Auto insurance is a legal requirement for drivers in California. Car owners pay a premium in order to receive a certain amount of financial protection in the event of an accident. However, there are cases where insurance companies refuse to honor legitimate claims. In such cases, personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles can help individuals file a lawsuit to help them receive the financial compensation they deserve.
An insurance policy is essentially a legal contract where the policyholder pays an insurance provider a specified amount or premium in return for financial compensation in the event of an accident. Insurance policies are very specific in terms of their coverage, and can range from basic liability insurance, to collision damage repairs, and medical payments for injuries sustained from an automobile accident.
According to the California Highway Patrol Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were 121 deaths and 4,683 injuries involving car accidents in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County in 2008 alone. Aside from the legal necessity of having car insurance, the high number of traffic-related accidents in Los Angeles simply makes it good sense to have the financial backing of an insurance provider.
Unfortunately, insurance companies act in bad faith despite the availability of evidence to support a policyholder’s claim. They may use unreasonable interpretations of the policy terms, deliberately withhold payments, or simply refuse to settle – or even process – a policyholder’s claim.
In some cases, a policyholder whose claim was rejected by an insurer may be able to appeal, and have a chance to receive compensation for the damage or injuries received. However, if an appeal to reverse the decision does not result in a favorable response from the insurer, contacting a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles experienced in handling bad faith claims may be the best way to resolve the situation. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the claim, an attorney can try to resolve the case by mediation or arbitration. If the insurer still refuses to settle despite the clear legality of a claim, an attorney may recommend taking the case to court.
Under California law, insurance companies are required to settle a claim promptly and fairly. However, the process can be complicated and confusing for those who have no legal background or knowledge of relevant laws. Personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles can provide the essential legal advice and resources needed to help victims of insurance bad faith receive the financial compensation they deserve.