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Entitled to arbitration evidence?
My friend's auto accident recently went to arbitration, which determined the accident was her fault.
Her insurance company (Mercury) told her that new photos had been presented at arbitration which showed the accident to be her fault. Problem is, my friend has never seen those photos and doesn't know when they were taken.
She wants to see them because she has an upcoming small claims court date and wants to use all information available.
Is she entitled to see this supposed evidence contained in her file at her insurance company?
This situation is in California.
Well, it depends who took these photos. If the other insurance company took them and there is no other way for your friend to get them but directly asking from them, it’s possible that they can decline her request (defense to the release of evidence called work product).
If on the other had her insurance company (Mercury) does have the pictures or can acquire them from the arbitration panel, she can request them and have release to her. Her insurance company has a duty to advocate for her and defend her or help her defend her case in small claims.
The other issue here is that a small claims court might find that the arbitration decision stands and may not want to modify it. It’s worth a try.
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