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


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