In December 2016, our client was a passenger in a car with several other people. The driver of the car she was riding in was driving too fast on Peachtree Road in Atlanta. Because he was speeding, he lost control and left the roadway and hit a building. The driver failed field sobriety tests at the scene and was cited for driving under the influence.
Our client was taken from the scene of the crash by ambulance and was transported to Grady Hospital. She had serious pain in her right leg. An x-ray revealed that she had a dislocated right hip. She was released from the hospital with a leg immobilizer and told to follow-up to start physical therapy. For several weeks, our client received physical therapy.
Our client’s total medical bills were over $45,000. She did not have any lost wages, but she did have serious pain.
The Champion Firm sent a settlement demand to the insurance company for the at-fault driver, but they refused to offer any money because there were other people injured in the crash. The insurance company claimed that it wanted to settle all the cases at once. Unfortunately, the other lawyers representing the other injured passengers were dragging their feet. As a result, we filed a lawsuit to expedite the process for our client.
After we filed the lawsuit, the insurance company held a settlement conference to divide up the available insurance. Our client obtained $8,333.33 from the liability settlement pursuant to an agreement to split the available insurance among the injured passengers. Our client also had $125,000 in available uninsured motorist coverage with State Farm. Even though she was a passenger in someone else’s vehicle, and even though she was not named on any of the insurance policies, she was able to claim the benefits because she was a resident relative of the named insureds. Additionally, because there were separate insurance policies for each of her resident relatives’ vehicles, our client was able to stack all of the available insurance policies.
The end result was our client obtained a total settlement of $133,333.33. We were able to get all of her medical bills reduced as well, putting more money in her pocket than if she had to pay the full amount of the bill.
This case demonstrates the importance of hiring an experienced personal injury attorney for a car wreck case. If our client had handled the case on her own, she may not have realized that she was entitled to coverage under her uninsured motorist policies. If she had hired a lawyer, but chose one who did not have experience in personal injury cases, that lawyer may not have been aware of all the rules that apply to uninsured motorist coverage. We have consulted with clients before who were previously represented by an inexperienced lawyer who failed to locate all the available insurance policies. Because our client chose The Champion Firm, she was able to maximize her settlement.