As San Francisco insurance attorneys, we know that insurance companies stalling and not wanting to pay out benefits to customers is a Far too frequent occurrence. Sometimes the only option is to use the courts to seek redress and force insurance companies to do what they should have done in the first place.
Our insurance attorneys were very interested to see the resolution of Ciara Vollaro’s case last week. The judgment was issued on Wednesday May 16th in Los Angeles. Ms. Vollaro was involved in a car accident in 2007. She was a passenger in a car that was rear-ended by another car driven by Maureen Lipsi. Ms. Lipsi is insured by State Farm Insurance. But for five long years State Farm refused to resolve the matter. They caused a series of delays and then finally forced the trial to start by offering the plaintiff only $29,000, which was far too low for the serious injuries she suffered and the harm caused by the substantial delay in payment. State Farm continued to contest liability and question Ms. Vollaro’s injuries from the crash.
Thankfully, the jury at the Los Angeles Superior Court saw through State Farm’s unfair tactics. The jury found for Ms. Vollaro and awarded her more than $100,000 to compensate for her injuries. In addition, the jury thought State Farm’s actions had been particularly egregious, leading them to award her a further $500,000 for pain and suffering. It is believed to be the highest jury award of its kind in California. The lawyers involved in this case called it a victory against “Goliath” and called it a victory for the American justice system. They also hailed it as an important reminder to victims of this kind of insurance company abuse that they have legal rights to fight back. It sends a message that if a victim stands up for him or herself against an insurance company, they can get justice.
If you or someone in your family has suffered this kind of mistreatment at the hands of an insurance company, please know that legal help is available. Our San Francisco insurance attorneys are here to assist with determining what is going on with your insurance claim and if you have a case. Don’t let the insurance company get away with dragging out the process and relying on customers’ ignorance of the law to thwart someone from getting what they deserve under the insurance policy and the law of California.
The California Insurance Code prohibits insurance companies from not attempting to act fairly and equitably to settle claims in good faith when there is liability. These companies are also prohibited from forcing claimants to go to court by offering unreasonably low claim amounts. Contact an attorney in your area as soon as possible to get the process started if your insurance company has run afoul of these rules.
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