West Virginia Insurance Law & Civil Litigation FAQs

Clients frequently have questions about West Virginia insurance law or civil litigation. Some of the questions that our attorneys at McQueen Davis, PLLC frequently answer include:

  • What is a first-party insurance claim?
  • What is a third-party insurance claim?
  • What is the insurance company's duty to indemnify?
  • What is the insurance company's duty to defend?
  • When should you hire a civil litigation lawyer?
  • How do tort law and contract law differ?

Get a Skilled West Virginia Attorney on Your Side

A skilled advocate to deal with West Virginia insurance law issues or civil litigation can protect your interests, along with saving you time and expense. At McQueen Davis, PLLC, our attorneys have the legal knowledge and experience necessary to handle a range of civil litigation and insurance law issues effectively. Call us at 304-840-0035 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.

What is a first-party insurance claim?

A first-party insurance claim is one that the policyholder submits to the insurance company to recover damages. Homeowners submitting claims for storm damage or an injured person submitting a health insurance claim for hospital bills are examples of first-party claims.

What is a third-party insurance claim?

A third-party insurance claim protects the policyholder when claims are brought against them. The other party filing the claim is the third party. Examples of third-party insurance claims are premises liability claims where someone injured on your property submits a claim to your insurance company to cover damages, or a car accident claim where the other party claims you were at fault and submits a claim to your insurance company for damages.

What is the insurance company's duty to indemnify?

"Indemnify" is an insurance term that refers to paying compensation to a party in a claim. In a third-party claim, the insurance company has the obligation to indemnify, or pay the third party for damages that the court or arbitrator assesses.

What is the insurance company's duty to defend?

One of the benefits a policyholder receives from insurance is the insurance company's agreement to defend the insured if a third party brings a claim. The insurance company handles the defense and pays the legal expenses for attorneys, arbitrators, and other court costs.

When should you hire a civil litigation lawyer?

Civil litigation addresses a wide scope of areas, ranging from employment issues such as discrimination, to torts involving injury and damage, to contract disputes over business arrangements. When you cannot easily resolve an employment, tort, or contract issue by communicating with the other party, it may be time to seek legal advice. A civil litigation lawyer may first suggest mediation or arbitration to resolve the issue. Or, if the situation appears exceedingly controversial and not subject to dispute resolution, the attorney may advise a lawsuit.

How do tort law and contract law differ?

Contract law governs contract use, which forms the basis for most business transactions. Interpreting commercial contract agreements and resolving contract disputes based on disagreements over contract terms, the contract validity, or a breach of contract all fall under contract law. In contrast, tort law governs cases where someone's negligence or intentional actions cause physical injury or property loss or damage.