Engagement of an attorney during an insurance claims investigation or for an EUO.
Personally, I believe hiring an attorney to represent you during a claims investigation automatically seals your fate for years.
The insurance companies are not afraid of attorneys in fact they like it when an attorney gets involved in an investigation for the insured. The reason is that now any resolution will have to be handled by the courts which takes years in most cases to resolve. This way they can continue to earn interest on the money they would have had to potentially pay out in a short amount of time.
Insurance companies deal daily with attorneys on slip and fall, car wreck injuries, workman's comp and the list goes on and on.
Auto theft claims investigations are a completely different animal. 99.999% of attorneys getting involved with these investigations throughout the country know nothing about them. Generally, it is the first claim of this type they are getting into ever!
Almost never have I seen an attorney turn down the opportunity to represent an insured during an investigation and trust me when I say, they are costing you a lot of money while they wing it! You may feel good having an attorney to represent you during this investigation, but it has been my experience being involved with thousands of these claims that you need a specialist (me) to guide you through all the twists and turns of the SIU auto theft investigation, and basically, I am the only game in town that can offer assistance through consulting.
Am I saying that you should never be represented by counsel? Absolutely not! There is a time and a place that the use of an attorney may leave no option, especially if your claim has been denied and a law suit against the insurance company is required.
I know attorneys feel they are entitled to get involved in these investigations, but actually they are not. Especially when they are taking money from a client involving something they know nothing about! If it is just an auto theft claims investigation, at this point you are not dealing with the law. You are not going to get a settlement like attorneys brag about when working a personal injury claim. They are in way over their head, especially if the insurance company has employed a vendor in forensics to give his opinion about the ability it would take to steal a car without a key in one of these transponder anti-theft systems.
The attorney will not admit it. After all he/she is an attorney and has the ability to force the insurance company to drop their investigation and settle the claim right! ABSOLUTELY NO!
Yet, the use of an attorney to represent the insured is as I have said an entitlement for guaranteed future revenue. If a law suit is required, the attorney needs to consult me on the theft or to review how the claim was handled anyway, because generally, they just can't possibly know about these things. If you are lucky enough to get an attorney that specializes in bad faith and contract law (not a general; attorney) if you are denied and going to sue, the attorney might be very well versed in these issues, but then if he needs an expert to review and refute the forensics that were applied to the ignition, I am the most widely known throughout the US that will oppose insurance companies, the attorney needs to hire me as a consultant in that area as well.
The attorney might be very familiar with contract law and bad faith, but the sticking point may lay with the forensics, because the attorney has no clue here.
The attorney is not familiar with the national players in forensics as it relates to determining the ignition was last operated with a key of the proper type. I have opposed these goofs for 15 years successfully as a consultant or an expert witness.