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Third-Party Bad Faith in California: Is it possible to sue the opposing party's Insurance carrier (State Farm)?

Costa Mesa, CA |
Filed under: Lawsuits and disputes

I won a small claims case twice -- it DeNovo'd and I won an entry of (default) judgment. It's been over 10 days since Notice of Judgment was mailed. State Farm, the Deft's Insurance Carrier, is not responding promptly to my inquiries. Can I sue the insurance carrier?

I called after receiving Notice of Judgment, and Ins. Adjuster claimed they were appealing because State Farm and Deft did not attend because they didn't receive Notice. I have Proof of Service with Deft, and Deft Attny's address listed on Proof of Service.

State Farm and Deft Attny is uncommunicative.

Deft lied about going in reverse at time of impact. Damage photos support my version of events -- Court ruled Deft was 100% at fault. How can I get punative damages for lying?

Attorney Answers 1


The short answer is, "No." California did away with Third Party Bad-Faith cases and it has been hellish to deal with insurance companies since then. The carriers low ball every offer, forcing the clients to make the difficult decision to litigate or not.

As for the defendant's lying, that is not enough to get punitive damages. Sorry.
Minh T. Nguyen, Esq.
111 West Ocean Boulevard, 19th Floor
Long Beach, California 90802-4622
(562) 283-5415 ❖ (562) 283-5416 fax ❖ (855) NGUYEN-L[AW]

This is a legal disclaimer that my advice here are for general purposes only and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Further, my advice is based upon the limited information and facts that have been provided. Additional facts and/or circumstances may materially change or affect the advice that I would provide. Finally, I have not agreed to represent you and anyone else who may read my response. (Sorry for this legal disclaimer, but it is important for your protection and mine. You do not want to think that I am representing you when I have not agreed to do so. In order for me to act as your attorney, we would need to execute a retainer agreement setting for the terms of the relationship.) Thank you for your understanding.

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