Neal Rockwood and Brant Noziska together have a combined 64 years of experience in evaluating insurance coverage and litigating against insurance companies on behalf of policyholders. Their cases have included representation of homeowners and businesses for property damage, representing injured motorists against their automobile insurance carriers for uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage where the opposing party has insufficient coverage for the accident, and bad faith litigation of disability policies.
We have also represented various businesses and homeowners in situations where they have been sued but their insurance companies have refused to defend or indemnify them, or both. In fact, the firm’s largest jury award arose out of just such a scenario where an insurance company unreasonably and fraudulently refused to defend and indemnify one of our clients resulting in a $28.7 million dollar jury verdict.
In addition, since our firm represents homeowners and homeowner associations in construction defect cases we have found that understanding the amount of insurance available in any of those cases to be a very integral part of our representation in maximizing awards. Thus, we believe it to be very important to be able to evaluate insurance coverage issues the developer or contractor may have during the course of the case to help facilitate resolution.
Generally speaking, an insurance carrier and their insured have a legal relationship whereby the insurance carrier owes a duty of good faith and fair dealing to their insured policyholders. This duty is implied by operation of law into every insurance contract. Bad faith occurs when an insurance company unreasonably withholds coverage or a defense from its insured. Moreover, under California law, an insurance company cannot withhold coverage without thoroughly investigating a claim and providing an explanation for the reason for their denial. When insurance companies violate the law in this capacity they can be found liable in both tort and contract.
Our commitment to the legal profession is founded on persistence and preparation. We prepare each case from the outset as if it were going to trial. This places our clients in a far better negotiating position for settlement purposes in addition to being prepared to take the case to trial should settlement negotiations fail.