Many so-called “personal injury attorneys” are afraid to make the hard decision and recommend that a client try their case, rather than accepting the final offer from the insurance company. That’s not the case at Abeyta Nelson Injury Law.
We represented a very nice 75 year “young” Wapato woman who suffered a significant back injury in a one-vehicle crash on Interstate 90 near Snoqualmie Pass. Her husband dozed off and their car ran off the freeway and into a dirt bank. He admitted that he was at fault in causing the crash.
Our client sustained a burst fracture of L2, one of the bones in her lower back She was hospitalized for nine days at Harborview Medical Center, but didn’t require surgery. She was left with pain and some intermittent difficulty controlling her bowel. Our client’s past medical expenses totaled about $128,600.
She had to wear a rigid, uncomfortable back brace in order to reduce her pain:
Unfortunately, her ongoing pain and the uncomfortable brace made it difficult for her to pursue many of her normal activities including taking care of her home and working in her flower garden. Due to her bowel problem, she had to be careful to time her visits outside her home.
During settlement negotiations, the couple’s insurance company made a final settlement offer of $1,200,000. We made a final demand of $1,250,000. We felt that $1,250,000 was the minimum amount the case should settle for and our client agreed and asked us to arbitrate the case. The insurance company stubbornly refused to come up or meet in the middle and so the case went to arbitration before a three-lawyer panel as required in the insurance policy. After a two-day hearing, the arbitrators awarded $1,625,170. The award was $425,000 more than the insurance company had offered in settlement. The award was the highest underinsured motorist award in the history of Yakima County.
This award will pay for ongoing medical expenses and provide payment for household help that our client will need in the future to help her with the things she can no longer do for herself. It can’t undo the damage, but it will help a very deserving client improve her quality of life and get the help she needs.
Insurance companies keep track of attorneys, and which ones frequently settle. They know that Abeyta Nelson attorneys are willing to make the hard calls, and this leads to better offers for the clients we work for.