A common problem with injury clients is that often the negligent party doesn’t have enough insurance to adequately compensate them for their injuries. Occasionally the negligent party is a commercial enterprise that is able fully compensate its victim, but more often it’s an individual who has no significant assets and has little choice but to file bankruptcy if a large judgment is taken against them.
Raymond Dierks was riding his bicycle in St. Louis one day when a driver ran clear off the road and hit him. Raymond had a badly broken leg with some $70,000.00 in medical expenses. The car was owned by the driver’s mother and carried only $100,000.00 in liability insurance. The driver, who didn’t even bother to show up in traffic court to answer the summons, had no assets whatsoever.
The insurance company was given a deadline to pay its $100,000.00 limits, which it ignored. We filed suit immediately. Some two months after the deadline, they said they were ready to pay the $100,000.00, but we refused the money since they’d ignored our deadline. Faced with the possibility of their insured getting hit with a jury verdict in excess of a half-million dollars, they agreed to to pay $390,000.00, almost four times their limits (we let them save $10,000.00 so they could save a little face).