San Bernardino, Calif. — Managing Partner, Samer Habbas of the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates secures a global settlement of $405,000 from an auto accident involving an underinsured motorist. The claimant collided with a driver who failed to yield to oncoming traffic, causing them to crash into the claimant’s back passenger side door.
The claimant was transported by ambulance from the scene of the accident to the nearest hospital. As a result of the collision, the claimant suffered injuries to her right shoulder and cervical spine. Examination of her lumbar spine exposed a lumbar disc herniation and severe cervical stenosis, her diagnosis makes her a qualified candidate for cervical spine surgery. The plaintiff did not undergo any recommended surgeries throughout the claims process—with only $30,000 in medical bills.
Habbas successfully tendered the third-party’s policy limits of $30,000. However, the “medical specials”—also known as medical expenses (the base figure an insurance adjuster uses to estimate how much to pay the injured party for pain, suffering, and other non-monetary losses)—are in no way indicative of the amount of general damages.
Before the accident, the claimant had no prior, relevant injuries. As to liability factors, the defendant was traveling at an unsafe speed for road conditions, which caused them to collide into the claimant. As a result, the claimant will inevitably need cervical surgery, which will easily exceed well over the tendered policy limits.
To recover the remaining damages owed to our client, Habbas submitted a demand under the claimant’s underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. In an attempt to devalue the extent of the injuries our client suffered in the accident, the insurance carrier retained the services of a notorious medical expert who has repeatedly to the tune of the insurance companies checkbook washed out Claimant injuries. The hired medical professional opined as usual that the injuries were no more than soft tissue and only required only 4-6 weeks of conservative treatments. However, there was clear evidence that the defendant’s expert was being biased in his opinions. Habbas countered that the medical expert’s weak argument could quickly be debunked by show of said evidence, and an arbitrator would easily see through the expert’s washout efforts.
The insurance carrier had yet to make any offers to resolve the claim. There was no reason that the respondent should not have made an offer at this point. Being that discovery responses had been served, depositions had been taken, and the respondent’s medical expert had thoroughly examined the claimant. Habbas had every intention to take this matter to arbitration. The carrier knew it had a losing hand and settled for $375,000 under the UIM policy at mediation—for a combined total settlement of $405,000.
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