Tips for Dealing with your Insurance Company after a Car Accident

You need an attorney

If your insurance company stalls, delays or refuses to tell you what is going on with your claim, then you need an attorney. Right away.

Unfortunately, I have not been able to get an attorney to take my case, even though it has been eight months since my car crash, and Allstate (my insurance company) has not paid me a single penny!

My injuries have kept me out of work for eight months, as well, and I cannot get the medical care that I need. I did not learn until five months after the accident that my insurance company, Allstate, was denying 90 percent of my claim. They insist that my car had “prior damage”, even though a simple phone call to the Toyota dealer would confirm that my car did not have that damage when I took it there for regular sevrice.

The state Insurance Board is supposed to help consumers when their insurance companies are guilty of bad faith and unfair dealing, but the California Insurance Board calls this a “disagreement”!

Furthermore, I can prove that the reckless driver who hit me tampered with the evidence and solicited false witnesses, if I can ever get my evidence in front of a judge. However, I need at least $3 thousand to hire an attorney, since the five or six dozen attorneys that I have talked to are telling me that my case is not worth enough money to take it on contingency.

Law enforcement has not been helpful, either. The Highway Patrol seems more interested in covering up their negligence – they took two hours to come to my aid – than they are in doing their job.

I need an attorney. Is there an attorney out there who can see that this case is worth pursuing?

Is there another victim out there who needs to air a similar grievance?


California was the first state to recognize the tort of first-party bad faith, in the 1973 case of Gruenberg v. Aetna Insurance Co. Today, most states either recognize a common law cause of action for bad faith or provide a statutory remedy.

Bad-faith liability is determined under one of two standards. Many states follow the broad one of Gruenberg: An insurer is liable for bad faith when it unreasonably withholds payment due under a policy; fails to act fairly and in good faith in discharging its contractual obligations; or refuses, without proper cause, to compensate its insured for a covered loss.

Under this broad standard, conduct that may constitute bad faith includes

* failing to evaluate a claim objectively
* adopting unduly restrictive interpretations of claim forms
* denying coverage based on improper standards
* delaying the payment or processing of claims unreasonably
* engaging in abusive conduct designed to avoid payment of claims
* using unreasonable litigation tactics
* failing to bring necessary information to an insured’s attention.