance dispute through mediation before you can file a lawsuit against it. Mediation is an effective and affordable way to resolve a legal issue. It is led by a third-party mediator who helps the parties work together to form an acceptable agreement. The mediator cannot impose a decision on you. You are free to reject any new settlement offers. However, many times, accident victims receive a much fairer offer in mediation and take it. You can usually have an insurance claims lawyer present with you during mediation so he or she can advise you of your rights if you agree to certain terms.
4. Go to Arbitration
If you do not reach an agreement in mediation, the next step is usually arbitration if you are having a dispute with your own insurance companies. This is a form of alternative dispute resolution that resembles a trial but may not be as formal as one or use all of the same rules. However, the decision that is reached is legallybinding. The best Cincinnati insurance attorneys will have experience in mediation, arbitration, and litigation and be able to advise you of the best route to take based on your particular situation.