Butler Kahn recently obtained a $230,000 settlement for our client who was injured while riding a bike. Despite the at-fault driver only having $25,000.00 in available liability insurance coverage, we were able to effectively leverage our demand to make the insurance company pay extra-contractual liability well above their insured’s limit of coverage.
Here’s more about the case.
Facts of the Car Wreck
At approximately 5:40 P.M. in Kennesaw, Georgia, our client, Ms. Ramirez was riding home from the store on her bicycle. As she was proceeding through an intersection, the at-fault driver did not see her and slammed into her, knocking her off the bike. The at-fault driver was issued a citation for failing to yield. Ms. Ramirez was stabilized at the scene and then immediately transported to the emergency room at Wellstar Hospital.
Biggest Hurdle: Available Insurance Coverage
Our client’s hospital bill alone was more than enough to exhaust the $25,000.00 in available liability coverage, without taking into account her pain and suffering damages or any future care that she would inevitably need.
Despite the limited coverage, we relied on the statute governing settlement offers made prior to filing a lawsuit, along with our knowledge of relevant case law, to craft an offer to settle this case for the full policy limits subject to certain conditions that Ms. Ramirez would agree to. In other words, we told the big insurance company that we would only settle the case within their insured’s policy limits if they agreed to our terms, not theirs. Subsequently, the insurance company rejected Ms. Ramirez’s offer.
By rejecting Ms. Ramirez’s reasonable offer for their insured’s policy limits of $25,000.00, the insurance company subjected their insured to a verdict and judgment that would be well in excess of $25,000.00. Indeed, we had advised the insurance company in our offer to settle the case that if they rejected our offer, we would file a lawsuit and a jury would have no problem returning a verdict and entering a judgment against the at-fault driver well beyond their $25,000.00 limits, thereby making the at-fault driver personally liable to Ms. Ramirez for any amount above $25,000.00.
$230,000 Personal Injury Settlement for Bike Accident
After the insurance company rejected Ms. Ramirez’s offer, we sent the insurance company’s attorney a letter explaining how the insurance company acted in bad faith and that we were preparing to file a lawsuit unless they wrote her a check for the amount she deserved. Ten days later we settled the case for $230,000.00.
This case goes to show the importance of diligence and attention to detail. Our client would not have been fairly compensated with the original limits of insurance, but by thoroughly researching and applying the law, and not being afraid to file a lawsuit, we were able to leverage the insurance company’s rejection to collect payments above the policy limits. The case was resolved favorably for our client, who was very happy with her personal injury settlement.
She even left this 5 Star Google Review: