$300,000 Settlement After Heavy, Rear-end Collision

Partner Scott Perry, had the privilege of representing a local couple who had the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Mr. N and Mrs. N were driving south on I-95 in Palm Beach County when a tractor-trailer jackknifed ahead. Mr. N and most other cars on the road were all able to come to a safe and controlled stop, unfortunately, the fully loaded pickup truck was not paying attention and slammed into the back of our clients.

The forceful crash resulted in injuries to both clients, including physical injuries and lasting emotional injuries.

Our clients had the double misfortune of being injured just months before COVID-19 hit. This was problematic because our clients were immunocompromised and also took care of their elderly parents who were extremely immunocompromised. This meant a significant delay and gap in treatment.

After obtaining the policy limits from the pickup truck driver’s liability policy, we turned to our clients’ own Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage. At first, the adjuster for the UIM seemed to understand the value of Mr. N’s injuries – including having a wrist surgery and multiple injections and a rhizotomy. However, despite having those procedures and being scheduled for more the adjuster kept offering the same number to resolve the case. At the same time, the same adjuster kept offering zero for Mrs. N, despite treatment including an injection.

With the adjuster failing to understand the extent of our clients’ injuries or how to negotiate, we filed suit to protect our clients’ rights. The case was then assigned to a very experienced defense attorney who understood the risks involved in a case such as this. The defense attorney understood our clients’ treatment, what the future likely held, and the fact that our clients felt worse when they tried to make the other spouse feel better – if Mr. N did more household tasks to alleviate the pain of Mrs. N, then his pain levels would only increase and vice versa.

Understanding the risks associated with the case, including potential for bad faith in the negotiations and evaluations of the original adjuster, the UIM carrier resolved the claim for a total settlement of $300,000 after over three and a half years of fighting.

The important lessons to remember are to know the value of a claim and understand that the insurance adjusters are often trying to save substantial money by undervaluing the claim. The team at Murray Guari knows that every case is different and must be treated as such. Here our clients are their own individual case and individual story, not just a number.

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