Our client was walking in a crosswalk in a department store parking lot, on her way to do some shopping. When she was halfway through a crosswalk, a motorist struck her, causing significant injuries. The motorist told the investigating officer that he became distracted by couple who were arguing. As he watched the couple argue, he continued driving forward, failing to keep a proper lookout. By the time the motorist returned to looking where he was driving and saw our client, it was too late.
The impact was forceful and sent our client flying. Not only did she experience the brunt force of the motorist’s vehicle striking her, she had a second impact when she hit the ground.
Her injuries included: (1) a fractured left hand, requiring casting; (2) road rash on her back; (3) a head injury from striking the asphalt with her head; (4) multiple contusions and abrasions; and (5) soft tissue injuries to various parts of her body.
As a result of being forcefully hit by the motorist’s car, our client needed and received immediate treatment. Although she treated for over a year, she was left with residual symptoms for which she continued to do home exercises as prescribed by her physical therapist.
After the wreck, our client was in serious pain and needed help navigating the insurance claims process while she focused on her recovery. She called Dwyer Williams Cherkoss to ask questions and address some of her immediate concerns. After speaking with attorney Arne Cherkoss, she decided to retain our firm. Arne explained the claims process, made sure all of her accident related medical expenses were paid, and when her treatment was complete, ordered her medical records for review.
Thereafter, our firm discussed the claim with the client with regards to liability, causation, and damages. We made a recommendation for an initial demand and gave the client a range within which we felt a jury might award damages in her case. The demand package was mailed to the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier and after several weeks, a settlement offer was presented by the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier.
As a result of handling hundreds of similar claims, we had an excellent idea of what a fair settlement would be, and gave the client a range of values a jury might award in her case. The initial offer was extremely low and quite laughable. Nevertheless, we continued to negotiate until we reached the top offer from the insurance carrier. The top offer was still too low, and the insurance company refused to negotiate further.
The client was given a choice: either accept the current offer, against our recommendation; or file a lawsuit. The client opted to file a lawsuit, which we did on her behalf. About two weeks after filing the lawsuit, a new adjuster was assigned to the case. He asked if we were open to continued negotiations. We informed him that the ball was in his court as the previous insurance adjuster refused to continue settlement negotiations. About a week later, the new claims adjuster offered his insured’s full policy limit to resolve the case. The policy limit offer was approximately three times what was offered a few weeks earlier, before the lawsuit was filed.
The client was extremely pleased that we did not pressure her to settle and that we were able to get a settlement offer that was fair, reasonable, and within the range we felt a jury might award.