You may be familiar with the intersection of Old Forest Road and Dandridge Drive. Our client had a green light and was driving through this intersection when another driver inexplicably turned left to enter the Walmart parking lot. He drove directly into our client’s lane of travel causing a T-Bone type serious crash. The impact demolished our client’s Cadillac and sent him to the ER where he was admitted and had to have surgery to implant screws and plates in his face.
Six months after this accident, our client was still having continued numbness and tingling sensations of the left upper gum area with throbbing pain on the left side of his face when he woke up, when it was cold outside, or when he drank something cold. His discomfort affected his sleep as well. He had a difficult time with talking for any length of time.
Our client had over $26,000.00 in medical expenses and ongoing pain that affected the most basic activities of human life: sleeping and talking. The plate and screws are permanently implanted in his face provided they did not create future complications. Because of the severity of the injury, we immediately requested the defendant’s policy limits and discovered they were $100,000. We felt that 3 months after the injury, this was already a policy limits case and decided to make an early demand, so our client would not have to wait for compensation.
Four months after the accident our client still rated his pain an eight out of ten. His doctors advised him that he may have numbness for up to twelve months due to the nerve in his face being affected from his injury and surgery.
The insurance adjuster offered $60,000 to resolve this case and repeatedly told us this was not a policy limits case. The adjuster came up to $70,000, then $85,000, then $90,000. We responded exactly the same every time, “this is a policy limits case and here is why . . .” We sent a short and abrupt letter to the adjuster detailing why the company should pay its $100,000 limits now and what would happen if that did not happen. Two days later the adjuster sent a check in the mail for the full $100,000 policy limit. This settlement does not reflect the full value of this case but rather reflects the defendant’s policy limit. We did all of this within the 6 months after the accident.
Most people do not realize how quickly medical expenses add up and that $100,000 is not very much money in this type of circumstance. It is always a good idea to make sure that your insurance policy includes uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in case you come into a similar situation and the driver at fault does not have insurance. The risk of obtaining a favorable judgment without any monetary award is too large to forego obtaining such coverage.
The Virginia State Bar requires that we give a disclaimer whenever we talk about case results. As we are sure you already know, the case result described above must be read in context with the unique facts of this particular case. Each case result depends upon a variety of factors unique to each case, which is why we describe those facts in detail. To be clear, this case result does not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case undertaken by the lawyers at Osterbind Law, PLLC.