California Auto Insurance Bad Faith Claim

Asked 12 months ago - Sacramento, CA

I recently just finished an arbitration with my auto insurance carrier and was awarded a substantial amount above their offer. I was in an accident in February of 2010 and the person that hit me was arrested for dui and only had 15k auto coverage. I had bills close to 30k so I filed a UM claim with my auto insurance for policy limit of 100k (which 85k was available to me) to use for the additional expense. they dragged out the case almost 2.75 yrs from date of final claim to be made to settle. They offered me 19k to settle. We did a 1099 offer for 49k but they still wouldn't budge so we took it to arbitration. I was awarded 89k plus expenses. Do I have a reasonable bad faith claim against my insurance company since they tried to low ball me and took almost 3 years to pay ??

Additional information

I made a 998 offer not a 1099. My accident happen while sitting at a light waiting for it to turn green when rear-ended by the dui driver. I sustained facet tears in my neck, headaches, loss of many recreation activities and nerve damage. The dui driver was found to be 100% at fault.

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Barry P. Goldberg

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . I am sorry for what you have gone through. I answer question after question on AVVO telling people over and over that they probably do not have a "bad faith" claim. HOWEVER, it sounds to me like you have done everything right to secure a claim against your own insurer! In particular, you served a CCP 998 Offer to Compromise (not a 1099!) and you beat it---Bravo! This could establish a prima facie case against the insurer for unnecessary delay and "low balling." Since it is a First Party case, you can allege a claim for Breach of the Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing.
    Please take a look at a couple of my links below regarding UM Arbitrations and CCP 998 Offers to Compromise.
    Best of luck in your "next stage!"

  2. Kristin E. Hobbs

    Contributor Level 12

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . There seems to be a basis for a bad faith action although more facts will be needed to assess your damages relative to this action. Contact an insurance attorney to review your possible case. You can find one through the Avvo search.

  3. Michael R Crosner

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Sounds like you had an attorney who represented you - that is the person most knowledgeable about the facts of your case. You should direct your question to that attorney

    This is not intended to be legal advise or as legal representation. I am a California personal injury attorney .... more
  4. Robert John McKennon

    Contributor Level 4

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I have a very similar case I just filed against Allstate. It appears you have a bad faith claim and that you have done what you need to do to "perfect" that claim.

  5. Chong Hae Ye

    Pro

    Contributor Level 15

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I am sorry for your loss. Your facts support a bad faith claim against your insurer.

    The information on this website is not intended to be legal advice.

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