What to Expect When Suing an Insurance Company

Web Admin - Thursday, September 11, 2014

insurance lawsuit, Palatine insurance lawyerPeople purchase insurance with the goal of protecting themselves in the event that something unfortunate happens. However, no matter how hard people try to understand their policies and the limitations on them, many people face situations where they feel that the insurance company should be compensating them, but the company refuses. When this happens, people have a variety of options.

First, they can enter into an internal appeals process. Most insurance companies have a function that allows other employees of the company to review refusals and determine if they were warranted. If that fails, then the Illinois Department of Insurance also investigates some insurance-related issues. Alternatively, people with issues that neither of those strategies can solve may need to sue their insurance company if they want to see the compensation that they have already paid for. It is important for people to understand the process of a lawsuit and the length of time that it may take. Insurance companies are expert litigators, and they may drag the process out.

Understanding a Lawsuit

The beginning part of the process for filing a lawsuit against your insurance company involves hiring a lawyer and filing a complaint against them. The complaint is a legal document that triggers a lawsuit, and lays out the general allegations against the insurance company. Once this happens, the insurance company is allowed to respond with a document called an answer. The answer takes each fact asserted by the complaint and either confirms or denies them, so that both parties understand what is in dispute. Once this happens your lawyer and the insurance company lawyers will engage in discovery.

Discovery is a legal process in which both sides ask the other side questions to better understand the facts. This is mainly done through requests for documents, written questions called interrogatories that the other side has to answer, and depositions, which are in-person interviews. The majority of lawsuits end at some point during this phase. As more information comes out, both sides begin to understand their chances of winning at trial, and they likely reach a settlement. In the event that there is no settlement, the case moves to trial where both sides' attorneys present their arguments to the judge, who eventually makes the final legal decision.

Your Part in the Process

Not every step in that process will require the client's involvement. Initial interviews will need to be done for the attorney to get a picture of the case, and there will also be periodic conferences as new facts appear or the case moves forward. The most intensive piece that the client will need to do is prepare for a deposition in case the insurance company wants to depose them. This may require working with the client's attorney to better understand the types of questions that they company may ask, so that the deposition goes smoothly.

If you are currently having an issue with an insurance company and would like to file a lawsuit against them, contact a dedicated Illinois insurance dispute attorney today. At Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC, we represent clients in many northwest suburban towns including Inverness, Palatine, and Schaumburg.

About the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.

Insurance Agent Negligence: The Duty Agents Owe to Their Customers

Web Admin - Tuesday, March 04, 2014

illinois insurance agent negligence lawyerInsurance agents often act as a person’s main point of contact throughout the process of procuring an insurance policy. This means people are relying on insurance agents to do their job thoroughly, carefully, and professionally. To that end, the law imposes a duty of reasonable care on insurance agents to ensure that they perform their jobs accurately. 

The fact that agents have this duty means that if the agent harms a customer through their negligence, they may be liable to that customer in court for the damage that their insurance negligence caused. Generally speaking, these sorts of claims for negligent errors and omissions come in two forms: improperly filing or filling out insurance paperwork, and failure to properly counsel the client on the type of insurance they need.

Types of Insurance Agent Negligence

Insurance agent negligence often occurs in an agent’s clerical capacity. An agent must exercise reasonable care in the filling out of insurance paperwork to make sure that the insurance company provides coverage and that the policies are properly updated. An example of this sort of negligence in the realm of car insurance would occur if a person wanted to add someone to their insurance policy, and yet after informing the agent, the agent never properly filed the paperwork to add them to the policy. If the new person, who should be covered under the insurance, was in a car accident, the agent would be liable for the person’s lack of coverage.

Insurance agents also have a duty to exercise ordinary care when advising clients about the types of policy they need, along with possible limits and exemptions of the policy. This claim comes up often in the case of policy exclusions, which are special circumstances in the insurance policy for which the company refuses to pay. These exemptions can often be long and complex, which means that the insurance agent may be liable for negligently advising the customer if they do not make the exclusions clear. 

For an example of this, consider a person buying homeowner’s insurance who explicitly wants coverage for every item in their home in the case of a fire. If an agent provides them a policy that excludes jewelry or some other class of property, the insured might have a claim against the agent for negligent errors and omissions.

The Statute of Limitations

Statutes of limitations are time limits that the law places on people looking to file lawsuits. In the case of insurance agent negligence, Illinois law limits people to two years to file the suit once the person has a cause of action. However, that time limit can be deceptively complicated since it does not say when a person has a cause of action. Generally, courts start the clock running once the insurer first takes a position that runs against the insured’s expectations. That can mean in some cases the insured needs to act quickly, since it is possible that their underlying insurance case will not even be finished before the statute of limitations related to the agent expires.

If you believe you have been the victim of insurance agent negligence, find an Illinois insurance attorney near you. They can help protect your rights in court and ensure that you recover fair compensation for the harm done by negligent insurance agents. Our firm represents people across the northwest suburban area, in towns like Rolling Meadows, Buffalo Grove and Barrington.

About the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.

Unpaid Claims by Insurance Companies on the Rise

Web Admin - Saturday, November 09, 2013

In recent years, it has become more difficult for policyholders to get paid after submitting a claim to their insurance company. In fact, research done by the Los Angeles Times shows that the amount of money that insurance companies failed to pay on claims more than doubled in the past decade to $372 million.

This increase comes, in part, from insurance companies using aggressive tactics to avoid paying money to deserving people. These tactics include denying payment or cancelling coverage after people make claims, confusing customers until they give up trying to collect on their policies, and delaying payment on valid claims. For many consumers, the best option to protect their rights in the face of these insurance actions is to seek out an attorney experienced in handling unfair insurance claim denials.

Insurance Company Tactics        

One of the most common tricks that insurance companies use to avoid paying for valid claims involves denying their validity, or canceling coverage after the policyholder makes a claim. Insurers often do this by claiming that the policyholder failed to inform them of some piece of information, even if that information had no effect on the reason for filing the claim in the first place. Some companies dealing in health insurance go so far as to examine the medical records of claimants in an attempt to dig up some pre-existing conditions that they can use to cancel the coverage or deny the claim. There have even been cases of insurance companies revoking coverage based on conditions that the company never asked about, or that doctors never diagnosed.

Insurance companies also actively attempt to confuse customers about the extent of their coverage in order to escape paying on claims. The companies’ best tool for this is often their contract. Insurance companies write their contracts with an eye towards keeping them difficult to understand, that way they can fool customers into believing that their policy covers more than it actually does until they file a claim.

Another strategy insurers use involves simply delaying payment of the claim until they give up, or in some cases even pass away. Insurers have many tools to prolong the process of trying to collect on a claim. Some tricks amount to nothing more than a bureaucratic runaround, like sending the wrong paperwork for the policyholder to fill out, but others are more aggressive--like simply waiting to mail the payment until the beneficiary complains. Some insurers delay payments so severely that customers resorted to lawsuits just to get the money the company owed them.

Legal Help for Unpaid Insurance Claims in Illinois

If you have questions about an insurance dispute, contact an Illinois insurance attorney today. Call 847-934-6000 to speak with a member of our team. We work with residents in many communities on these issues, including Chicago, Crystal Lake, Schaumburg, Des Plaines, and more.

Recent Posts


POA Crystal Lake law firm pizza emoji insurance adjusters Arlington Heights Traffic Lawyer digital evidence Rolling Meadows drug defense attorney Deer Park traffic accident attorney rollover accidents drug crimes lawyer ACA workers compensation benefits health insurance dispute senior citizens real estate contract Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyer Schaumburg medical malpractice lawyer hiring employees brain injury South Barrington real estate attorney Barrington estate planning attorney commercial leasing denied insurance claim Super Mario Des Plaines DUI attorney defective products lawyer homestead rights Illinois workplace discrimination attorney Long Grove estate planning attorney independent contractor Crystal Lake medical malpractice attorneys IRA trust transfer probate claims Illinois employment law attorney Deer Park motorcycle accident lawyer Palatine elder law attorney appealing an insurance claim product liability Buffalo Grove insurance claim dispute lawyers in terrorem provision Inverness injury lawyer Arlington Heights personal injury attorney changes to mortgage law real estate leasing FSLA fiduciary rule delay Rolling Meadows business lawyer Palatine injury attorney Inverness civil lawyer Illinois car accident attorney civil rights violation Buffalo Grove injury lawyer Palatine traffic accidents Mt Prospect Attorney life insurance lawyer cell phone accidents Food and Drug Administration's Food Safety Modernization Act work unions filing a medical malpractice claim Kenilworth estate planning attorney construction accidents Schaumburg car accident attorney pedestrian-automobile accident estate planning lawyer Inverness corporate attorney Chicago car accident lawyer elder law vacation home fines power of attorney for healthcare Buffalo Grove real estate attorney Rolling Meadows Traffic Lawyer Des Plaines criminal attorney Chicago attorney Rolling Meadows tax attorney rent to own real estate contracts Deer Park personal injury lawyer Employment Discrimination Law drug crime Des Plaines drug lawyer personal injury accidents fatal car accidents Illinois medical malpractice claim Illinois medical malpractice attorney deed transfer Rolling Meadows boating crash lawyer condo Palatine drug lawyer Inverness personal injury attorney car crashes Illinois injury lawyer Des Plaines pet law attorney personal injury, auto accident injuries, delayed injuries, serious injuries, Des Plaines personal injury attorneys Crystal Lake personal injury lawyer reckless homicide Whistleblower Claims Mount Prospect elder law attorney ken apicella Des Plaines Inverness elder law lawyer DGAA Crystal Lake traffic lawyer Palatine corporate law attorneys Illinois traffic accident lawyer car accident lawyer construction contracts Attorney Ken Apicella drug possession Illinois employment law expungement Illinois medical malpractice lawyers criminal defense power of attorney Illinois medical malpractice case wrongful termination Crystal Lake insurance lawyer tax attorney denial of life insurance financial advisors Rolling Meadows marijuana attorney Jay Andrew Illinois personal injury wills and trusts Buffalo Grove traffic lawyers Illinois employment law attorneys marijuana dynasty trusts Landlord Tenant Ordinance BAC employment law DUI penalities Des Plaines personal injury lawyer anesthesia errors real estate Arlington Heights medical malpractice lawyer Class A misdemeanor insurance claims workers compensation Crystal Lake employment lawyer caretaker rights Illinois civil litigation lawyer boating under the influence Crystal Lake injury attorney life insurance policy Kenilworth estate planning lawyer right to work Rolling Meadows insurance lawyer rollover car crashes auto accidents distracted driving accident victims privacy laws sexual images civil litigation truck collisions Chicago estate planning lawyer condo association agent pedestrian injuries, pedestrian fatality Rolling Meadows Illinois collections attorney slip and fall accidents Schaumburg real estate lawyer Barrington civil litigation attorney Illinois probate lawyer boating DUI Illinois traffic attorneys personal injury attorney child safety living trust workers comp small business Buffalo Grove probate lawyer Crystal lake insurance dispute attorney healthcare claims sole proprietorship traumatic brain injuries Crystal Lake civil litigation lawyer Arlington Heights traffic attorney business litigation Barrington litigation attorney digital assets automated cars Illinois registered agent operating agreements Arlington Heights car accident lawyer real estate closing blood alcohol content Deer Park medical malpractice attorney Palatine employment lawyer Palatine Attorney traffic deaths Buffalo Grove corporate attorney defective products income distribution deducation Rolling Meadows corporate lawyer internet Palatine real estate lawyer natural gas explosion Schaumburg criminal law attorney Inverness DUI lawyer pet bites Barrington employment attorney Illinois trucking safety Barrington personal injury attorney Riverwoods estate planning lawyer denied insurance claims Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers forming a corporation in Illinois Schaumburg construction accident lawyer Crystal Lake pet attorney murder Schaumburg estate attorney fault based insurance Arlington Heights trucking lawyer Illinois estate planning Liquor Control Act personal injury claim Des Plaines personal injury attorney unpaid assessment hands free device civil litigation attorney compensatory time estate planning, death tax, succession plans, business estate plans, Barrington estate planning lawyers Barrington estate planning lawyer Crystal Lake criminal defense attorney Illinois insurance lawyer Arlington Heights accident attorney life insurance claims fiduciary rule Crystal Lake employment attorney Illinois insurance claim attorney employment law, Illinois employment laws murder defense pregnant women comparative negligence Long Grove wills and trusts attorneys boating accidents Illinois insurance dispute lawyers Des Plaines real estate lawyer Affordable Care Act TBI estate plan pain and suffering Illinois Human Rights Act medical marijuana Illinois traffic attorney overtime pay Schaumburg employment law attorneys estate planning attorney Schaumburg estate planning attorney gift tax exemption, estate planning, estate planning strategies, Illinois estate planning, South Barrington estate planning attorneys digital media accounts, estate planning, Arlington Heights estate planning attorney, Schaumburg Attorney Rolling Meadows estate planning attorney Schaumburg Colin Gilbert traffic accidents Illinois insurance attorney uninsured motorist Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyers drunk driving Schaumburg estate planning lawyer Forcible Entry Illinois bicycle safety pay when paid contract Illinois estate planning attorney Palatine civil attorney icy parking lots Illinois estate planning law firm manufacturing Des Plaines motorcycle accident attorney Buffalo Grove personal injury attorney Illinois DUI attorney Crystal Lake car accident attorney Exclusions Mount Prospect wills and trusts lawyers Arlington Heights lawyer Buffalo Grove personal injury lawyer deadly crashes construction accidents, personal injury, wrongful death, Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys, workers' compensation Palatine personal injury lawyer Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act pet law Illinois red light cameras Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorney overtime violations Palatine workers compensation lawyer drugs drug crimes Illinois personal injury lawyers Rolling Meadows medical malpractice lawyers car crash injuries trusts Policy Cancellation subcontractor Des Plaines claims law firm Palatine criminal defense lawyer distracted driving accidents dealing with problem employees nursing home negligence preventable medical errors Schaumburg corporate attorney federal crimes Crystal Lake car accident lawyer Crystal Lake pedestrian accident lawyer insurance dispute attorney wage theft traffic violations texting and driving Arlington Heights criminal lawyer golf accidents Illinois small business insurance dispute, insurance dispute lawyers, insurance claim denial, insurance claim delays, Rolling Meadows insurance dispute attorneys sexual harassment pedestrian accident probate process Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyers medical research motorcycle accident vacation home bicycle accidents Detainer Actions Crystal Lake will lawyer Illinois trusts attorney severance agreements Illinois employment laws Illinois Smoke Detector Act natural gas Illinois mortgages Illinois insurance disputes Deer Park employment law attorney Schaumburg drug defense lawyer Do Not Resuscitate Illinois wills and trusts attorneys Arlington Heights tax lawyer Illinois rollover accident lawyers Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act Chicago corporate attorney gift taxes car accident Chicago will attorney landlord Illinois jet ski accident lawyer institutional trustee cell phone Illinois business law atorneys Kenilworth estate planning attorneys Illinois attorney Schaumburg personal injury lawyer car crash employees Barrington medical malpractice lawyers Crystal Lake traffic attorney trucking accidents Des Plaines tax law firm Des Plaines accident attorney accidental death benefits license Schaumburg civil litigation attorney insurance claim denial employment lawyer Illinois motorcycle accident lawyer attorney fees medical malpractice claims personal injury law firm Illinois home inspection Palatine probate lawyer food poisoning whistleblower protections car accident lawyers Rolling Meadows car accident lawyers Illinois lawyer bike accident IRS traffic violations defense insurance agent negligence Schaumburg probate attorney Illinois traffic laws estate planning, digital assets, Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, Illinois digital assets, Illinois estate planning, Illinois life insurance jet ski accidents traffic laws IRELA swimming pools unpaid overtime employee rights CAM back injuries probate lawyer motorcycle accident lawyer digital information living trust benefits Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyers breathalyzer test Family Medical Leave Act Crystal Lake employment law attorney Palatine trusts lawyer taxes head on collisions rumble strips Crystal Lake estate planning lawyer Arlington Heights car crash attorneys Rolling Meadows real estate attorney living wills Illinois personal injury attorney license revocation living trust vs will Illinois defective products attorney BUI installment contracts Crystal Lake personal injury attorney Arlington Heights estate planning attorney Deer Park traffic lawyer real estate attorneys insurance claim denials Illinois real estate lawyer federal regulations for LLCs corporate law Chicago traffic lawyer Illinois real estate Illinois workplace lawyer pedestrian accidents Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers, insurance dispute Arlington Heights TBI attorney Rolling Meadows personal injury attorney Schaumburg wrongful death attorney employment contract no contest clauses ObamaCare Barrington criminal defense lawyer Illinois workers compensation attorney Schaumburg criminal attorney Long Grove real estate lawyer Long Grove estate planning Deer Park DUI lawyer job lawyers controlled substance landlord tenant law disability benefits underage DUI rest breaks Illinois employment law firm Illinois living will holiday statistics meal breaks Illinois employee rights attorney. Barrington workers compensation attorney first degree murder Illinois pet lawyer Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission Self-Directed IRA Accounts Barrington attorney unfunded trust Barrington personal injury lawyer Schaumburg elder law lawyer Illinois employment attorneys estate tax Arlington Heights pedestrian accidents marijuana crimes attorney Schaumburg insurance lawyers FMLA Illinois workers compensation lawyer insurance dispute Illinois criminal defense attorney Inverness real estate attorney Crystal Lake medical malpractice lawyer wills real estate lawyer Inverness estate planning lawyer Arlington Heights employment attorney insurance attorney Rolling Meadows insurance attorney Palatine corporate attorney caregiver Des Plaines medical malpractice attorney trustee Arlington Heights Attorney Illinois Probate Act of 1975 Deer Park criminal attorney Buffalo Grove traffic attorney underfunded trust Crystal Lake bike accident lawyer paid sick leave workplace sexual harassment commercial real estate Barrington drug crime attorney liens DMV Long Grove estate planning attorneys medical malpractice Barrington business law firm trucking accident lawyers crossover accidents insurance claim dispute attorney liability claims Thanksgiving startup company medical malpractice, missed diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, medical mistake, Deer Creek medical malpractice lawyers spinal cord injury employee discrimination Barrington Traffic Lawyer Des Plaines injury law firm Illinois insurance claims lawyers estate planning trusts Arlington Heights personal injury lawyer employment contract, employment law, employment at-will, Deer Park employment law attorneys, contract, problem employees Barrington employment law attorney real estate zoning modern family estate planning Fair Labor Standards Act Chicago insurance claim attorneys Chicago trucking accident attorney guardianship attorney Rolling Meadows probate lawyer Illinois will lawyer drunk driving statistics Joliet general practice lawyers commercial leases Chicago employment attorney DUI defense probate fees personal injury Deer Park real estate law firm special needs trust Rolling Meadows employment law attorneys Home Sale Contingencies Palatine punch death Palatine business attorney wrongful termination, employment law, whistleblower protections, Illinois employment laws, discrimination in the workplace Palatine employment law lawyer Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyer criminal Rolling Meadows traffic attorney eluding a police officer Palatine civil litigation lawyer Inverness traffic law firm Legal Info insurance denial appeals Buffalo Grove employment lawyer Barrington real estate lawyer insurance disputes, Illinois insurance disputes, Illinois insurance dispute attorneys, denied insurance claims, Arlington Heights insurance dispute attorneys Arlington Heights employment law attorneys loopholes trench injuries preventing accidents Des Plaines collections attorney Chicago will attorney, social media platforms, Illinois estate planning lawyer, Illinois boating accident lawyer Schaumburg personal injury attorney elder abuse Crystal Lake business law attorneys Illinois job attorney healthcare Illinois speeding lawyer Crystal Lake medical malpractice law firm estate planning DNR probate wrongful death Illinois wills and trusts foreclosed rental property Rolling Meadows employment law attorney dog bites Buffalo Grove criminal defense lawyer Illinois wrongful termination lawyer Transfer on Death Instrument DUI criminal law murder charges Barrington Illinois estate planning lawyer Crystal Lake accident attorney Palatine traffic lawyer car accidents insurance disputes estate planning for college students driving employee misclassification blended families insurance claim dispute insurance negligence car collision residential real estate field sobriety test probate claims process insurance claim delay Illinois elder law attorney premises liability dram shop law South Barrington real estate lawyer hit and run accident Rolling Meadows litigation lawyer Illinois traffic ticket lawyer Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer Illinois tax attorney involuntary manslaughter traffic crimes Barrington employment law firm traffic offenses Arlington Heights injury attorney Buffalo Grove medical malpractice lawyers Des Plaines drug crimes lawyer license suspension clemency Palatine construction attorney Colin H. Gilbert personal injury lawyer Palatine employment attorney Illinois pedestrian accident attorney unauthorized overtime Illinois LLC creation Inverness real estate lawyer contracts DUI attorney estate attorney Illinois corporate lawyer bad faith insurance claims license reinstatement Buffalo Grove car accident lawyer employment law, meal breaks, rest breaks, hotel employees, Des Plaines employment law attorneys real estate attorney medical malpractice compensation Des Plaines civil attorney trauma after an accident Barrington injury attorney irrevocable trust Rolling Meadows traffic law firm Buffalo Grove law firm cell phone tower data Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorneys Rolling Meadows criminal attorney Inverness probate lawyer Inverness accident lawyer School Visitation Rights Act Illinois Sales Representative Act Chicago biking tips social media after death Des Plaines Traffic Lawyer Des Plaines real estate attorney Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyer Illinois construction accident attorney texting while driving llinois Real Estate Lawyers Association PTSD IRA benefits bicycle dooring accidents capital gains tax Rolling Meadows Attorney Long Grove real estate attorney Illinois law Illinois business lawyer Illinois personal injury lawyer low-ball insurance settlement Palatine law firm personal injury claims surgical mistakes Chicago estate planning Palatine estate planning lawyer Barrington criminal lawyer Arlington Heights real estate lawyer creditors mortgage Chicago insurance law firm foreclosure slip and fall digital assets, digital fiduciary, estate planning, digital content, Long Grove estate planning lawyers Schaumburg employment attorney underinsured motorist comp time privacy Home Remodeling Repair Act breach of contract BAIID Retaliatory Discharge college kids Schaumburg personal injury lawyers traumatic brain injury advance healthcare directive Crystal Lake tax lawyer Inverness insurance attorney Illinois employment lawyer Des Plaines insurance attorney Palatine insurance lawyer consent to a search Chicago lawyer employment attorney mass shooting liability LLCs home inspection lawyer products liability revenge porn Mount Prospect real estate lawyer Arlington Heights insurance attorney insurance agents medication errors speeding Deer Park workers compensation lawyer minimum wage Schaumburg injury lawyer insurance claim Des Plaines personal injury lawyers Rolling Meadows accident lawyer insurance denials Schaumburg traffic lawyer spinal cord injuries Barrington boating accident attorney Illinois Transfer on Death Instrument loss of consortium suspended license Fourth of July jet ski trust payments criminal record new real estate form Deer Park accident attorney Rolling Meadows employment attorney Rolling Meadows criminal lawyer investment property Illinois driving without license owner responsibility Chicago employment lawyer traffic tickets GM ignition switches