Are an insurance company's "Reservation of Rights" Letters to a Defendant (its insured) discoverable by an adversarial party?
Phoenix, AZ |
If a Plaintiff is suing Defendant for personal injury (not motor vehicle related), and that Defendant has insurance, is the Plaintiff entitled to discover whether or not the Defendant's insurance has issued them a reservation of rights letter?
In California it can be discovered after lawsuit is filed, and as part of the formal discovery process. I am not sure about the law in AZ, but I would think it would have a similar rule of discovery. Check with a local AZ personal injury attorney
This is not intended to be legal advise or as legal representation. I am a California personal injury attorney . Be aware that every state has its own statute of limitations; and statutes & case laws that govern the handling of these matters.
If a lawsuit has in fact been filed and served on the defendant, the applicable insurance information, if any, including the reservation of rights position, will be contained in the Answers to the plaintiff's Uniform Interrogatories.
The above information is the opinion of the author only, and should not be interpreted as legal advise. Should you desire a personal consultation to more fully discuss your facts and legal options available, you may contact my office at 928.775.9398.
Generally I would think so, but it depends upon your State case law. A reservations of rights letter can be significant and influence how your attorney views the possibility of insurance coverage in your particular case. You should discuss these issues with your own attorney.
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Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.
It may. The relationships and responsibilities of the parties and their lawyers is very critical under the model rules for professional conduct. If you can't get this information in discovery you can likely make a motion to disqualify defense counsel for conflict of interest. Then, in defending the motion, the defense counsel will likely disclose who's rights he's advocating and under what terms.
Answering questions does not create an attorney/client relationship. I only am your attorney if I have entered into a written contract, signed by me, wherein I expressly assent to be your attorney. Nothing I post should be construed as legal advice to be acted upon, it is merely a legal opinion.