Questions To Ask Before Hiring A Property Insurance Lawyer

  • Why Should I Hire A Lawyer?

The law can be complicated, especially with regard to an area as specific as property insurance. Your claims may very well lead to a court case, and it is not a good idea to represent yourself in court against a well-funded, extremely experienced insurance defense attorney. Hiring a lawyer can also increase the amount an insurance company is willing to pay because their risk of losing in court becomes greater when you have a property insurance lawyer on your side. Insurance companies have large and experienced armies of lawyers, experts, and insurance adjusters. Unfortunately, their marching orders are often to pay the minimum amount on all claims, and to deny claims whenever possible. If you stand to lose a lot of money due to business interruption or extensive repairs to commercial property, among other issues, you should hire a lawyer.

  • How Long Have You Been In Practice?

The number of years a lawyer has been in practice will directly affect the amount of experience he or she has. Jeff Raizner has practiced law for 23 years, almost all of that time successfully handling claims against all major international insurance carriers. Many less experienced lawyers have entered the property insurance practice arena, offering lower fees and other promises; but, these attorneys may not have the experience needed to get you the most money possible for your claims. Jeff Raizner, Andrew Slania, and their team of attorneys represent clients in complex insurance disputes nationwide. Mr. Raizner is an active member of the Texas Association of Public Insurance Adjusters and the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters.  He also regularly writes and speaks on insurance law issues across the country.

  • Have You Handled This Type Of Case Before? If So, How Many Cases?

Raizner Slania has handled thousands of both commercial and residential property damage insurance cases throughout Texas and across the country. Be sure to ask any lawyer you speak to how many cases like yours they have handled before and if they won.

  • Do You Have Trial Experience?

Almost all of Raizner Slania’s clients are involved in active litigation. Mr. Raizner himself has appeared in litigation on behalf of clients thousands of times for insurance-related issues. Litigation means that a trial is always on the horizon; therefore, our lawyers work up our cases always with an eye toward trial.

  • Have You Ever Been Accused Of Professional Misconduct?

In Texas, you do not have to be a client to file a grievance. Anyone can report allegations of professional misconduct or problems with a lawyer.  None of the attorneys at Raizner Slania have been reported to the State Bar of Texas for grievance issues. Some reasons that lawyers you interview may have been reported for misconduct include a lack of communication with the client, a failure to appear in court for a hearing, missing case-related deadlines, and/or failing to pay the client his/her portion of the case proceeds If you are in Texas and you have questions about the grievance process, call the Grievance Information Helpline at (800) 932-1900.

  • How Much Do I Pay In Attorneys Fees?

Since you are hiring a property insurance lawyer to help you recover financial damages, it is important to ask how much of your recovery the lawyer will be taking as a fee. There are many different options for legal fee structuring. While under the law, insurance companies are obligated to pay all attorney’s fees and costs if your lawyer wins the case, regardless, you will not have to pay us any attorney’s fees or costs unless and until we recovery money for you. Our firm handles cases on what is called a “contingency fee” basis. In a contingent fee arrangement, the lawyer agrees to accept a fixed percentage of the client’s recovery. If the client wins the case, the lawyer’s fee comes out of the money awarded to the client. If the client loses the case, neither the client nor the lawyer will get any money, but the client will not be required to pay the attorney for the work done on the case.

  • How Do I Know When During The Claims Process I Should Hire A Property Insurance Lawyer?

You should look at hiring an insurance lawyer as early as possible in the claims process; however, a good marker of time to go by is when and if your claim is denied. When an insurance company denies your claim for property damage, it means that the company does not agree with what you have alleged in your claim. Try to get as detailed of a response as possible as to why your claim was denied so that you can take this information in with you to meet with lawyers. After the initial denial, insurance companies often have administrative hearings and appeals internally that must take place before a lawsuit can be filed.

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