M. Blake Heath, Trial Attorney LLC • Kansas City, Missouri • Insurance Litigation Attorneys
In addition to representing individuals who have been catastrophically injured, our growth allows us to meet the growing demand for lawsuits against insurance companies. Insurance companies – probably due to the economy – have been more likely to deny meritorious claims or to provide a limited defense under a reservation of rights. What that means for us is more referrals from both plaintiffs counsel who prefer to avoid the complications in interpreting insurance contracts and defense counsel trying to zealously protect their client. Every situation is slightly different, but here are some examples of the issues that arise in insurance litigation:
Types of Insurance Litigation Cases:
- R.S.Mo. § 537.065 Agreements: A Missouri statute that allows an injured plaintiff and the insured to reach an agreement to only pursue the collection of certain assets, including insurance policies;
- Equitable Garnishments: A statutory claim in Missouri in which an injured plaintiff can sue the insured and insurance company to collect a tort judgment, usually after the conclusion of a personal injury or wrongful death suit in which the insurance company failed to defend the insured;
- Breach of Contract: Actions involving whether a claim is covered under the insurance contract. For example we are currently involved in cases against insurance companies regarding the stacking of underinsurance coverage(s) and not allowing a set-off with underinsurance coverage (underinsurance coverage is where a plaintiff is injured and the defendant does not have enough insurance to cover the damages, the plaintiff can sometimes make a claim against his on insurance company);
- Declaratory Judgments: Typically an action brought by an insurance company against its own insured and the injured plaintiff to have a court define the amounts or types of coverage;
- Vexatious Refusal to Pay: A Missouri statute that allows an insured to sue her own insurance company for unreasonable refusal to pay a first party claim (where the plaintiff is the insured and suffered the damage), as well as seek attorney fees and additional damages;
- Bad Faith: A tort claim brought by an insured against her own insurance company when the insurance company refuses to protect the financial assets of the insured by ignoring offers to settle within the policy limits or refusing to defend a covered claim (this is not a first party claim because the insured has injured the plaintiff, made a claim to the insurance company and the insurance company either refuses to settle within the policy limits or refuses to defend); and
- All of the Above: Frequently we see § 537.065 agreements being made with an insured that leads to a Bad Faith claim. We have seen a Declaratory Judgment action filed in Federal court while the plaintiff pursues a state court Equitable Garnishment. We also see Breach of Contract claims as Count I and Vexatious Refusal to Pay as Count II in the same suit.
Experienced Kansas City Personal Injury Attorneys
M. Blake Heath, Trial Attorney LLC believes in giving personal attention to every client. We are client-centered and responsive to needs. Our successful track record in personal injury practice, includes semi truck accidents, and product liability cases.
Speak to a Missouri Insurance Litigation Lawyer at (816) 931-0048
If your insurance company denies your insurance claim following an accident, do not settle for less. Contact an experienced insurance dispute attorney at M. Blake Heath, Trial Attorney LLC in Kansas City for a free case evaluation.
At M. Blake Heath, Trial Attorney LLC, we represent the victims of personal injury in the Kansas City, Missouri, metro area, and the counties of Jackson, Clay, Platte, Cass, Buchanan, and Johnson—including the cities of Independence, Lees Summit, Gladstone, Raytown, Blue Springs, Liberty, Grandview, St. Joseph, Platte City, Warrensburg.