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Civil litigation is described generally as a legal dispute between two or more people for either damages, performance of an agreement, or for a court order to stop some behavior.
Insurance litigation claims in Tampa are a type of civil lawsuit. When a person is suing someone else’s insurance company due to a car accident, for example, that is called a third-party claim or a third-party lawsuit.
When an individual sues his or her own insurance company that is called a first-party lawsuit.
Florida Statute § 624.155, under the Florida Insurance Code, outlines when a person may bring a civil suit against his or her insurer.
The Statute states that a person may bring a civil action against an insurer when he or she is damaged by an insurer’s violation of any of the following:
In addition to the aforementioned requirements, insurance providers must also make a good faith effort to settle claims when, under all circumstances, it should and could have done so had it acted fairly and honestly toward the policyholder and with due regard for their interest.
When filing an insurance lawsuit against an insurer, it is important to remember that the Florida Statutes outline a number of requirements regarding agreements between an insurer and a policyholder.
Florida Statute § 627.4265 Payment of Settlement
According to Florida law, the insurer has twenty (20) days to pay the settlement amount, unless the parties otherwise agree. The Statute also outlines the amount of time that an insurer has to settle a claim.
Florida Statute § 627.428 The Policyholder’s Attorney’s Fees
The Florida statutes require an insurance company to pay an insured’s attorney fees if the insured wins the lawsuit against the company. Under Florida law, if an insurance company fails to fulfill a claim and forces the insurance company to get an attorney, then the law requires the insurance company to pay a policyholder’s attorney’s fees.
In addition to understanding the Florida Insurance Code, it is also important to understand the processes and procedures that can arise throughout an insurance claim.
Reservation of Rights: a tool that insurance companies use in litigation. A reservation of rights is a means by which an insurer agrees to defend an insured against a claim or lawsuit while retaining its ability to evaluate, or even disclaim, coverage for some claims.
Examination Under Oath (EUO): a EUO is a formal proceeding in which the insurance company asks the policyholder questions about the claim under oath. The procedure is record by a court report, and is similar to a deposition.
§ 624.155 Civil Remedy -- Visit Online Sunshine, the Florida Legislature’s official website for more information about the Florida Insurance Code and to find out information about the administration of the Code and its general provisions –including when a person may bring a claim against his or her insurance provider.
If you or someone you know has been treated unfairly by his or her insurance provider, or if a provider has denied a claim in bad faith, contact an experienced insurance litigation attorney at Germain Law Group.
Our office handles multiple types of insurance litigation cases throughout the Tampa Bay area and litigates insurances cases in courtrooms like those in Hillsborough County, Pasco County, Pinellas County, and Manatee County, Florida.
Call Germain Law Group at (813) 835-8888 now to schedule a no obligations, one-on-one consultation with Attorney Michael B. Germain.
This article was last updated on October 31, 2017.