Insurance Policy Responsibilities For Insureds

Grand Prairie residents, residents of Arlington, Mansfield, Duncanville, Benbrook, Crowley, Weatherford, Aledo, Azle, and all other locations in Texas will almost all have one responsibility in common in their insurance policies. That one responsibility in common is to co-operate with their insurance company in the insurance copanies investigation of the claim. One other responsibility is to keep the insurance company informed of relevant events related to your coverage.
On July 22, 2010, the Houston Court of Appeals, (14th) Dist.) decided a case before them that dealt with this issue. The style of the case is, Darrell Dean Valenzuela v. State & County Mutual Fire Insurance Company. This was an appeal from the 164th District Court, Harris County, Texas.
In this case, Darrell Dean Valenzuela and Armando Rodriguez Torres were in a motor vehicle accident in 2002, and Valenzuela claimed he sustained injuries from the accident. Valenzuela sued Torres in August 2007. At the time of the accident, Torres was covered by a standard form personal auto policy from State & County. The policy insured the automobile Torres drove on the day of the accident. The case went to trial, and Valenzuela obtained a judgment for $12,100.00, prejudgment interest in the amount of $4,502.11, and court costs in the sum of $1,941.67. State & County did not receive notice of the lawsuit until Valenzuela delivered a copy of the final judgment on Septmenber 10, 2007. State & County claimed its policy provisions required Torres to provide proper and timely notice regarding any pending lawsuits so State & County could participate in Torres’s defense.
State & County filed a declaratory judgment lawsuit seeking a judgment stating that it has no duty to (1) indemnify its insured Torres, and (2) pay policy benefits to Valenzuela. State & County filed papers claiming they had no responsibility because Torres did not co-operate and thus State & County was prejudiced as a matter of law.
The rest of this case is legal arguements for the proper way of filing affidavits in a lawsuit and the results of the affidavits not being in proper form.
The relevance of this case in found by lawyers to be the courts discussion related to the proper ways of filing affidavits and a discussion about different forms courts have found acceptable and unacceptable in the past. The relevance of this case as it relates to policy holders is simple. Co-operate with your insurance company and when you are sued, turn the lawsuit papers over to your insurance company immediately.