As a Los Angeles accident lawyer, some of my cases involve clients who were hurt by uninsured drivers.
It’s illegal to drive a car in California without insurance. But that doesn’t stop nearly 4 million people from doing it every day!
To respond to this epidemic, auto insurance companies in California are required to offer uninsured motorist coverage to each policyholder.
This coverage will protect you in the event you are in an accident caused by an uninsured driver. It should also protect you if you’re hit by a driver who carries insufficient insurance coverage to cover your loss.
When dealing with an uninsured or underinsured motorist case, you’ll be dealing with your own insurance company. I’m often asked, “will my own insurance company treat me fairly?”
Unfortunately, we are usually surprised to see the words “fair” and “insurance” in the same sentence.
But California law has some strict rules in place to make sure auto insurance companies treat their own insured policyholders fairly in uninsured and underinsured cases.
Insurance Code Section 790.03 is one such rule. It contains a lengthy list of rules and duties by which an insurance company must abide. They include:
-the duty to investigate claims promptly;
-the prohibition of failing to acknowledge communications about a claim and failing to communicate promptly;
-the prohibition of not attempting in good faith to effectuate fair and prompt settlements with an insured;
-prohibition of delaying the investigation of claims.
Furthermore, insurance companies cannot penalize you for accessing your own uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. It’s something you pay for every month, and you are legally entitled to access your insurance coverage!
There’s more to this issue, which I hope to discuss in the future, including how arbitrations work in uninsured motorist cases. Stay tuned!
And for questions about your Los Angeles accident or uninsured motorist case, the Rabbi Lawyer is ready to assist, 24/6!