Philadelphia Insurance Litigation Lawyers
Providing Custom Solutions for Insurers and Insureds
Sacks Weston LLC has helped national and regional insurance companies, as well as self-insured entities, recover losses caused by the negligence of third parties.
The subrogation attorneys at Sacks Weston LLC are ready to help as soon as a new loss occurs.
At Sacks Weston LLC, we understand that most subrogation cases turn on proving causation. That’s why our attorneys and network of experts are on call to investigate new losses right after they occur, before evidence spoils and recollections fade. Our subrogation attorneys will meet experts, policyholders and other parties in the field to collect and record evidence. In turn, our attorneys will provide your company with an honest assessment on liability.
A unique approach to mass losses.
At Sacks Weston LLC, our subrogation attorneys work with esteemed class action and mass tort lawyers. Our attorneys are uniquely qualified to pursue one case for multiple losses caused by one product or event. This approach provides our clients with economies of scale that minimize litigation costs and maximize recovery.
Our subrogation attorneys have handled a diverse range of subrogation claims.
While most losses fit defined categories (e.g., fire, flood, worksite injury, etc.), every subrogation claim involves a unique set of facts and parties. That’s why our subrogation attorneys tailor their representation to each specific claim. There is no “factory line” approach at Sacks Weston LLC. Our attorneys are involved every step of the way.
Common causes of a loss include fires, floods, explosions, gas leaks, structural collapses, machinery failures, faulty equipment, faulty plumbing, poor workmanship, defective products, product failures, product misuse, product alterations, unsafe worksites, worksite negligence and motor vehicle negligence.
Bad Faith Claims & Coverage Disputes
Most states have laws that prohibit insurance companies from acting in bad faith. Under Pennsylvania’s bad faith statute, 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 8371, an insured can recover:
- Award interest on the amount of the claim from the date the claim was made by the insured in an amount equal to the prime rate of interest plus 3%;
- Award punitive damages against the insurer; and,
- An award of court costs and attorney fees.
Whether an insurance company’s conduct rises to the level of bad faith depends on the facts of the case. Examples of bad faith insurance practices include:
- Delaying the investigation and/or payment of insurance claims
- Denying valid insurance claims
- Undervaluing insurance claims
- Failing to disclose policy limitations and exclusions prior to purchase
- Making unreasonable requests to prove a covered loss
- Altering a policy after a claim has been filed
- Threatening to cancel a policyholder’s coverage
Pennsylvania’s has also codified certain standards applicable to insurance companies under the Unfair Insurance Practices Act, 31 Pa. Code § 146.1‒146.10. The Act requires, for example, that an insurance company complete its investigation within 30 days of receiving notice of a claim. If the investigation cannot be completed within 30 days, the insurance company must provide a written explanation for the delay and state when a decision may be expected. While the Act does not create a private cause of action against insurance companies, noncompliance with the Act’s standards may be used as evidence of an insurer’s bad faith.
At Sacks Weston LLC, our experienced insurance litigation attorneys will assess your claim’s history to determine whether your insurer’s conduct rises to the level of bad faith.
Most, but not all, allegations of bad faith flow from coverage disputes. Coverage disputes span a wide range of issues, including:
- The application of policy exclusions
- Whether the loss triggers coverage
- The scope of coverage
- What was conveyed during the purchase process
- Differing valuations for projected and/or incurred losses
- Whether a policyholder provided timely notice of a loss
- The meaning of policy language and definitions
- Disagreements on policy changes
Most states, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey, allow policyholders and insurance companies to bring “declaratory judgment actions” to resolve coverage disputes. In essence, a declaratory judgment action is an expedited proceeding in which the court determines the scope of coverage and whether the underlying facts trigger coverage. Most declaratory judgment actions are brought after a policyholder is sued, and the insurance company refuses to defend and indemnify the policyholder in the lawsuit.
Our experienced insurance litigation attorneys will investigate the underlying loss and will review your policy documents to determine whether coverage exists.
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