Insurance

Atlanta Lawyers Representing Policyholders and Insurers

Parks, Chesin & Walbert provides knowledgeable and sound counsel to policyholders confronted with disputes with their commercial insurers about insurance coverage. Our Atlanta insurance lawyers have represented policyholders in commercial insurance coverage disputes and coverage litigation related to an insurer’s failure to abide by duties to defend and indemnify. A substantial portion of our practice arises out of property insurance claims in which there are fraud or arson defenses. We also have represented insurers in contribution lawsuits filed to recover their defense and indemnity costs from other insurers that shared the risk but failed to meet their obligation to the insured.

Our firm regularly provides cost-effective legal representation in insurance coverage disputes arising out of first-party property policies, homeowners’ policies, commercial general liability policies, automobile policies, professional liability policies, builder’s risk and machinery policies, alternative risk transfer agreements, and manuscript and program policies.

Insurance Disputes

Insurance coverage is crucial for businesses and individuals. Many insurance policies are purchased for various potential losses. Often, the policy language is technical and difficult for laypeople to understand. There may be exclusions and limitations of which you are not fully aware, or the scope of which you do not understand. Sometimes there is coverage for an incident under more than one policy, while in other cases, there may be no coverage. A business should seek counsel early in the claims process to make sure that it is in compliance with any policy requirements so that its coverage is preserved. Assuming that there is coverage, your insurer is supposed to honor its duty to pay claims or defend lawsuits filed against you.

There are statutory penalties imposed under Georgia law against insurers that wrongfully fail to pay first-party claims. An insurance attorney in the Atlanta area can bring a bad faith action when third-party claims have not been fairly and timely evaluated.

There are also situations in which an insurance company asks a court for a declaratory judgment that an insurance policy does not provide coverage for a specific loss. A policyholder should have legal representation to protect their rights under the policy.

Bad Faith

It may be appropriate to bring a bad faith lawsuit against an insurer if you have a valid insurance policy, you suffered a substantial covered loss, you reported the loss to the insurer, and your claim was wrongfully denied. Insurers try to deny claims on many different grounds. Sometimes the insurer argues that the policy was cancelled. The insurer in that case will need to show that it sent a proper notice of cancellation. There are also situations in which insurers unreasonably delay, which places the insured in danger of missing a deadline in the legal process.

An insurer can be held liable with the assistance of an Atlanta insurance attorney for failing to properly protect customers by failing to pay first-party claims made by its own insured. In addition, it can be held liable for bad faith if it fails to pay a third party who made a claim against the insured. In order to sue under OCGA § 33-4-6, a policyholder in Georgia will need to show that the claim is covered by the insurance policy, the policyholder made a demand for payment at least 60 days before suing, and the insurer’s failure to pay was motivated by bad faith. The notice must let the insurer know that legal action for bad faith will be taken if a claim is not paid.

People buy liability insurance for protection in case they are sued by someone else for negligence or wrongdoing. If an insurer, in bad faith, fails to settle a valid third-party claim, and this gives rise to a judgment that exceeds the insurance policy limits and puts the policyholder’s personal assets at risk, the insurer may also be held accountable in a bad faith lawsuit.

Hire a Skillful Insurance Lawyer in the Atlanta Area

Insurance contracts can be complex, and if you have a dispute with your insurer, you should have knowledgeable counsel on your side. Our firm has earned a reputation for innovative approaches to legal problems. Whether you are looking for legal counsel in an insurance coverage matter or representation in bad faith litigation, call us and let one of our skillful insurance attorneys look at your case. We represent clients in Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Forsyth, and Glynn Counties. Call us at 877-986-5529 or complete our online form.

Client Reviews
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Their insight, expertise and experience provided us with invaluable guidance during times when we faced critical decisions. Lewis M.
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Just wanted to send a formal thank you note to emphasize just how grateful I am for the outcome of my case! You truly have taken the stress out of this unfortunate situation. N.S.
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Very professional, updated me once a week, very thorough and knocked it out of the park. We got everything we were looking for. The overall staff was very encouraging and gave me the strength to keep going. Chris J.