Insurance Claims, Disputes & Litigation
Many people find it difficult to get their insurance company to pay their health, disability, property or automobile insurance claims. Even if they admit coverage, insurance companies often engage in the tactic of "low-balling" their policyholders, which means that the amount that the policyholder is offered is far less than the true value of the claim. Many insurance companies also inexcusably delay the adjustment of claims, forcing their policyholders to wade through complex bureaucracies for months on end, while the money earns interest in the insurers' accounts.
If you find yourself in the situation where your insurance company had denied your claim or is delaying a decision on your claim, please contact our office immediately. Often, the mere fact that the policyholder is represented by an attorney is enough for the insurance company to start paying attention to the claim. More importantly, insurance companies have intricate procedures that you need to follow when submitting your claim or challenging a claim denial. If you do not follow these procedures, the insurance company will have an excuse to significantly lower the value of your claim, or even deny it altogether. For these reasons, you should consult with an experienced attorney before it is too late.
At the Law Offices of Mikhael E. Keifitz, Esq., we have the knowledge and experience of navigating through the complex procedures set up by insurance companies, and forcing them to pay the full value of our clients' claims. If the insurance company fails to pay, we have the determination and the resources to litigate the claim in a court of law, ultimately forcing the insurance company to pay everything it originally owed and additional penalties. Indeed, Florida law provides that if the insurance company's conduct forces the policyholder to retain an attorney and bring a lawsuit, and the policyholder wins the lawsuit, the policyholder is entitled to collect his attorney's fees from the insurance company.
Moreover, Florida law imposes on insurance companies a duty of "good faith and fair dealing" with their policyholders. If the insurance company breaches this duty, it can be liable not only for the policyholder's attorney's fees, but also for additional penalties, which frequently can far exceed the amount that was originally in dispute. The law imposes these penalties on insurance companies in order to discourage them from using their size and power to delay, deny or "low-ball" valid claims against vulnerable claimants. When insurers know that the policyholder is represented by an experienced attorney who understands insurance law and knows how to leverage the threat of "bad faith" litigation, many insurers become far more cooperative in quickly resolving the claim.
One of the tools at the policyholders' disposal is a Civil Remedy Notice (CRN). A CRN is type of complaint filed with the government agency that regulates insurer conduct in Florida - the Florida Department of Financial Services. Once the CRN is filed with the Department of Financial Services, it is then transmitted to the insurance company by the Department, which generally escalates the claim to the insurer's legal or compliance brach. The insurer then has sixty days to "cure" the improper claim handling complained of in the CRN or face a "bad faith" lawsuit. Often, the filing of a properly worded CRN results in a reversal of the earlier denial and the insurance company pays the claim. If, however, the insurance company still refuses to comply with its obligations and does not cure its improper claim handling within sixty days allowed by the CRN, the policyholder gains the ability to bring a "bad faith" lawsuit against the insurance company and to recover sums in excess of what the claim is worth.
General information about the CRN process is located at http://www.myfloridacfo.com/consumers/civil_remedy.htm. If your insurance company is denying or delaying your valid claim, please contact our office so that we can assist you with filing a CRN, guide you through the insurance recovery process and, if necessary, pursue your rights under the insurance policy in court.
ALME - AMERICAN LEGAL & MEDIATION EXPERTS
COLLABORATION. EXPERIENCE. EFFICIENCY.
For example, mediation is an efficient tool that can can help the parties avoid a lengthy and expensive litigation.
Attorney Mikhael E. Keifitz, ALME's founder, is a confident, experienced, and knowledgeable mediator. Mikhael's unique understanding of business and his international experience help him effectively bridge cross-cultural differences between the parties and bring the dispute to a fair resolution.
Mediation is an informal and confidential way for people to resolve their disputes with the help of a neutral mediator who is trained to help people settle their differences. The mediator does not decide who is right or wrong or issue a decision. Instead, the mediator helps the parties work out their own solutions to problems.
One of the greatest benefits of mediation is that it allows people to resolve their differences in a friendly way and in ways that meet their own unique needs. Moreover, mediation works much faster and is cheaper than other dispute resolution methods.