Our client was involved in two separate accidents, the first at the end of March, 2006 and the second at the end of May, 2007.
As is usual after someone has been in multiple wrecks, the second accident insurance company always says the problems are due to the first accident. In this case, the first accident hadn’t settled either, so they said they weren’t the cause of any pain and suffering after the date of the second accident.
This, of course, creates a dilemma for the accident victim as both sides put the finger at each other, but unlike a single accident, multi-car collision, both cases have to be tried separately and so both defendants get to make what would be contradictory arguments if there was just one trial to determine damages.
We were able to settle both claims without going to court, though we did have to file suit.
In the first accident, the gross recovery was $34,000.
Insurance companies know that often you are in a financial squeeze. Even if you have good health insurance, the fact that you aren’t working may make it difficult to pay co-pays and deductibles. The insurance company knows you are getting calls from the doctors, so they take their time with your claim.
In the second accident, the defendant had no insurance, so we claimed our client’s uninsured carrier, Amica Insurance. The case settled at mediation for $18,000 (gross) but our client had already used up $5,000 of that money because he had medpay coverage, rather than the recommended personal injury protection coverage.
The Four Significant Takeaways
There were a couple of significant takeaways from this case:
- Our client went on vacation and had pictures taken of him (smiling of course because that’s what everyone does when their picture is taken) at various locations. The insurance company obtained these and, of course, said they showed he wasn’t injured. The moral, be careful what vacation pictures or really any kind of pictures you take while your case or claim is pending.
- Our client, a runner, had run a marathon the year before his crash and then again after the crash. He hadn’t told us about this and we had to find out from the other side at mediation. Moral, tell your lawyer everything.
- Our client, a guitar player, posted some videos of him playing guitar on the web. The insurance company found them. Fortunately, they weren’t dated and could have been before the crash. Moral, be careful what you put online.
- The insurance company claimed that the defendant driver who hit our client was not at fault because, though he hit him from behind, it was due to his sneezing as he put his foot on the gas. While we never got a chance to test this “sneeze defense” in front of a jury, it shows that insurance companies will do anything to get out of paying the full value of a person’s injuries.
We fight the insurance companies. It’s what we do, day in and day out because insurance companies have a natural tendency towards evil. If they can get away with doing bad things, they will. So when you are in an accident, contact us if you want the best accident lawyer in Austin.