Baton Rouge Insurance Claims Lawyer

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Baton Rouge Insurance Claim Attorney

When your business is facing damages covered by your commercial insurance policy, it is important to have a law firm on your side that can ensure that your insurance company delivers its contractual responsibilities. Advocacy for policyholders can help your business maximize an important and often overlooked business asset: its insurance policy. By working with a Baton Rouge insurance claims lawyer, you can trust that they will advocate for the compensation you deserve. Your attorney can help you and your business navigate the claims process and hold your insurance company accountable.

Insurance Claims Representation in Baton Rouge, LA

When you need advice concerning policy terms when acquiring a policy, assistance with making claims or defense if someone sues you and your insurance company, you can count on me, attorney Heather Cross. I have more than 20 years of experience in insurance litigation and coverage disputes on behalf of businesses. My practice, The Cross Law Firm, does not represent insurance companies so that it may vigorously protect policyholders’ rights in all phases of the insurance transaction.

At my firm, I handle insurance issues for small to medium-sized businesses in the Baton Rouge area and throughout Louisiana. My unique approach includes value-based billing to ensure full transparency in what the firm charges for its insurance representation.

What Is an Insurance Lawyer?

An insurance lawyer provides counsel during insurance-related legal matters. With extensive knowledge of state and federal regulations and insurance law, insurance attorneys can help business owners resolve policy disputes and hold insurance companies accountable for unfair and fraudulent practices. These skilled lawyers provide legal guidance to ensure all policyholders receive fair compensation.

The following are just a few of the different duties an insurance lawyer takes on:

  • Filling out and filing insurance claims while meeting all requirements and deadlines.
  • Protecting homeowners and businesses against bad faith insurance companies.
  • Advocating for your rights in and out of court.
  • Negotiating settlements to ensure you receive fair compensation.

Detail-Oriented Policy Review And Claim Pursuit

I help insured businesses and professionals solve insurance disputes with their insurance companies and understand issues relative to their insurance coverage. Talk to me about a wide variety of insurance matters, including:

  • Property damage claims. Businesses in Baton Rouge need to be prepared for a variety of potential damages. Flooding, severe winds and tornadoes, hurricanes, and fires can all destroy businesses and leave owners feeling helpless. In addition, you never know when an accident or vandalism might occur. I can help you navigate claims by accurately documenting damages and providing a clear understanding of your policy’s terms.
  • Business interruption claims. When a business is temporarily closed due to an event covered in your policy, such as the pandemic or a utility failure, these claims recover the loss of income and cover operating expenses. It is important to understand how your policy handles triggering events, indemnity periods, and exclusions. I can help gather financial records and other evidence to substantiate your claim.
  • Automobile insurance claims and coverage. Auto insurance covers liability for vehicles that are used for business purposes. This includes either damage to the vehicle, coverage against uninsured motorists, and defense for claims brought against your business as a result of a motor vehicle accident. I can help gather comprehensive records of incidents, accident reports, and other appropriate paperwork in order to support your claim.
  • Private disability insurance claims. It is vital that you adhere to the terms of your disability policy to ensure you are protected against bad faith practices. You should always keep medical records such as diagnoses, treatment records, and other documentation that supports your condition. I can help advocate against unjust denials or of disability insurance claims and prove whether they are personal injuries.
  • Commercial general liability claims and coverage. I can assist in compiling and claiming all legal documents, correspondence, and claim forms that will demonstrate the insurer’s mishandling of a claim or wrongful denial of your liability coverage.
  • Premises liability coverage. With a comprehensive understanding of premises liability, I can help to ensure that all incidents are properly documented and filed in accordance with any requirements stated in the policy.
  • Defense in the event of coverage denials. It is important to make sure your insurer covers all legitimate liability claims. I can help your business enforce your policy’s provisions for defending against claims made against you. By challenging any coverage refusals, I can work to secure the necessary compensation for your business’ defense.
  • Representation of Businesses who have coverage including a “selection of counsel” provision. Cross Law Firm can sit down with your insurance broker or agent to determine whether you may be able to select your own attorney for purposes of representation in claims made against your business so that you are selecting a lawyer who knows you and your business instead of the insurance company selecting your attorney for you.
  • Defense of claims when you receive a reservation of rights letter. Sometimes, an insurance company will send a “reservation of rights letter” informing you that depending on the case outcome, you may not have insurance coverage. In those cases, Louisiana law permits your business to retain its own counsel and oftentimes requires the insurer to pay for the cost of defending the lawsuit. Cross Law Firm can assist you in defending the merits of the lawsuit and also fight to make sure that the damages or settlement are covered by your carrier.

What Duty of Care Can Businesses Expect From Insurance Companies?

Generally referred to as “good faith and fair dealing,” insurance companies owe their insured clients a fundamental obligation to act with honesty and fairness when handling claims. Businesses of any size should expect that their insurers provide:

  • Prompt claim processing
  • Objective claim evaluation
  • Fair settlements
  • Clear, honest, and efficient communication
  • Reasonable explanations for claim decisions
  • Defense and indemnity for claims made against your business within the policy’s coverage

This duty of care to act in good faith is intended to protect businesses from unfair and potentially malicious practices used by insurance companies or third-party claimants, ensuring that policies maintain their purpose of providing peace of mind. If an insurer breaches this duty of care, it is known as acting in bad faith and can lead to a bad faith claim.

What Is a Bad Faith Claim?

When an insurance company fails to honor any obligation in a fair and honest manner, it has acted in bad faith. Businesses that have had valid claims unreasonably denied, diminished, or delayed without cause can bring a claim against the offending insurer. The following represent different types of bad faith practices you may encounter:

  • Improper or inadequate investigation
  • Failing to follow procedures in a timely manner
  • Outright refusal to investigate
  • Denying a claim without reason
  • Intentionally misrepresenting policy terms
  • Tendering or providing an amount for property damage that is less than the amount that is required
  • Knowingly offering a lower settlement to a third party than what is covered in a policy
  • Wrongfully refusing to defend or indemnify your business in a claim made against it by a third party

By working with an experienced insurance lawyer, you can pursue a bad faith claim that seeks additional compensation beyond the original insurance claim’s value.

Bad Faith Claim Denials

Though it is not common, some insurance claims are denied when they should have been paid according to the policy. This is called a bad faith claim denial, as the insurance company has denied the claim even though it was warranted per the policy details. I understand how frustrating this can be, as businesses often rely on these payments after damages have occurred. My response includes aggressively pursuing the proper payments for clients and holding the insurance companies accountable for their delays or bad faith denials.

What Is the Bad Faith Law in Louisiana?

Louisiana has two bad faith laws concerning insurance claims. First, RS 22:1892 aims to promote timeliness and fairness in handling claims. Insurers can be legally penalized for failing to comply with timeframe requirements without probable cause.

Second, RS 22:1973 establishes the duty of care insurers owed to the insured, defining what constitutes a breach of that duty. This outlines insurer good faith and dealing, requiring insurers to make every reasonable effort to settle a claim efficiently.

How Long Does an Insurance Company Have to Settle a Homeowners Claim In Louisiana?

Insurers are required to provide settlement offers to homeowners within 30 days of receiving adequate proof of loss. Additionally, settlement payments must be made within 60 days of receiving the proof of loss and within 30 days of a written agreement. Failure to comply can lead to penalties of at least $5,000 and up to twice the cost of damages. While specific timeframes are established for settling, no timeframe is required for accepting or denying a claim.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Bad Faith in Louisiana?

In Louisiana, under current law, insured businesses have up to ten years to legally file a bad faith claim against their insurance company. This extended time gives businesses the chance to seek compensation for wrongful denials of claims without being unduly rushed into taking action. This way, you are able to properly gather evidence and prepare. Nevertheless, it is important that you address your claim as soon as possible to receive prompt resolutions and avoid prolonged disputes.

Schedule An Appointment With Your Baton Rouge Insurance Lawyer Today

If your insurance company has wrongly denied, diminished, or delayed your claim for damages, it is vital that you work with a qualified and experienced Baton Rouge insurance lawyer. The Cross Law Firm can be your legal ally.

Let me help you navigate the claims process or bring a bad faith case against your insurance to make sure you receive the coverage and compensation owed to you. To learn more about your options for seeking payment on commercial insurance claims, contact my firm online or call the office at 225-325-0266.

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