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How to Find the Best Business Interruption Lawyers in Pittsburgh, PA
Being a business owner can be rewarding, but it can also be scary and challenging, especially when something unexpected happens that causes you to have to close your business. As Covid-19 ravaged the world, many businesses were forced to close and comply with local and state orders. While this might have been the best thing to do in regards to public health, this was disastrous for many businesses. Fortunately, some of these business owners had business interruption insurance. The downside is that many insurance companies have denied business interruption claims associated with the pandemic, so many business owners have essentially been left out to dry.
If you’ve had a business interruption claim denied, you should consider contacting an attorney right away. You might be wondering how to find the best business interruption lawyers in Pittsburgh, PA. We can help. At Morgan & Morgan, we understand how devastating the pandemic has been for billions of people, and we want to do everything we can to help. We’ve been handling these types of cases for decades and would be happy to assist you. Contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free case evaluation.
What Is Business Interruption Insurance?
Business interruption insurance provides income to business owners in the event of a disaster that causes the business to lose a lot of money. Business interruption insurance is generally triggered when a business has to close because of physical damage, such as a fire, hurricane, or flooding. Don’t confuse this with property insurance, which covers physical damage to a business. While business interruption insurance is triggered by physical property damage or loss, it is meant to cover much more than just the cost of the damage. It is supposed to cover profits that the business has lost out on due to the disaster.
Business interruption insurance is meant to cover expenses such as payroll, utility bills, operating expenses, lost income/profit, taxes, and more. Every policy is different and will offer different levels of coverage, so it’s important to do your research before choosing one. This type of insurance can usually be added to your property insurance or purchased separately.
How to Find the Best Business Interruption Lawyers in Pittsburgh, PA
Now that your claim has been denied and you need to find a lawyer, it’s important to consider what you’re looking for in a firm and think about how to find the best lawyer. Consider the following:
Ask for Referrals
One of the best ways to find the best lawyer for your particular case is to ask friends and family if they have ever had to deal with a business insurance claim. If they haven’t, you can simply ask them if they know any lawyers at all that they have worked with and trust. If they have, it’s a good idea to see if they’d be willing to speak with that lawyer and ask for a referral.
Everyone has different preferences when it comes to how lawyers work, so just because your friend or colleague had a good experience with an attorney doesn’t mean you have to use them. However, it is a good place to start. If you’re able to get a few personal referrals, you should consider scheduling free consultations with some of them to get a feel for their work style. You don’t have to be best friends with your lawyer, but it’s important to make sure you get along well enough to discuss the case.
If you come up short with personal referrals, and you’re still wondering how to find the best business interruption lawyers in Pittsburgh, PA, searching online is a good next step. You can search Google and go through local attorneys’ websites to see what services they offer and what you think of them. If there are any that you have a good feeling about, you can then start to look for reviews that former clients have left them. Make sure you look at Google reviews and other reviews that aren’t on the lawyer’s website. Most lawyers hand pick the reviews that show up on their website, and they wouldn’t put anything negative up there. To get the full picture, you need to do your research.
Contact the Bar Association
Most bar associations will provide referrals if you contact them. You can call and briefly explain what your issue is and see if they can refer you to a good business interruption lawyer in your area. By doing this, you can also confirm that the lawyers you are considering are in good standing with the bar association.
Questions for Potential Lawyers
If you’re wondering how to find the best business interruption lawyers in Pittsburgh, PA, it can be helpful to know what questions to ask any potential lawyer before you hire someone. The following are some points you should discuss with any potential lawyer:
- How long have you been handling business interruption cases?
When you’re speaking with lawyers and deciding who to hire, it’s really important to find one who has experience handling your type of case. Business interruption claims are a very specific type of claim, so the fact that someone has been practicing law for decades doesn’t necessarily mean anything.
- Will you be able to update me on my case?
While it might seem obvious that you want updates about your case from whichever lawyer you hire, not all law firms and lawyers are responsive and will give you consistent updates. If you want to be more involved in your case and really know what’s going on, it’s important to find someone who is willing to speak with you when you have questions and someone who will actually answer your phone calls. It might be even better if your lawyer has an email address they can share with you, as this gives you much easier access than having to call every time you have a simple question.
- How much trial experience do you have?
Anytime you need to hire a lawyer, you should make sure they have experience negotiating and litigating. Many attorneys are eager to settle cases for a quick payout, but this isn’t always in the best interest of the client. Find an attorney who is willing to go to trial if offer you receive from the defense isn’t suitable.
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Is there any chance my business interruption insurance covers losses from Covid-19?
As we all know, many businesses were forced to shut down for significant periods of time as a result of the pandemic. Many business owners are wondering if their interruption insurance covers any of their lost profits or operating expenses. Unfortunately, the answer may be no. Most business insurance policies are triggered when a disaster of some kind causes physical damage to the property. It will depend on your specific policy, and it’s a good idea to consult with a lawyer about this to see if there’s any way to utilize your insurance.
Why else do business interruption claims get denied?
Insurance companies are always worried about profits and their bottom line. If they’re able to deny a claim, they probably will, even if it’s possible that you will win on an appeal or by filing a lawsuit. They will usually argue that the losses you are specifying weren’t actually covered under your policy. In some cases, they might even argue that your losses are a result of your own negligence, and therefore they won’t accept your claim.
If business slowed down as a result of a disaster, can I get coverage through my business interruption policy?
In most cases, your business insurance won’t be triggered unless you aren’t able to operate your business in any capacity. However, it’s very important to read the language in your policy and go over it very carefully. There might be a clause in there that provides coverage in the event of a partial closure. This is also something a lawyer can help you determine.
What should I do if my claim was denied?
The first thing you should do is read through your policy word for word. It can be tedious, but it’s really important to know exactly what the policy says. You might find that they denied your claim when it’s very clear that they shouldn’t have. If it’s a bit more ambiguous than that, your next step should be to contact an experienced lawyer to help you with your denied claim.
Morgan & Morgan Can Help
The pandemic and other natural disasters have been ravaging the country, and it has been devastating for many business owners. If you have business interruption insurance and your claim was denied, it’s time to speak with a lawyer. These insurance companies often deny claims, even when it isn’t warranted because they’re concerned with their bottom line. The attorneys at Morgan & Morgan have the experience and dedication to help you with your claim. If you’re still wondering how to find the best business interruption lawyers in Pittsburgh, PA, look no further. Morgan & Morgan is always here for you. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.