The Champion Firm, P.C. obtained a large settlement for a client who was seriously injured in a golf cart accident. Our client sustained a severely broken leg when a drunk golf cart driver ran over her after a concert at the Frederick Brown Amphitheater in Peachtree City, Georgia. Our client had to undergo major surgery to repair her badly broken leg. She incurred over $75,000 in medical bills to treat her injuries. She also experienced significant pain and suffering as a result of her injuries.
The Golf Cart Driver’s Insurance Company Refuses to Pay
Shortly after the accident, the insurance company for the golf cart driver called and stated that the driver’s homeowners policy did not provide coverage because of an exclusion. As a result, the insurance company said it would only consider a nuisance value settlement of $5,000. Darl Champion refused to accept the insurance company’s position and fought back. He filed a lawsuit in Fayette County Superior Court, seeking a ruling that insurance policy did provide coverage. Even after the lawsuit was filed, the insurance company refused to offer anything above its very low settlement offer.
Our Client Wins at the Trial Court
Once the lawsuit was filed, Darl took the deposition of a representative from the insurance company. The purpose of the deposition was to ask the insurance company employee about the insurance policy and the language in it. Darl got the company’s representative to admit that the exclusion that they were relying on could be interpreted in more than one way. Despite this, the insurance company still refused to offer a fair settlement. Both sides filed motions for summary judgment, asking the trial judge to rule in their favor. Darl pointed out that the exclusion was ambiguous and could be interpreted in more than one way, as the insurance company’s own employee testified. The insurance company, on the other hand, argued that the exclusion was not ambiguous and that it clearly excluded this golf cart from coverage.
After the briefs were filed, the court held oral argument on the motions where both sides presented their case. Following oral argument, the trial judged ruled in favor of our injured client and held that the exclusion was ambiguous, and therefore, the insurance policy applied.
Our Clients Wins Again at the Court of Appeals
Undetterred by its defeat, the insurance company continued to refuse to pay. Their attorney argued that the trial judge got it wrong and that they would win at the court of appeals. As a result, they filed an appeal with the Georgia Court of Appeals. Both sides submitted their briefs to the appellate court. After months of waiting for a ruling, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial judge’s ruling and held that the insurance policy did provide coverage.
Our Client Gets a $400,000 Settlement
Finally, after years of litigation and multiple defeats, the insurance company threw in the towel and agreed to resolve the case. After originally only offering $5,000, the insurance company settled for $400,000–80 times higher than its original offer. While many lawyers would have given in early in the case and tried to take an easy way out to avoid years of work, The Champion Firm continued to fight for its client. The end result was a happy client and justice served on an insurance company and a reckless golf cart operator.