insurance claims lawyer

When you suffer an injury or property damage, you expect after filing a claim that the insurance company will pay what is rightfully owed to you based on your specific policy. Unfortunately, many insurance companies will do everything in their power to devalue or deny your claim altogether without a legitimate reason. When this happens, you need a dedicated attorney on your side who can help you obtain the insurance benefits you are entitled. At Rizk Law, our Portland insurance claims lawyers have years of extensive experience protecting our client’s best interests and ensuring that insurance companies do not take advantage of them. Founder Richard Rizk knows exactly how insurers think, having worked as a former insurance defense and coverage lawyer in high-profile cases for both Nationwide Insurance and Wausau Insurance, a parent company of Liberty Mutual.

If you have a claim that was denied or undervalued, contact us to schedule a free, no obligation consultation to review your case. Our services are provided on a contingency fee basis, so there are no upfront fees or costs involved unless we help you recover fair compensation.

Call us at 503.342.0783 to get started on your claim.

Insurance Claim Disputes

An insurance claim is a formal request to an insurance company for compensation for a covered loss or event. The most common insurance claims usually involve costs for medical services, property damage and liability for operating a motor vehicle, owning a home or business, or the loss of life.

Once an official claim has been made, the insurance company appoints a claims adjuster to evaluate the claim and if approved, issues out a payment to the insured party. However, this process is all too often disputed. Insurance companies are more likely to attempt to deny, devalue or escape making a payment by arguing the claim is invalid.

Disputes with insurance companies can be complex and a lengthy process for any insured party to handle on their own. This is why it is important to get in touch with a trusted insurance lawyer to guide you throughout the entire process to fight for the compensation you deserve.

Our Portland insurance claims lawyers have a strong reputation dealing with insurance related matters and recovering the compensation our clients deserve.

Complete a Free Case Evaluation form right now.

Why Insurance Claims Are Denied

There are many reasons why an insurance company may have denied your claim, even if their version of events is factually incorrect. Insurance providers often interpret or manipulate the language used in their own policies to minimize payouts or deny valid claims, no matter the type of insurance policy you have. When an insurance company denies a claim, they may allege that:

  • The policy excludes or does not cover the specific injury or property damage found in your claim
  • The policy has lapsed because you failed to pay premiums or did not pay on time
  • Your injuries or property damage falls outside the policy’s coverage or below the deductible

The insurance company’s independent experts or adjusters may also allege that any loss you sustained was excluded or not covered by your policy at the time of the accident.

Insurance companies are expected to act in good faith and deal fairly with you. If you believe your claim was unfairly denied, contact a licensed insurance claims attorney in Portland right away. We can evaluate your claim and put our skills and resources to good use to help fight the denial.

Contact our office today by calling 503.342.0783.

Types of Insurance Claim Disputes We Handle

At Rizk Law, our attorneys are committed to helping clients settle many types of insurance claim disputes including:

Trucking Accidents

If you are involved in a truck accident in Oregon, these types of cases are often resolved through an insurance settlement. However, when insurance companies do not offer the compensation that is rightfully deserved, your only choice may be to file a personal injury lawsuit.

The state has a statute of limitations for filing personal injury lawsuits. You have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. If you fail to file a claim before the two years pass, you may lose the right to file a claim.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has specific insurance requirements for commercial trucks with federal liability limits generally between $750,000 and $1,000,000.

The FMCSA requires all interstate truck drivers to have a minimum amount of liability insurance based on the type of cargo they are hauling. For example, trucks transporting non-hazardous cargo weighing less than 10,001 pounds must have a $300,000 minimum. It is also $1,000,000 for transporting oil for private carriers and $5,000,000 for hazardous materials.

Liability insurance coverage protects truckers and others injured in accidents if the trucker is at fault. The bodily injury portion helps pay for medical expenses to pedestrians and motorists injured while the property damage portion helps pay for repairs to other motorists’ property damage in the accident.

Our Portland truck accident lawyers are ready to assist you with your claim. Schedule a free consultation today.

Downhill Skiing

If you plan on downhill skiing or doing any other type of skiing in Oregon, it is important to make sure you have the right coverage. Purchasing ski travel insurance generally covers medical expenses if you get sick or injured while skiing as well as medical emergencies by providing transportation to the nearest facility where adequate care can be given. Ski injuries can lead to mounting and costly medical bills without having the proper travel insurance policy in place.

In the event of a skiing accident, be sure to examine your insurance policy so that you understand your legal rights and responsibilities. This includes knowing whether your policy covers your specific situation, applicable deadlines for filing a claim, whether you have several policies that cover the same situation, or if you have any deductibles that could apply to your case.

If you have a preexisting condition, let your insurance provider know. If not, they could refuse to pay your expenses if you get injured and file a claim.

Even if you have ski travel insurance, it may not cover certain types of skiing such as alpine or downhill skiing, freestyle skiing, competitive skiing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and more. The cost of travel insurance greatly depends on where you are skiing, the type of ski trip you are taking, the length of your ski trip and the type of skiing you will be doing.

Child Injury

If a child sustains an injury while at your house and you have a valid homeowners insurance policy, your insurance company will likely cover any injury claim that is filed. Having bodily injury liability can help cover reasonable and necessary medical expenses for non-residents, including children, who are accidently injured on or around your property.

It is important to not delay in reporting the injury because insurance companies have deadlines for filing claims and may deny coverage altogether. Homeowners are required to provide the identity of the person who owns the policy and the policy number, a description of the accident including the time and place, contact information of the injured person and/or any witnesses present and a description of any personal injury or property damage.

Fill out a Free Case Evaluation form so a Portland insurance claims lawyer can review your claim.

How Insurance Claims Are Handled in Oregon

Insurance claims in Oregon are governed by Oregon Administrative Rules (OARs), a compilation of rules and regulations governed directly by the state.

Oregon gives insurance companies plenty of time to acknowledge claims, no later than 30 days after receipt of a claim. Within those 30 days, insurers must also provide all the necessary claims forms, such as proof of loss and reply to all communications regarding the claim.

The insurance company must then complete its claim investigation within 45 days. If the insurer cannot meet this deadline, they must inform the insured party that more time is required and the reasons why every 45 days until the investigation is complete.

Contact a Portland insurance claims lawyer by calling 503.342.0783.

Benefits of Hiring an Insurance Lawyer

Dealing with a denied claim can be difficult and stressful to handle, especially when you are in need of funds you expect your insurer to pay out after a physical injury or property damage. By hiring an insurance lawyer, you will have a strong advocate on your side to defend your rights. He or she can investigate your claim and assist you in pursuing legal action if your insurance company has treated you unfairly.

Our insurance claims lawyers in Portland are knowledgeable and well-versed in insurance policies. We also know how to determine if an insurance company intentionally used confusing or difficult wording to keep you from understanding or defining extremely specific conditions in order to minimize the chances of covering your claim. Insurers are only looking out for their best interests and the less claims they pay out, the more profit their company gets to keep.

Oregon, like many U.S. states, follows the Unfair Claim Settlement Practices Act (UCSPA) that protects insured parties from unfair and/or deceptive practices by insurance companies, such as:

  • Misrepresenting facts or policy provisions
  • Refusing to pay out without a claims investigation
  • Failing to approve or deny coverage within a reasonable time
  • Attempting to settle claims for less than reasonably deserved
  • Failing to provide explanations for claim denials
  • Delaying payment by requiring duplicate proofs of loss
  • Failing to act promptly to any claims presented
  • Settling claims without notice or consent from the insured party

Under the UCSPA, insurance companies that violate this law can be fined up to $1,000 for unintentional violations and up to $25,000 for deliberate violations.

Claims denied due to bad faith, meaning the insurer acted with the intent to defraud or deceive, may also require an insurance company to pay out additional damages. These may include expenses related to emotional distress, consequential damages and court fees. We can explain how the law applies to your situation in a free, no obligation legal consultation.

We look forward to helping you. Call 503.342.0783.

Contact the Portland Insurance Claims Attorneys at Rizk Law Today

If you believe you are being treated unfairly by your insurance company, do not hesitate to contact Rizk Law for legal help today. We can answer any questions you may have regarding insurance coverage and denials. Our Portland insurance claims attorneys can defend your rights during the claims process.

When your claim is denied and the appeals process fails, we can help you determine other available options, including pursuing a lawsuit. Our firm will work hard to represent your best interests against the insurance companies. There are no upfront costs or fees involved. You only us if you recover compensation for your case.

Request a free legal consultation today by calling 503.342.0783.

Frequently Asked Questions About Insurance Claims in Portland

Most insurance companies are beholden to stockholders, claimant’s not so much even when the insurance company is your own. Each dollar spent on claims places downward pressure on insurance stock value. In modern days property & casualty insurance companies such as Geico, Progressive, State Farm, USAA and Farmers spend millions, often a billion or more dollars on advertising each year. At the same time, many of these insurers boast about low prices. With high advertising overhead and rock bottom premium prices, something has to give—claims payment. The bottom line is that insurance companies are highly motivated to pay as little as possible on each claim unless they believe it will be held accountable. You need an attorney who will hold the insurer accountable if it does not fully compensate you.

Personal injury lawyers work on contingency so the percentage the attorney gets will be the same whether you hire the lawyer early or late. When you hire a Portland insurance claim attorney early they will help develop medical and factual evidence for a greater settlement and this will be less hassle for you.

Insurer conduct amounting to “bad faith” differs from state to state so the first step is to determine whether the conduct in question amounts to ” bad faith” in that particular state. ORS 746.230 is an Oregon statute that set our specific instances of bad faith conduct which include:

  • Misrepresenting facts or policy provisions.
  • Failing to promptly respond to communications.
  • Failing to adopt and implement reasonable standards for investigating claims.
  • Refusing to pay claims without conducting a reasonable investigation.
  • Failing to affirm or deny coverage of claims within a reasonable time.
  • Not attempting to promptly settle claims in good faith when liability is reasonably clear.
  • Compelling claimants to initiate litigation to recover amounts due.
  • Attempting to settle claims for unreasonable amounts.
  • Delaying investigation or payment of claims by requiring submission of duplicate information.
  • Failing to promptly provide a proper explanation of the reason for denial of a claim.

However, Washington state law has similar prohibitions and also requires insurance companies to complete their investigation within 30 days of claim notification. See  Section 284-30-370 of the Washington Administrative Code.

Washington state law also prohibits insurers from:

  • Not fully disclosing all relevant “benefits coverages or other provisions of an insurance policy or insurance contract under which a claim is presented.”
  • Not fully disclosing all pertinent benefits, coverages, or other provisions of an insurance policy or insurance contract under which a claim is presented. (If you are the one making the claim under your own policy)
  • Asking for a signed release that extends beyond the subject matter that gave rise to the claim payment.(If you are the one making the claim under your own policy)
  • Sending checks in partial settlement of a loss or claim under a specific coverage which contains language which releases[s] the insurer or it’s insured from total liability.

Washington state’s penalties for insurers who violate these rules are harsh and include possible triple damages, court costs, and attorney fees.