Insurance coverage and bad faith cases are unique and different from negligence or commercial contract cases. Many attorneys readily agree to handle bad faith matters, believing them to be no different from a typical personal injury case or a contract matter. Others solicit bad faith cases through advertising.
Handling insurance bad faith cases effectively requires specialized skills and experience. Depth of knowledge and experience in insurance coverage law is essential. An attorney not versed in the intricacies of insurance contract law is not in a position to advise whether the coverage dispute underlying the bad faith claim has merit. Good bad faith claims can go unrecognized and bad ones prosecuted.
For these reasons, it is important that questions be asked of any attorney whom you are considering to represent you with regard to a bad faith matter.
Your questions might include:
- What is the nature of your practice?
- Under what types of insurance policies have you prosecuted bad faith claims?
- How many bad faith cases have you tried?
- Of those, how many resulted in a verdict for your client?
- What was the relationship between the amount of insurance benefits at issue and the verdict you won?
- Have you ever obtained a punitive damages award against an insurance company at trial?
- How many appeals have you handled that involved insurance coverage or bad faith issues? [Request a list of published appellate court decisions.]
- Are you listed in The Best Lawyers in America® for insurance law expertise?
- What are your referrals' names and phone numbers?
- Have you argued insurance coverage issues in the Colorado Supreme Court?
- Have you argued insurance coverage issues in the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit?