Maloney Lauersdorf Reiner’s trial attorneys frequently litigate extra-contractual insurance claims brought under the Washington Consumer Protection Act (CPA). Like many jurisdictions, Washington allows an individual to bring a claim under the CPA in a variety of circumstances, including in the context of an insurance company’s handling of a claim. Our lawyers have litigated scores of claims brought under the CPA and have developed a deep understanding of the legal and factual issues frequently associated with CPA claims. With our experience, we are able to formulate successful legal strategies and effectively represent our clients’ interests in insurance litigation under the CPA.
The Washington CPA allows an insured to bring a claim against an insurance company when it engages in “unfair or deceptive acts or practices” while handling an insurance claim. Many insureds attempt to establish this element by showing that the insurance company denied or underpaid a claim, did not promptly pay the claim, or violated one of the other insurance claims handling regulations set forth in the Washington Administrative Code. The regulations bar an insurance company from engaging in a number of activities including compelling an insured to commence litigation by offering less than is owed under the policy, unreasonably delaying in adjusting or investigating a claim, and misrepresenting the coverage available to the insured. The ultimate issue on a CPA is typically whether the insurance company acted reasonably under the circumstances. If an insured is able to establish a violation of the CPA, the insurance company may be held liable for up to triple actual damages up to $25,000, attorney fees, and the costs of litigation.
Our insurance attorneys are knowledgeable about the various components of the CPA, including the connection with the claim handling regulations and litigating issues of causation and damages under the CPA. Like many other extra-contractual insurance claims, the potential availability of enhanced damages and attorney fees mean CPA claims are often contentious. With our lawyers’ years of experience in litigating CPA claims, we are able to effectively and successfully advance our clients’ interests.
Please contact us with your questions about the Washington Consumer Protection Act (CPA).