CALL NOW TO SPEAK TO AN ATTORNEY 1-844-HAFFNER
213-514-5681

Experienced. Reliable. Capable. We Look Out for You.

  • No Hidden Fees Involved
  • No Obligation to Continue Beyond the Case Review
  • Get All Your Legal Questions Answered
click here for a free consultation

Notable Case Results

  • $ $97,284,817

    Class Action
    Mortgage Broker Rest Break
  • $ 8,820,000

    Brain Injury
    Settlement
  • $ 8,250,000

    Wrongful Death/Personal Injury
  • $ 23,500,000

    Bank of America
    Mortgage Broker Wage Class Action

Associations

Results

$ 8,820,000

Brain Injury Settlement

$ 8,250,000

Wrongful Death/Personal Injury

$ 23,500,000

Bank of America Mortgage Broker Wage Class Action

Touch below for a free injury consultation.

click here for a

free consultation

no fees until you get paid

Triggering Your Underinsured Motorist Claim– California Law Requires Collection Of Third Party Policy Limits

Hblogtriggering_202

When a person is injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, the negligent driver’s automobile insurance liability policy limit is often not high enough to cover the damages from the personal injuries.  In these circumstances, there may be an underinsured motorist coverage claim under the injured person’s automobile policy, if that policy includes the coverage.

In California, for underinsured motorist coverage to be triggered, the injured-insured must collect the negligent driver’s insurance policy limits, and send proof of that to the underinsured motorist carrier.  This codified in the California Insurance Code §11580.2(p)(3), which states that underinsured motorist “coverage does not apply” until the policies of “all insured motor vehicles causing the injury have been exhausted by payment. . .”

This means, to preserve an uninsured motorist claim, the injured-insured must make a claim and, if necessary, sue the negligent driver.  In other words, to become eligible to make an underinsured motorist claim, the injured-insured must “take action against the tortfeasor [and] obtain a settlement or judgment and submit proof of payment . . .” (Quintano v. Mercury Casualty Co. (1995) 11 Cal.4th 1049, 1055.) If they fail to do so “there is no underinsured motorist coverage available.” (Hartford Fire Ins. Co. v. Macri (1992) 4 Cal.4th 318, 327.)

Taking action to collect the negligent driver’s insurance policy limits (known as third-party insurance) can be a tricky and difficult undertaking.  Unless the negligent driver’s insurance company settles, an injured insured has to sue the negligent driver, take him or her to trial, and collect the policy limits.  If legal action is necessary against the negligent driver, obtaining legal representation is often necessary and prudent.

All of this is only “to be eligible to make a claim.” (Quintano, supra, at 1055.) It does not mean satisfactory payment is necessarily forthcoming.  Indeed, there are often aspects of underinsured motorist laws, including the amount available to cover an injury, that insureds can find an unwelcome surprise once they make a claim.

Other complications may arise requiring proceeding through trial against the negligent driver.  For instance, where it is questionable whether the personal injury damages exceed the third-party insurance limits, the negligent driver’s insurance company may not want to pay policy limits.  Yet, the injured-insured cannot settle for less than policy limits without forfeiting her underinsured motorist claim.  Those cases often must proceed to trial to collect the third-party limits and trigger the underinsured motorist claim.

If a person is seriously injured in a car accident in California, and has underinsured motorist coverage, it is important to keep in mind the rules required to trigger the coverage. Actually doing so may be a complicated task, requiring prosecution of a civil action against the negligent driver to collect the third party insurance policy limits.

Click below to share this article:

nav close icon

RESULTS

$15,000,000

PROPERTY DAMAGE / BAD FAITH

$ 97,284,817

Class Action / Rest Break

$10,000,000

Bad Faith

$ 8,820,000

Brain Injury

$7,500,000

Medical Malpractice

$8,250,000

Wrongful Death / Accident

$1,000,000

Construction Defect
view all

INJURED ? CALL 213-514-5681

or

FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW FOR AFREE CASE REVIEW

  • NO PRESSURE
  • SPEAK WITH AN ATTORNEY
  • NO HIDDEN FEES
  • The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Sending time sensitive material to the firm via this message, will not be the responsibility of the firm. Proceed if you've read this disclaimer.
[]
1 Step 1
Type your name here & click nextyour full name
Phoneyour full name
Commentsmore details
0 /
Some Title
Nameyour full name
Some Title
Commentsmore details
0 /
Some Title
Previous
Next
powered by FormCraft
All Fields Required