Attorney Samer Habbas and Of Counsel Scott Hanssler obtain a $500,000.00 policy limit settlement for a client involved in a rear-end collision in Orange, CA. Our client was driving in stop and go traffic when he brought his vehicle to a stop. The Defendant was inattentive to traffic conditions and rear-ended him.
Our client required neck surgery as a result of the crash. The Defendant’s insurance carrier rejected the policy limit demand in pre-litigation. The carrier argued that the property damage was not substantial enough to cause our client to require neck surgery. The carrier also argued that our client’s condition was related to a preexisting condition and thus the Defendant’s negligence was not the cause of this loss. Our attorneys immediately filed a lawsuit. Initially, the carrier refused to settle the matter for its limits. After aggressive discovery, the Defendants relented and accepted the policy limit demand.
This case highlighted two myths that insurance carriers have tried to create as facts. First, that the property damage on the vehicle dictates whether or not one may be injured. This is entirely untrue as a vehicle’s amount of property damage may not determine whether or not the occupant is injured. Human bodies respond differently to trauma induced impacts. Secondly, if one has seen a medical doctor for pre-existing neck pain, that no matter what occurs in a vehicle collision that the injury must have been there beforehand. This theory ignores California law which holds the negligent party liable for aggravating any pre-existing medical conditions or not taking into account that that person may be susceptible to injury regardless of the severity of the vehicle impact. Judicial Council of California Jury Instruction, CACI 3927 and 3928 provide the instructions that a judge must provide the jury at time of trial as it relates to pre-existing injuries of plaintiffs. Yet, despite the clear language contained in the instructions, insurance carriers continuously ignore the law and set their own set of rules.
Familiar and equipped with the law as trial attorneys, we were able to lay out an argument that the insurance carrier could not overcome. Faced with no realistic options and knowing that we would take this case to the jury, the insurance carrier paid its $500,000.00 policy limits.
REAR-END RIDESHARE ACCIDENT WITH UNDERINSURED MOTORIST CAUSED MILD TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY IN SANTA ANA, ORANGE COUNTY
REAR-END COLLISION WITH UNDERINSURED MOTORIST CAUSED LUMBAR RADICULOPATHY IN NORCO, CALIFORNIA