D.C. Superior Court denies Defendant Insurance Company’s Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s UIM Claim
by Jeffrey J. Downey, Attorney
When someone gets into an accident with another driver who does not have insurance, they pursue an Uninsured Motorist Claim or UIM claim. Most drivers have uninsured motorist coverage for this type of loss, but if you are unsure, you should check your insurance policy to make sure you have this vital type of insurance. “A UIM claim is a type of contract action that you file against your own insurance company to recovery your personal injury losses,” explains Washington D.C. personal injury attorney Jeffrey Downey.
In Washington D.C. and Maryland, the Plaintiff is allowed to sue the insurance company directly as a party. That provides some important advantages for Plaintiffs in a lawsuit, not the least of which is that the Jury understands that the case arises out of your own insurance company’s denial of your claim.
In Behzad v. The Cincinnati Insurance Company, Law No. 2021 CA 0003365 (D.C. Superior Ct) Defendant Cincinnati Insurance filed a Motion to Dismiss the lawsuit against itself, arguing that the District did not recognize a tort action for the bad faith failure to settle with an insured. Defendant also argued that the failure to tender a settlement offer was insufficient to establish a breach of contract action.
The Plaintiff in this case was involved in a severe accident in which the driver was charged with driving while under the influence of drugs. The driver did not have insurance, so Plaintiff filed a claim against her own insurance company, Cincinnati. Although Cincinnati accepted the claim along with Plaintiff’s medical bills and records, after many months of delay they failed to tender an offer. As such, Plaintiff filed a lawsuit directly against Cincinnati and the uninsured driver.
The Court ruled that Plaintiff had alleged sufficient facts to state a viable UIM claim against Defendant Cincinnati insurance. Link to Order. This was an important ruling, explains D.C. personal injury attorney Jeffrey Downey. While the law is clear in the District, there are very few published decisions that address this issue. A copy of Plaintiff’s opposition to the Motion can be accessed here.
If you have been injured in an accident in the District of Columbia, call the personal injury law firm of Jeffrey J Downey PC, for a free consultation. Mr. Downey started his career as a defense attorney and now with over 30 years of experience, he uses that knowledge and experience to benefit his clients. Check out his case results and client testimonials for more information. Insurance companies hire experienced trial attorneys; you should do the same.
The Law Office of Jeffrey J. Downey, PC
8270 Greensboro Drive, Suite 810
McLean, VA 22102
Legal Disclaimer: The above information is for general education purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Every case is different, and no general information fits all situations.