It will always be amazing to me what an insurance company makes its own insured go through before the insurance company honors its agreement. Here's how our last trial went and why we had to ask an Escambia County Jury to make an insurance company accept responsibility.
My client bought uninsured motorist coverage in case she was ever in a wreck and the person who injured her didn't have insurance. She paid extra every month for this protection, every month for the last 15 years she paid this additional premium. She paid so that she and her family would be protected.
She was in a car wreck. It wasn't her fault. She was injured, and the person who hit her did not have insurance that would cover the injuries he caused. She had to have surgery, and she was unable to do the work at her farm that helped with the bills.
She turned to her insurance company, the one who had quietly been taking premiums for the last fifteen years. The insurance company asked her surgeon if the wreck caused her injuries. He said yes. He even filled out a detailed form under penalty of perjury explaining how the wreck caused her injuries, how the injuries were permanent, and how she would likely need an additional surgery later because of the wreck. I wonder why the insurance company even asked the surgeon about her injuries if they weren't going to listen to what he had to say.
After seeing the surgeon's report, her insurance company still denied her claim, and we were forced to sue. Rather than pay her claim, they paid a private investigator to lurk outside her house, follow her through grocery stores, even wait outside her family barn. His surveillance showed that my client needed a brace just to walk, that she couldn't do the farm work she had done previously, and that her husband had to take time away from his job to frequently come home and do things she had happily done for many years. The insurance company still denied the claim.
Sometimes, this is what insurance companies do. They deny. They fight. They ignore their obligations. Insurance companies have many lawyers, many experts, many investigators, and many adjusters working for them. So long as we have the civil justice system, I like our odds.
Through four years of litigation, the most the insurance company ever offered was $5,000, and at trial, they actually asked the jury to award zero—to completely deny the claim.
On January 24, 2018, the jury said the insurance company should pay my clients $652,000.00.
We are very grateful for the jurors who sat patiently and weighed all of the evidence. We are grateful to the witnesses who had the courage to testify in a court of law even though they knew the defense attorneys would try to trip them up and make them seem dishonest. But, we are most grateful for our clients who trust us to help them when an insurance company is treating them unfairly. Their trust is our biggest compliment.
--- Phil Hall
If you have been injured in a car accident or are having trouble with an insurance company, contact us. We never charge an initial fee or cost to meet with you, answer your questions, and explain your rights. (850) 438-4899 [email protected]