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$674,525 Bad Faith

Insurance Company Plays Games and Gets Slapped by Dunnion Law – $674,525

A California resident was at a stop light minding his own business. A negligent driver slammed into the rear of his vehicle propelling his pickup truck across the intersection. The stunned man observed the other parties vehicle smoking and he ran to try and assist them fearing their vehicle was on fire.

The man was injured, but he did not think life threatening so he declined an ambulance and had a family member take him to the emergency room instead. His auto insurance and his employer’s workers compensation insurance then spent weeks debating who was responsible for the medical bills. Meantime, the man sat at home waiting for a decision suffering.

The auto insurance delayed and stalled the handling of the property damage claim, telling the insured one thing and then instructing the body shop to do something different. From the start, the man felt it was a nightmare.

After several weeks, the workers compensation carrier sent him to a doctor. More delay, more stalling, the man complained and the workers compensation carrier changed his doctor.

Unfortunately, the driver that caused the accident had minimal insurance and a policy limit which was tendered nearly immediately.  Fortunately, the man’s own insurance had $1,000,000 worth of coverage. Unfortunately, the man’s own insurance refused to step up to the plate and the man had to turn to Dunnion Law.

About a year after the accident, the workers compensation doctors determined the man was permanent and stationary and documented the need for future surgery on both his back and his shoulder. They further determined he was precluded from ever returning to his prior job because of the physical nature and amount of driving that was necessary.

The under-insured motorist carrier was provided this report and they refused to make any offer. Arbitration was demanded, they still refused to make an offer and they continued to stall and delay not taking the man’s deposition until three and half years after the accident. It took another sixteen months before a medical exam could be conducted. The carrier finally agreed to mediate the case in July nearly two years later after the accident.

At the mediation, the attorney representing the insurance company did not attend, instead sending another attorney that had no knowledge of the case.  No evaluation was conducted prior to the mediation and after hours of waiting, the insurance company made an offer for the first time, $12,000.00. Dunnion Law walked away from the mediation and compelled the carrier to a binding arbitration that was set nine months later in March. Further insurance company delays moved the arbitration date twice, finally being set for August.

After a two-day arbitration hearing, Dunnion Law obtained an award of $674,525, then later filed a ‘bad faith’ complaint against the client’s insurance carrier.