A client of mine is having a very merry Christmas indeed. I already blogged about his Waterloo, New York car accident case. Guy was passenger in his buddy’s car, who was stopped and waiting for traffic to clear so he could turn left into a driveway. Driver from behind, lost, looking at a map while driving, rear-ends them at full speed, causing them to flip over. Our guy ends up with a herniated cervical disc that takes him out of his welding job, for good, and requires surgery. The surgery helps, but does not rid him of the pain.
At first, there appeared to be no more than $100,000 in insurance, the policy limit of the driver/owner of the at-fault vehicle. There was no indication in the police report, or anywhere, that the negligent driver was doing anything but his own business when he rear-ended our guy. But an off-the-cuff remark by him at the scene — about some “bovine sperm bottles” he had in his pickup truck — tipped us off that perhaps he was working for some company that dealt in such products, even though he owned the vehicle and there was no company emblem or signage on it.
After some investigating, we turned up a California employer. The insurance carrier for the employer discloses a $1,000,000 insurance policy. Now we’re talking! But still, we felt our client’s case was worth more – what with all his pain and suffering, his completely altered life style, and the loss of his job.
We sued the employer and the driver. We got the judge to rule, without a jury trial, on “motion papers”, that the defendants were liable and that our client had a “serious injury”. Now all we would have to do was have a jury decide how much our client deserved. But just as we were getting ready for trial, and just after we made a full insurance policy limit demand of $1 million, the insurance carrier finally disclosed there was more — another $10,000,000 excess policy!
The final result — a $1.4 million settlement — was obtained just the other day after a day-long mediation.
Our client is now having the merriest Christmas he has had in several years. And he is smart. He is making sure future Christmases will not leave him out in the cold. He is structuring his settlement into monthly payments that will take care of him for the rest of his life. The total amount of payments he will receive far exceed the cash value of his settlement.
So, yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Clause . . .
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