Your Uninsured Or Underinsured Motorist Claim Under California Law
If the driver who hit you does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover your damages, you may be able to make a claim against your own insurer if your automobile policy includes such coverage.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
To make a claim against your insurer for uninsured motorist coverage, your claim is not triggered until you prove that the at-fault party does not have any insurance that would cover the incident.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage
To make a claim against your insurance for underinsured motorist coverage, your claim is not triggered until the negligent driver’s policy limit has been collected. In California, if you file an uninsured or underinsured claim with your insurance company and you cannot agree on the amount of the claim, the claim must be submitted to arbitration.
It is the duty of your insurance company to not act in bad faith and to try to settle your claim in a reasonable and timely manner. If your insurance company handles your claim in bad faith, you may be able to sue your insurer; however, in many instances, you must first go through arbitration.
California law imposes a “duty” on insurance companies to, in good faith, “attempt to reach an agreement with its insured before” invoking arbitration. Forcing you to participate in arbitration because of an unreasonably low offer or other bad faith conduct is actionable.
Bad Faith Action
If your insurance company handled the matter in bad faith and you decide to sue, you can claim as damages the costs associated with the arbitration, including the attorney’s fees that you were required to pay for arbitration.
When filing an underinsured or uninsured motorist claim, the terms in your contractual agreement must be followed. These rules can be complicated and confusing. You should consider seeking legal representation in connection with the arbitration.
Schedule A Free Consultation
If you were in a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, call Jabro Law Group at 619-375-1654 to schedule a free initial consultation. You may also contact our San Diego office online. With more than 12 years of experience, attorney Michael Jabro is ready to provide the knowledgeable legal counsel you need.