Event Calendar

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Tips for Handling UIM Complaints

Start Date: 4/21/2021 12:00 PM PDT
End Date: 4/21/2021 1:00 PM PDT

Organization Name: WDTL

Maggie Sweeney
Email: maggie@wdtl.org
Phone: (206) 749-0319

Sponsor: WDTL Auto & Trucking Committee

UIM Claims in 2021:
Tips for handling UIM claims and lawsuits in an increasingly litigious and landmine-laden landscape 

1 WSBA CLE credit confirmed.

Levi Bendele, Partner, Holt Woods & Scisciani
John Barton, Senior Associate, Holt Woods & Scisciani
UIM claims are becoming more litigious every day.  It is not uncommon for claim representatives and defense counsel to be inundated with UIM “gotcha” moments that begin before suit is filed with pre-litigation demands for work-product analysis, progress to landmine allegations in complaints and written discovery, then culminate with a full-on assault against the insurance industry at trial.  This Lunch and Learn will focus on best practices for UIM claim handling, detection of landmines, and suggestions for good-faith responses.

Part 1 : Compare first-party UIM contract claims with third-party liability actions.  Discuss UIM obligations created by the duty of good faith.

Part 2: Detect and identify UIM  landmines in demands, complaints, interrogatories, and RFAs.  Discuss best practices for objections and responses.  

Part 3: Common issues at trial and how to prepare in advance to counter effectively.  A UIM trial should be about fault and damages, not claim handling or an indictment of the insurance industry.  Hopefully, claim handling will not be an issue for a later day if you maneuver the UIM landscape properly!

Levi Bendele is a civil defense attorney who defends insureds and insurance companies.  He worked for State Farm claims in the late 90s and for the last 20+ years has defended a variety of cases, including automobile liability and UM/UIM, premise liability, construction injury and defect, premises liability, HOA litigation, professional liability, and insurance matters involving EUOs, PIP, coverage, bad faith and IFCA claims.  He has been a member of WDTL since the early 2000s, was formerly a board member, and currently heads the Auto and Trucking Practice Group. 

John Barton is licensed to practice in state and federal courts in Washington.  Earlier in his career, John worked as a staff attorney for the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustee for the Western District of Washington. Thereafter, he represented homeowner and condominium associations across western Washington in matters including general HOA liability and governance, collections, and foreclosure. Currently, he defends a variety of cases, including automobile liability and UM/UIM, premise liability, HOA litigation, timber trespass, and adverse possession.

Register for these upcoming Auto & Trucking Committee CLE presentations: 
  • Using Motion Practice to Prevent Late Disclosures Allowed by Jones v. City of Seattle: Wednesday, June 9, 2021
  • Non-Resident Motorist Statute – Requirements for Proper Service on Secretary of State: Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Fighting for justice and balance in civil courts.

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