Allocating Underinsured Motorist Losses among Multiple Insurers

Los Angeles Uninsured Motorist Attorney Barry P. Goldberg counsels those injured by “underinsured” motorists, and their attorneys, to become familiar with the Uninsured Motorist Statute and to always read the applicable insurance policies. After appropriately settling with the underinsured motorist, with all of the attendant conditions and proof, it can sometimes be a task to…

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Multi-Car Collisions and Underinsured Motorist Coverage– Equals Unfairness.

Los Angeles Uninsured Motorist Attorney Barry P. Goldberg is concerned that most insureds and many personal injury lawyers do not understand some of the unfair anomalies created when accident victims with excellent Uninsured Motorist Coverage are in multi-car collisions. Often an unfair result is created where the “at fault” party has insurance, but because of…

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The Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Laws are too confusing in Multi-Car Collisions and should be changed.

Los Angeles Uninsured Motorist Attorney Barry P. Goldberg is concerned that most insureds and many personal injury lawyers do not understand some of the unfair anomalies created when accident victims with excellent Uninsured Motorist Coverage are in multi-car collisions. Often an unfair result is created where the “at fault” party has insurance, but because of a multiplicity of injured…

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Underinsured Motorist Claims Require First that the Applicable Bodily Injury Liability Policies be “Exhausted.”

Los Angeles Uninsured Motorist Attorney, Barry P. Goldberg, observes that Underinsured Motorist claims are always “exhausting!” Underinsured motorist coverage requires exhaustion of the tortfeasor’s policy limits and submission of proof of payment to the insurer. (Wedemeyer v. Safeco Ins. Co. of America (2008) 160 Cal.App.4th 1297, 1303) In California, auto insurance policies must provide coverage for insureds where the…

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Anatomy of a Good Personal Injury Case Final Chapter—Part 4

Anatomy of a Good Personal Injury Case Final Chapter—Part 4 Woodland Hills Personal Injury Attorney Barry P. Goldberg was recently hired to represent an 18 year old traffic collision victim who was violently rear ended on the freeway—A very serious accident to be sure. During the initial interview, discussion about expectations with the victim and her family, it…

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Underinsured Motorist Bill AB 862 Moves Forward and Deserves to Become Law.

Los Angeles Uninsured Motorist Attorney Barry P. Goldberg has been advocating passage of California Assembly Bill AB 862 for over one year. That Bill has now moved from the Insurance Committee one step closer to becoming the law. That bill would finally authorize an insurer to offer a separately rated underinsured motorist policy where the maximum liability…

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Do You Know the Statute of Limitations in an Underinsured Motorist Case?

Los Angeles Uninsured Motorist attorney Barry P. Goldberg is regularly asked this question because his article “Effectively Preserving the Statute Of Limitations in Uninsured Motorist Cases“)

The reason for the difference is that the insurer has subrogation rights on Uninsured Motorist cases and the insurer has no subrogation rights on Underinsured Motorist cases.

All this being said, there are some limitation periods to be aware of when handling anUnderinsured Motorist Claim. After “bodily injury liability policies have been exhausted by payment of judgments or settlements and proof thereof provided to the insurer” a claimant must act “reasonably” prompt. The most common defense in the Underinsured Motorist cases that have been around for a while is “Laches.” An unreasonable delay in demanding arbitration may “waive” or “forfeit” the insured’s right to arbitration and thus bar his or her Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist claim. (See, e.g., Allstate Ins. Co. v. Gonzalez (1995) 38 Cal.App4th 783.)

What is an “unreasonable delay” anyhow? Consider that an insured must effectively demand arbitration after providing the necessary proof of the settlement of the underlying bodily injury limits. Most lawyers forget this step. The statutes and case law do not account for this little problem. The statute of limitations on proceedings to compel arbitration does not expire until 4 years after either party refuses to arbitrate. (Spear v. California State Auto. Ass’n (1992) 2 Cal.4th 1035, 1044.)

Most often the problem is not that an insurer refuses to arbitrate, the problem is that arbitration has never been effectively demanded. The insurers are generally content to negotiate, ask for additional information and avoid the topic of arbitration. This could go on for months and even years. In the Gonzalez case referenced above, the insured’s 3–year delay in demanding arbitration “waived” his right to arbitrate and thus barred his claim even though the statute of limitations had not run because the insurer had not refused to arbitrate. There is a lesson here.

Of course, just securing arbitration by agreement after a demand or even after timely compelling arbitration, is not the end of the limitations story. There is a five year rule which bars any case which is not arbitrated within five years after arbitration is instituted. (See,Ins. Code. § 11580.2(i)(1)(C); and Santangelo v. Allstate Ins. Co. (1998) 65 Cal.App.4th 804, 812.)

My advice to lawyers and to the public is to act very promptly in both Uninsured andUnderinsured Motorist cases. The statutes were designed to provide prompt and relatively inexpensive resolution of these claims. By delaying even in the slightest, an injured insured defeats the very purpose of the statutes which were designed for his or her benefit. Perhaps more importantly, securing an early arbitration date by “effectively” demanding arbitration at the outset does more to favorably settle claims than any other action. Of course, the side benefit is that you will never have problems with any statutes of limitation or Laches defenses.

For more information about the article author and attorney Barry Goldberg’s uninsured and underinsured motorist expertise, please visit his web page, Los Angeles Uninsured Motorist Attorneywww.barrypgoldberg.com/

For a free consultation, Please call Barry P. Goldberg at (818)222-6994

Should You Rely on Your Insurance Agent or Read Your Insurance Policy?

As part of his regular practice, Woodland Hills personal injury lawyer Barry P. Goldberg insurance policies every day and will take on an insurance company when it wrongfully denies coverage. But, what is the average consumer to do? Most insurance policies are impossible to read or interpret unless you are an insurance coverage lawyer or enjoy reading arcane…

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The Single Biggest Mistake Lawyers Make on Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Claims

Los Angeles Uninsured Motorist Attorney, Barry P. Goldberg, has studied and re-studied the statutes, case law and treatises concerning Uninsured and Underinsured motorist. In addition, Mr. Goldberg has authored some of the most popular articles on Uninsured (“UM”) and Underinsured (“UIM”) motorist claims and has written countless blog posts on the subject. Mr. Goldberg regularly fields calls from other…

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Most Auto Accidents Are Excluded From Homeowners Coverage

Woodland Hills personal injury attorney Barry P. Goldberg has an extensive insurance coverage background and is consulted by both policy holders and attorneys alike. In serious personal injury cases it is imperative to locate every possible source of insurance coverage. Often injury victims look to the at fault party’s homeowners insurance even though the injuries arose…

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