Q: Should I pursue a "bad faith" lawsuit for a minor (non-injury) collision, or would nothing come out of it?
I was involved in a 3 car collision in CA that was not caused by me. The at-fault insurance company has been ignoring my calls, and it's been exactly 56 days today from the date of the incident/claim (should be resolved within 40 days in CA). I have received no communication via letter or email justifying that they need more time. I was wondering if it would be worth pursuing legal action for a "bad faith" lawsuit since they have clearly violated the law.
Bad faith lawsuits are filed by an insured policyholder, not a 3rd party (unless that 3rd party has obtained a judgement against that policyholder and received an assignment of rights).
It sounds like you're saying that you're a "3rd party" that got hit by their insured, and are in the pre-litigation phase. In that case if you really wanted to file a lawsuit, you'd be filing a regular lawsuit within the applicable statute of limitations against the at-fault driver for your damages incurred (including property damage).
If your complaint is that they just aren't returning phone calls, and assuming there is still plenty of time prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations, then the better avenue would probably be to just file a department of insurance complaint.
Either way, contact an attorney to discuss your specific case details and make sure that you have everything sorted out appropriately.
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