An attorney can assist you in successfully filing a claim under your business interruption insurance policy for a weather related disaster, a fire or some other catastrophic event . This guide will explain the process.
The Lost Business Problem
While some businesses may be able to recover quickly after a disaster, other commercial and industrial businesses could be looking at weeks or months before returning to normal operations. All businesses will suffer some loss of income because of a catastrophe. Companies which have business interruption insurance may be able to recover some or all of the lost income. During an initial consultation, an attorney can review and advise you as to any insurance coverage which could be used to offset some of these losses.
Successfully preparing and pursuing insurance claims in the wake of a disaster can be a complex and time-consuming process. Because the employees and management of businesses are trying to get back to normal, they have little time to put together the extensive information needed to get a business interruption claim successfully resolved. A skilled lawyer will devote the time and energy necessary to reach a successful conclusion of a business interruption claim. How your lawyer can successfully put together and present your claim for your loss is covered in this legal guide.
The First Step --Do you have insurance which covers your loss ?
The first step in determining if a business has a good insurance business interruption claim is to review and understand the insurance policy's ins and outs. The typical insurance policy is full of complicated and confusing language which is difficult to figure out. Understanding this jargon is a challenge and often times requires the expertise of alawyer trained in insurance law. An attorney with experience in reviewing and analyzing insurance policies can provide you with an initial insurance policy review and opinion. If you have insurance which covers your loss, the attorney can guide you through the next steps.
The Second Step --fact gathering
After determining that the policy will provide benefits to your business, the next step is to gather the information needed to successfully file a claim with the insurance company. This information can then be packaged and presented in the most favorable way. Oftentimes, financial experts and forensic accountants will need to be retained to put together information concerning the company's successful financial history as well as projections for the loss of any future income of your business. Your attorney can work with these experts to provide an analysis which can maximize your recovery.
The Third Step -- Filing the Claim and Negotiation of a Settlement
Once all the needed claim information is put together, the firm will present this to the insurance company in the most effective way. What may follow is a period during which the insurance company will request additional information. Once that additional information is provided, there will be extensive negotiations back and forth between your firm's lawyers and the insurance representatives. Your lawyer will work to get the best possible settlement offer from the company in the shortest period of time. It will be your decision as to whether the Insurance Company's best offer is acceptable.
The Fourth Step --Consider Filing a Lawsuit
If a satisfactory settlement offer is not made, the firm will consult with you about filing a lawsuit against the insurance company . This suit may include claims for the insurance company's wrongful and bad faith denial of your claim The lawsuit will ask for damages, recovery of attorney's fees, interest, and court costs.
The Fifth Issue --How to pay the Attorney ?
Most Attorneys will handle these types of claims for a contingent fee. This means that If money is recovered from the insurance company, the firm will take an agreed percentage of the amount collected from the insurance company. The advantage to you is that there are no up front costs and if the firm recovers nothing, you owe nothing .
Of course you can discuss other fee arrangements with your attorney . For example, you could agree to pay the lawyer an hourly fee. Or some attorneys might be a agreeable to a one time flat fee. Regardless of the fee arrangement reached, most lawyers will be glad to meet with you to review this process, and to fully explain the fee options.
Before undertaking the important task of trying to collect your business losses from a giant insurance company , you should consider getting the help you need from an expert attorney .
Its your choice--go it alone or get the help you need.
Before you undertake the daunting task of trying to collect your business losses from a giant insurance company , you should consider getting the help you need from an expert attorney . Handling something as complex as a business interruption claim on your own will require lots of your time . And it may cost your business lots of money .
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