Going The Extra Mile
On an early December morning, our client’s mother received the worse possible call a parent can receive. There had been a terrible collision and her son was rushed to a local hospital. Upon arriving at the hospital, the mother received more heart-breaking news. Her son was in a coma. His vehicle had stopped on the highway and was rear-ended by a negligent driver that sped from lane to lane with an empty trailer as he rushed to pick up horses. The impact was violent beyond imagination and our client’s vehicle enveloped him. The damage would eventually result in paralysis and traumatic brain injury.
Unfortunately, for the mother and her family they would have to fight multiple battles at once. As our client lay in a local hospital fighting for his life, the insurance company issued a letter denying all liability. As the bills mounted and our client’s survival was uncertain, the insurance company had already began acting to protect its $1,250,000 insurance policy. They hired a large law firm. At the urging of a friend and past client of the Washington Firm, our client’s mother called us to fight for her son and her family.
Our first step was to rush to the wrecking yard before the car was used for scrap metal and obtain high-resolution images that we planned to use at trial. From there, we conducted a thorough investigation into the life of the man that drove the speeding truck. We worked closely with a local engineer to perform skid mark calculations. We served the driver and his insurance company with a subpoena for the black box data from his truck. We tracked down witnesses and took recorded statements from them about the driver’s actions on that morning. Within a month, we knew beyond all doubt that that the driver was negligent. Unfortunately, the story did not end there. The insurance company still refused to pay our client.
Faced with stubborn indifference towards our client and his family, The Washington Firm propounded a 48-page lawsuit to the driver and his insurance company. Less than two weeks after receiving our petition and discovery requests, the insurance company and their law firm reluctantly agreed to pay our client their full $1,250,000 policy. Their again, the story does not end.
At discharge, our client and his mother were given notice of a hospital bill in excess of $800,000. The money that our client’s mother wanted to use to retrofit her two story home to care for him and to buy a van to take him to doctor’s appointment was vanishing before her eyes. Not only that, government officials had told the mother that her son would be unable to receive the disability benefits that he had paid into while working as a security guard because the insurance company had tendered the $1,250,000 insurance policy. It didn’t seem to matter that our client and his mother had not received one cent at that time.
Recognizing that service to our clients does not end when the check is tendered, The Washington Firm, worked aggressively to have the hospital release its lien and accept less than 10 cents on the dollar for payment. After that we partnered with a local probate lawyer to craft a plan that would not exclude our client from receiving the benefits that he had paid into while he worked. We met with case workers from government offices. Next, we worked with a local banker to develop a trust for our client’s needs. In less than four months, our client went from receiving a letter stating that he would not be paid to having a trust worth more than $755,000 established to provide for his needs. As we took care to make sure the trust was properly constructed our client also received lifetime benefits in addition to the trust to assist with his care. His mother bought the special needs van and a brand new one story home to care for him.