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Can I transfer my small claim suit to superior court for higher settlement?

Los Angeles, CA |

This was due to auto accident and the other driver was at fault. My insurance for whatever reason decided to go through arbitration in spite of having an independent witness who stated that the other did not yield the right way and did not attempt to stop at the intersection. Looking at the results of the arbitration my statement and witness statement was not submitted to evidence and it appears that this was one-sided. At the end my insurance paid out to the other carrier and now I am stuck with unpaid medical bills.

Attorney Answers 7


  1. You should not be doing this without an attorney. There are a lot of potential minefields here that you need to discuss with an experienced CA personal injury attorney, including whether or not the arbitration findings now precludes your claim.


  2. Many insurance companies have entered into an agreement with each other that they will take disputes as to property damage to inter-company arbitration. Your bodily injury claim is separate from that. You must submit that claim against the other driver yourself. If your bloodily injury claim is potentially worth more than $7,500, you can file in superior court. However, if that is the way you are going to go, you should get an attorney. Keep in mind that parties cannot have attorneys in small claims court. If it is a higher level court, the other insurance company will hire a defense attorney to protect the other driver. You will need to hire your own or else you will be outgunned.

    ***This response is provided solely for general information purposes and is not intended as legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.


  3. Retain your own personal injury attorney.

    We can be reached at 215-545-2201. Our firm has lawyers licensed to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and in the Federal Courts of those states. The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. I am only licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and I am not providing you with specific legal advice. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Being general in nature, the information provided may not apply to any specific factual and/or legal set of circumstances and/or the jurisdiction where you reside. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. The information provided is of a general nature is not intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney, especially an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Your question, although you may believe is simple, it is not simple. You require legal advice, please consult with a competent attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.


  4. You need a lawyer ASAP.


  5. Arbitration between the ins cos has no legal effect on your rights. Not admissible in any case you bring. You can pursue other driver for your damages. You should consult with a local lawyer.


  6. Best bet is to retain a personal injury lawyer so you get maximum compensation. Avvo has a terrific "find a lawyer" tool to locate a top-rated Avvo attorney with a low contingency fee. Good luck.


  7. I am not clear on what was arbitrated nor why.

    I am not clear on what was sued upon in Small Claims Court (part of the Superior Court).

    I am not clear on your medical bills, and wonder whether Medi-Cal or County Medical Services would pay any of them.

    So, I have no further comment.

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