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Despite having insurance, there may come a time when a policyholder is sued by another party for damages, such as those incurred from a car accident. In situations like these, insurance companies will often contract the services of an insurance lawyer to provide insurance defense for their sued policyholder. You always have the choice of whether to accept the insurance attorney provided by your insurance company or find your own insurance lawyer. This section will give you an overview of insurance defense law and why hiring an insurance defense lawyer may be in your best interest.
Insurance law is a major field within the legal profession. Broadly speaking, insurance law deals with every insurance issue from all the various types of insurance, be it health insurance, auto insurance, life insurance, homeowner’s insurance, etc. Insurance defense is an area of legal specialization within insurance law. Numerous law firms have teams dedicated to insurance defense. Lawyers specializing in insurance defense often deal with issues arising out of an insurance claim or disputes related to coverage in an insurance policy.
Personal injury lawsuits resulting from car accident claims are the most common cases in insurance defense. An insurance defense lawyer in this situation will represent either the insurance company or the policyholder in defending against the action. However, there are many other types of insurance defense cases. Among the types of cases handled by insurance lawyers include product liability suits, construction accidents and liability, product damage, professional malpractice, crop losses, and homeowner’s liability.
Insurance is heavily regulated by both state and federal law. Insurance defense lawyers have an extremely keen understanding of insurance law. Insurance companies will hire insurance defense lawyers as in-house counsel as well as contract with independent insurance defense lawyers. If you sue your insurance company or have a dispute over your claim or coverage, the insurance company will often utilize their in-house counsel to protect themselves. Conversely, if covered in your policy, your insurance company will either provide, or allow you to choose your own insurance defense lawyer should you find yourself responding to a lawsuit by a third party. Regardless of whether you hire an insurance defense attorney or one is provided for you on behalf of your insurance company, that attorney is expected to advocate on your behalf.
For many individuals, the biggest concern or hurdle in considering legal representation is the cost. Most people assume they simply cannot afford a lawyer. If you are a defendant and the liability insurance policy applies to the underlying accident, your insurance company will cover the costs for an insurance defense lawyer to represent you. When your policy does not cover the underlying accident, you may have to pay out of pocket for an insurance defense lawyer to represent you. However, if you are forced to defend yourself and you win your case at trial or settled in your favor, you may be able to recover your attorney’s fees from the party at fault.