It is not uncommon for an insured handling his own case or an attorney who will not succumb to a low offer, but is loathe to engage in litigation, to be “pressed up” against the statute of limitations date in a California Uninsured Motorist case.
When the statute date gets close, it becomes confusing how to ensure that you have fully complied with the limitations date. Of course, it is not difficult to file suit within two years and provide an insurer with such notification within a reasonable time thereafter. However, such an option is more expensive with the rising filing fees and is also somewhat perilous. Sometimes court filings are rejected for reasons we cannot anticipate and unless you have a very close relationship with your attorney service, you may not be able to learn of the rejection, fix it, and get it filed immediately. Filing a lawsuit is not desirable.
Accordingly, most practitioners opt to make an “unequivocal demand” for arbitration within the two years as the formal institution of arbitration proceedings. However, given California common law and ambiguous statutory language, it is difficult to preserve a claim from the two-year limitations bar on the eve of the limitations period. In this article, Los Angeles Uninsured Motorist Attorney, Barry P. Goldberg suggests some creative methods to make certain that an effective "institution of arbitration" occurs before the limitations period runs.
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