Car Insurance Bad Faith After a DUI Accident
’Tis the season to eat, drink, and be merry, but if someone has gone too far with the holiday spirit and gets behind the wheel, a drunk driving accident could be the aftermath.
Unfortunately, the winter holidays are prime time for these accidents throughout California. In fact, more than 40 percent of highway deaths over the winter holidays are alcohol-related. New Year’s Day stands as the deadliest day for these crashes.
If you have been involved in a drunk driving accident in California and find yourself in the midst of a car insurance bad faith claim in wake of that, you may need to seek legal counsel to fight for the settlement you deserve.
What Victims of DUI Accidents Should Know About Bad Faith Claims
It is important to understand what a car insurance bad faith claim is, essentially, to realize the steps you need to take to protect yourself as a DUI accident victim.
In general, an insurance company has acted in bad faith if it has failed to meet the obligations listed within the auto insurance policy or failed to follow California laws, specifically California Insurance Code 790.3. A few examples of these bad faith claims could involve:
- Not paying a claim it owes in time
- Refusing to pay a claim at all
- Failing to deny a claim in time and/or explaining the reason why
- Requiring unnecessary paperwork
If you are experiencing any of these bad faith acts from a car insurance company after a drunk driving accident, it is imperative to hire an experienced attorney to represent you.
What DUI Accident Drivers Should Know About Bad Faith Claims
If you were involved in a car accident while driving under the influence in California, your car insurance company may argue that this was an intentional act or behavior and will not cover any damage caused by the DUI. They may claim that you intentionally chose to:
- Drink alcohol
- Drink alcohol until you became impaired
- Drive, despite knowing the risks involved
Car insurance companies will defend that because of these mounting factors, you intentionally caused the DUI accident and could potentially deny you coverage, whether that is vehicle repairs or personal injuries to you or other drivers.
But, with the guidance of a professional attorney, you will learn that even if you were driving under the influence, you may not have been solely at fault for the accident. For instance, your defense may show that another driver was operating their vehicle recklessly or breaking laws.
Consult with a Bad Faith Car Insurance Attorney
In the state of California, car insurance companies are required to follow certain standards as a “duty of good faith and fair dealing,” which includes:
- Equal consideration of your and the insurer’s interests
- A thorough, unbiased investigation that is prompt and fair
- Fair treatment of the insurance policy
No matter if you are at fault or not, if you are embattled in a bad faith insurance claim after a drunk driving accident, consult with a San Diego attorney experienced in car accident claims. At Dawson & Rosenthal, P.C., we can help you better understand your rights and the next steps you need to take in handling your claim.