Insurance Claims Attorneys


Public Insurance Adjusters
Are Not

Insurance Claims Attorneys

Insurance Bad Faith Attorneys

• Earthquakes   • Fires
• Fire Damage               • Earthquake Damage
• Landslides   • Mudslides
• Water Intrusion   • Explosions
• Mold   • Natural Disasters

The insurance attorneys with the law firm of Michael T. Chulak & Associates are available to represent property owners and homeowner associations in legally maximizing insurance claims anywhere in California including the following areas:

• Big Bear Lake     • Lake Arrowhead      
• Running Springs     • Wrightwood
• Tahachapi     • Landers
• Rancho Cucamonga     • Moonridge
• Big Bear City   • Baldwin Lake
• Cedar Glen   • Crestline

While Public Adjusters also represent the insured, they are not attorneys, and consequently, cannot provide legal advice. In addition, the attorney-client privilege exists only when a client is communicating with an attorney. This could become important. Also, when an insurance company is aware that the insured has hired an insurance attorney, instead of a Public Adjuster, it is less likely that the insurance company will engage in bad faith conduct because they understand that an attorney can file a lawsuit for bad faith, if appropriate. In short, we believe an experienced insurance attorney can legally maximize the amount paid by the insurance company while minimizing the time required to settle the claim.

Like Public Adjusters, we are paid only when the claim is settled and you are in receipt of the funds. Also, like most Public Adjusters, our fee will range between 5% and 50% depending upon the size of the claim. While not guaranteed, in most cases our fee will be offset by our ability to obtain a better settlement than you would be able to obtain on your own.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What can I do if my insurance company denies a covered claim?

A: You can file suit for breach of contract and possibly a tort action seeking damages based on the insurer's bad faith handling of the claim.

Q: Can recovery of damages for an insurer's bad faith exceed what the insured is entitled to receive under the insurance policy?

A: Yes. In addition to what the insurer is required to pay under the policy, if the denial is unreasonable, you may be able to recover consequential damages (money you were required to pay because of the denial) and extra-contractual damages which are designed to punish the insurance company and to deter it from wrongfully denying similar claims in the future.

Q: What obligation does my insurance company owe me regarding my claim?

A: An insurance company has an obligation or duty to handle a claim reasonably, promptly, and in good faith.

Q: What is the duty of good faith?

A: It means that your insurance company must:
  1. Pay or deny (adjust) your claim within a reasonable period of time,

  2. Timely respond to your phone calls and letters,

  3. Inform you in writing why it is denying your claim specifying each contract provision upon which it is relying,

  4. Attempt to find a basis for paying the claim rather than reasons to deny it, and

  5. Treat you fairly.

Q: What obligations do I owe my insurance company when making a claim?

A: You must:
  1. Submit your claim timely,

  2. Provide all information reasonably requested,

  3. Provide a statement under oath concerning the claim, and

  4. Reasonably cooperate with the insurance company.

Q: Will the State of California Department of Insurance (DOI) help me if my claim is unreasonably denied?

A: Possibly, but don't rely on it. They do not respond to every complaint and sometimes their responses are inadequate. Never wait to pursue a claim because you are waiting for the DOI to investigate or act. You may never receive a response or the response may come too late. If you fail to comply with a notice requirement, you may lose your right to recover damages. If you allow the statues of limitations to run, you will definitely lose your rights to recover. In short, do not delay making a legal claim.

Q: Is there any general advice you can offer when making a claim?

A: Yes. After calling the insurance company, always summarize the complete conversation in a letter addressed to the person to whom you spoke. The letter should refer to the date your conversation took place and a copy should be retained. The initial claim letter should be sent by certified mail, receipt requested.

Q: Why should I hire an insurance attorney to obtain what is legally due to me under the insurance policy?

A: Insurance companies offer to pay what is due to you as they see it. Sometimes insurance company adjusters are instructed to pay as little as possible, as late as possible. Also, the typical insurance policy contains hundreds of provisions and conditions that are quite complex for most individuals who are not experts in insurance. If you represent yourself, you may be disadvantaged.

Q: What is an Independent Adjuster?

A: An Independent Adjuster is an adjuster hired on a contract basis to represent the insurance company. They do not represent the insured.

Q: Do you have a minimum size of claim that your firm will handle?

A: Yes. If the claim is under $50,000, it is probably not cost effective to use our services. If in doubt, please call us for a free consultation.

Q: What is bad faith?

A: When an insurance company denies the payment of a valid claim, underpays a claim without good reason, unreasonably delays payment or even fails to thoroughly investigate an insured's claim, it is acting in bad faith. In rare cases, insurance companies may falsely accuse their client of insurance fraud or arson.

Q: What is insurance fraud?

A: It is when an insured lies to obtain an insurance benefit to which he or she is not entitled or the insurance company intentionally denies an insurance benefit to which the insured is entitled.

Don't be victimized by an insurance company. Protect your rights. For insurance claims anywhere in California exceeding an estimated $50,000 or more, call Michael T. Chulak & Associates for a no cost consultation.

Let us review your case and represent you so that you receive the full amount of insurance benefits you deserve. Don't let them "pay as little as possible, as late as possible."

Earthquake Damage Attorneys

Insurance Claims Lawyers - Burbank - Glendale

Insurance Claims Attorneys - Coachella Valley

Claims Adjuster Tricks

Insurance Company Tricks

How Insurance Companies Deny, Delay, Defend, Confuse, and Refuse

In order to increase profits and employee bonuses, some insurance company adjusters and insurance companies have done the following:

In order to increase profits and employee bonuses, some insurance company adjusters and insurance companies have done the following:

Attempt to obtain an admission (sometimes recorded) that the insured was partly at fault in order to reduce the amount paid.
Discourage the insured from consulting with an attorney to protect his or her rights. The most common technique is to state that an attorney will receive a percentage that does not have to be paid because the insurance company will treat the insured fairly.
If you are seriously injured, attempt to contact you and record a statement while you are in the hospital taking strong medication for pain (e.g., morphine). Under such circumstances, it is easy for a trained adjuster to obtain a recorded statement that will compromise your right to compensation.
During the recorded interview, if your explanation of what happened is favorable to you, the adjuster will interrupt you constantly in order to confuse your explanation or make it less effective if used at a later date. They will also attempt to change the subject by interrupting if it suits their purpose.
If you are seriously injured, they may attempt to settle very quickly before the total extent of your injuries has been determined. They fully understand that severe medical problems often do not become evident for many months.
If an injury is life threatening, they may delay until after the injured insured is deceased. Often, family members devastated by the loss of a loved one become push-overs for low settlements. In other cases, older people who die may have no close relatives to follow up on a claim. In these cases, insurance companies are able to avoid paying anything.
Attempt to convince a prospective insurance customer that the policy being discussed covers everything, and when a claim is later made, that the policy covers nothing.
Agents will often discourage clients from making legitimate claims, warning them that the insurance company may decide to increase the premium rate or decide not to renew the coverage as a result of the claim.
Delaying accident claims on the excuse that they cannot find necessary witnesses when they are not doing what is reasonable to find them.
Blaming your injury on a preexisting condition when your preexisting condition is not material or has minor relevance.
Claiming your auto accident and injuries were caused by your failure to maintain your car, replace your tires / brakes, etc.
Using the fact that you did not request medical care at the scene of the accident as justification for claiming your injury was not serious.
Insurance companies sometimes establish contests among insurance adjusters providing bonuses and other gifts to the adjusters who pay out the lowest percentage of insurance proceeds. This obviously creates a conflict of interest with the client. The result is predictable.

Many of the largest insurance companies in America have been sued in order to force them to pay claims that should have been paid routinely. The list includes Farmers, State Farm, Allstate, AIG, and many others.

Insurance companies have attorneys on staff to help them find ways to minimize or deny your claim. Except in the case of very small claims, you should protect your rights by hiring an experienced law firm.


Federal Emergency Management Agency

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is an agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security. The primary purpose of FEMA is to coordinate the response to a disaster that has occurred in the United States that overwhelms the resources of local and state authorities. Earthquakes, floods, fires, oil spills, and acts of terrorism may qualify for assistance. The governor of the state in which the disaster occurs must declare a state of emergency and formally request from the President of the United States that FEMA and the federal government respond to the disaster.

FEMA also works to ensure that affordable flood insurance is available to homeowners in flood plains, through the National Flood Insurance Program, and also works to enforce no build-zones in known flood plains.

The website for FEMA is


The information presented on this site was prepared for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It should not be relied upon as a substitute for consulting with a licensed attorney in your state. The law is constantly changing. In addition, the information presented may not be up - to - date or 100% complete. Our attorneys are licensed to practice law in California and seek to represent clients only in California. Sending us an email or other communication does not create an attorney - client relationship. Only signing a retainer agreement will establish an attorney - client relationship. This is an advertisement.

Areas Served:

Los Angeles County:

Acton, Agoura, Agoura Hills, Agua Dulce, Alhambra, Altadena, Arcadia, Arleta, Artesia, Avalon, Azusa, Baldwin Hills, Baldwin Park, Bassett, Bell, Bell Canyon, Bell Gardens, Bellflower, Beverly Hills, Bouquet Canyon, Box Canyon, Burbank, Calabasas, Calabasas Hills, Canoga Park, Canyon Country, Carson, Castaic, Century City, Cerritos, Chatsworth, Claremont, Commerce, Compton, Covina, Cudahy, Crystalaire, Culver City, Del Sur, Diamond Bar, Downey, Duarte, East Los Angeles, East Rancho Dominguez, El Monte, El Segundo, Encino, Firestone Park, Flintridge, Gardena, Glassell, Glassell Park, Glendale, Glendora, Granada Hills, Hacienda Heights, Hawaiian Gardens, Hansen Dam, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, Hidden Hills, Highland Park, Hollywood, Huntington Park, Industry, Inglewood, Irwindale, La Canada Flintridge, La Crescenta- Montrose, La Habra Heights, La Mirada, La Puente, La Verne, La Canada, Lake Hughes, Lake Los Angeles, Lake View Terrace, Lakewood, Lancaster, Lawndale, Leimert Park, Lennox, Leona Valley, Lincoln Heights, Littlerock, Lomita, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Lynwood, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Marina Del Rey, Maywood, Mission Hills, Monrovia, Monte Nido, Montebello, Monterey Park, Mount Baldy, Mount Wilson, Newhall, North El Monte, North Hills, North Hollywood, Northridge, Norwalk, Pacoima, Palisades, Palmdale, Paramount, Pearblossom, Pico Rivera, Pomona, Quartz Hill, Rancho Dominguez, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rancho Park, Redondo Beach, Reseda, Ritter Ranch, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Rosemead, San Dimas, San Fernando, San Gabriel, San Marino, San Pedro, Santa Clarita, Santa Fe Springs, Santa Monica, Saratoga Hills, Saugus, Sherman Oaks, Sierra Madre, Signal Hill, South El Monte, South Gate, South Pasadena, Stevenson Ranch, Studio City, Sun Valley, Sun Village, Tarzana, Temple City, Toluca Lake, Topanga, Torrance, Tujunga, Universal City, Val Verde, Valencia, Valley Village, Van Nuys, Venice, Vernon, Walnut, Walnut Park, West Covina, West Hills, West Hollywood, West Los Angeles, West Toluca Lake, Westchester, Whittier, Wilmington, Windsor Hills, Winnetka, Woodland Hills.

Ventura County:

Camarillo, Channel Islands, Faria Beach, Fillmore, Moorpark, Newbury Park, Oak Park, Oak View, Ojai, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Santa Paula, Saticoy, Somis, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Ventura (San Buenaventura), Westlake Village.

Orange County:

Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Balboa Island, Brea, Buena Park, Corona Island, Costa Mesa, Cypress, Dana Point, Foothill Ranch, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Habra, La Palma, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forrest, Los Alamitos, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Orange, Placentia, Rossmoor, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Santa Ana Heights, Seal Beach, Stanton, Tustin, Tustin Foothills, Villa Park, Westminster, Yorba Linda.

San Bernardino County:

Adelanto, Apple Valley, Barstow, Big Bear, Big Bear City, Chino, Chino Hills, Colton, Crestline, Fontana, Grand Terrace, Hesperia, Highland, Joshua Tree, Lake Arrowhead, Landers, Loma Linda, Montclair, Morongo Valley, Needles, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, Rialto, Running Springs, San Bernardino, Twentynine Palms, Upland, Victorville, Yucaipa, Yucca Valley.

Riverside County:

Anza, Banning, Beaumont, Bermuda Dunes, Blythe, Cabazon, Calimesa, Canyon Lake, Cathedral City, Cherry Valley, Coachella, Corona, Desert Hot Springs, East Blythe, East Hemet, El Cerrito, Glen Avon, Hemet, Highgrove, Home Gardens, Homeland, Idyllwild-Pine Cove, Indian Wells, Indio, La Quinta, Lake Elsinore, Lakeland Village, Lakeview, Mecca, Mira Loma, Moreno Valley, Murrieta, Murrieta Hot Springs, Norco, Nuevo, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Pedley, Perris, Quail Valley, Rancho Mirage, Riverside, Rubidoux, San Jacinto, Sun City, Sunnyslope, Temecula, Thousand Palms, Valle Vista, Wildomar, Winchester, Woodcrest.

Imperial County:

Brawley, Calexico, Calipatria, El Centro, Holtville, Imperial, Salton City.

Kern County:

Arvin, Bakersfield, Bear Valley Springs, Boron, California City, Delano, Frazier Park, Lake Isabella, Lebec, Maricopa, McFarland, Mojave, Pine Mountain Club, Ridgecrest, Rosedale, Shafter, Taft, Tehachapi, Wasco, Wofford Heights.

San Diego County:

Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Coronado, Del Mar, El Cajon, Encinitas (Cardiff-by-Sea, Leucadia, Olivenhain) Escondido, Fairbanks, Ranch, Fallbrook, Imperial Beach, Julian, La Mesa, Lake San, Lakeside, Lemon Grove, National City, Oceanside (San Luis Rey), Poway, Romona, Rancho San Diego, Rancho Santa Fe, San Diego, San Marcos, Santee, Solana Beach, Hidden Meadows, San Diego County Estates, Spring Valley, Vista.

San Luis Obispo County:

Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Avila Beach, Baywood-Los Osos, Cambria, Cayucos, Grover Beach, Lake Nacimiento, Los Osos, Morro Bay, Nipomo, Oceano, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, San Luis Obispo, San Miguel, San Simeon, Santa Margarita, Templeton.


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