Lawyers who represent both plaintiffs and defendants in insurance coverage disputes face several possible sticking points when it comes to issues that could create an adversarial atmosphere which could further hinder resolutions to a claim.
Discovery – Many discovery requests can be unnecessary and counter-productive because they are unduly burdensome. By putting pressure on one side or the other, it can create resentment if the documents or files are not essential to bringing the claim to a conclusion.
Expert witnesses – Hiring an expert witness can be an effective tool to use when presenting a case to a judge or a jury. However, opposing counsel may not be able to have their testimony admitted, or they may be asked to comment on matters outside their areas of expertise, leaving a window open to challenge their knowledge and poke holes in their credibility.
Duty to cooperate – Insured parties have a duty to cooperate in claims investigations. Lawyers will often look for ways to exclude certain claims if standards are not met and the only way to determine if that is the case is to dig for information that may help them make their point. If a lack of cooperation exists, it’s common practice for lawyers to take parties to court to compel them to do so.
Reimbursing defense costs – If an insurance company is defending a case and there are several causes of action, and one is covered and the other is not, the insurance company can reserve the right to seek reimbursement for the one that’s not covered.
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