Often the question arises as to whether an insurance company is doing everything it can and should in order to try to settle a case. On the side of the injured person, the goal is to try to recover fair compensation for the injuries suffered. The at-fault party should want the insurance company to effectuate a settlement to protect him or her from a potential adverse judgment. An Insurance company that does not strive to settle a case may be placing its insured’s personal assets at risk.
Recently, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal rejected Allstate Insurance Company’s argument that it did not need to make a settlement offer because the injured person had not made a demand. That case involved a car accident that resulted in injuries to one of the drivers. The injured driver’s medical bills exceeded $108,000. The insurance company had a policy limit of $100,000 per person. Yet, Allstate did not offer its policy limit until it was too late. The injured driver went to trial and obtained a judgment of more than $4 Million.
The Court of Appeal explained that an insurance company has an obligation to attempt to settle a case when liability becomes reasonably clear even in the absence of a settlement demand. The case is Du v. Allstate.