Law Offices of
Neil Dorfman has represented both insurers and insureds in the resolution of complex insurance coverage issues and claims for over thirty years in California, Washington, Alaska, and Oregon.
On behalf of insurers he has helped resolve complex insurance coverage issues and successfully defended insurers in coverage, bad faith, and extra- contractual claims. With years of experience as a Chicago prosecutor, Neil has assisted in countless investigations and dispositions of potentially fraudulent claims, through examinations under oath, legal opinions, and testimony. He has been retained by insurers to act as a designated arbitrator, or appraiser, in the resolution of insurance claims matters. He is the author of numerous articles on insurance claims matters, and is a frequent speaker on the topic.
On behalf of consumers, Neil has represented honest policyholders in their quest to receive the full benefit of their insurance policies. As an attorney who has worked with all levels of the insurance industry for many years, Neil understands how insurers reach the decisions they do, and can effectively point out to insurance company personnel where they have erred in their coverage analysis or calculations, in terms they can understand. And, with a detailed understanding of insurance claims procedures, Neil is especially effective should the need arise to commence appraisal proceedings, arbitration, or litigation. He has resolved over a million dollars of disputed coverage issues in the past several years.
When should I hire an insurance attorney?
It is not necessary to hire an attorney simply because you have an insurance claim. The very large majority of claims are handled without them. However, if your claim is denied because of some provision of the policy, or if there is a large unsettled difference in the scope or price of work your contractor or estimator arrives at and the estimate of the insurance adjuster, you should consider retaining legal counsel. Similarly, if you are being accused of being responsible for the damages caused to a third person and your insurer is either denying or conditioning its obligation to defend you or pay for any damages under your liability insurance, you should consider consulting an attorney. There are several reasons you should consider Dorfman and Sitzberger to assist you in such circumstances.
The insurance company acts through its representatives, who may include claims adjusters, estimators, special investigators, supervisors, and claims committees. At Dorfman and Sitzberger we have at one time or another either dealt with or represented persons at every level of the claims process. We know what their concerns are, what they need to honor a claim, and what their responsibilities are in doing so.
Insurance policies are often lengthy and complicated. Most people never read them. But under California law, every insured is treated as if they read the policy cover to cover, even if they never put a hand on it. There is a great expression which could easily apply to policies: “We know what it says but what does it mean?” The insurance company certainly knows what it says; at Dorfman and Sitzberger we know both what it says and what it means. We speak insurance. And, we are happy to inform insurance companies how their own policies actually operate.
It is also the case that the insurance industry is highly regulated; by statutes, by regulations, and by case law. Even though you will never find it written in your policy, the insurance companies in California have an obligation of good faith and fair dealing in the handling of claims. This obligation requires insurers to conduct a full, thorough, and fair investigation of your claim, and to look for ways to pay your claim, not look for excuses to deny it. Dorfman and Sitzberger reminds insurers just what these obligations are, and the consequences of their failure to fulfill them.
And, there can come a time when push comes to shove, when insurance controversies must be resolved through appraisal, arbitration, or litigation. The insurance company has many financial resources it can call upon in those situations.
You cannot afford to have your case be the training ground for an attorney to learn insurance law.
You need a representative already versed in insurance law and prepared for insurance litigation. At Dorfman and Sitzberger we have litigated insurance controversies for over 30 years. If it’s happened before, chances are we have dealt with it.
Courts have recognized that insurance policies are there to provide insureds peace of mind at a time of property or casualty loss. An insurer that fails to live up to its obligations after a loss, lets its insureds down precisely when they need the insurer the most. If you find yourself in such a situation, we are happy to help you secure the peace of mind you deserve, and for which you paid your premiums all those many years