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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 |

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?

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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]

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