A recent David-versus-Goliath legal fight by attorneys Fenja Klaus and Daniel Tatick of Russell & Lazarus against Farmers Insurance Company demonstrates why retaining a Newport Beach personal injury attorney may be one of the most important things you can do if you have been injured in an accident. Following a five-day trial and months of litigation, our attorneys won a $500,000 jury verdict for our client. Farmers Insurance initially took the same no-offer approach it normally uses in such cases, even trying to claim our client’s accident simply didn’t happen and that the claim was fraudulent.
Our client, a 50-year-old man who only spoke Spanish, was riding his bicycle in Los Angeles. A tow truck driver swerved into our client’s path, cutting him off and causing our client to run into the truck. As a result of the accident, our client suffered a fractured patella and a torn meniscus, both of which required surgery. Since our client had no medical insurance at the time, our firm arranged for the surgery to take place. At trial, his doctor testified that due to the severity of the tear, our client will likely need to have knee replacement surgery in the future. Farmers Insurance never made an offer of settlement before going to trial, even turning down our client’s final demand of $150,000.
At trial, Farmers Insurance and the tow truck company both tried to argue that our client’s torn meniscus was a pre-existing injury and that his fractured patella was a minimal injury instead of a severe one. The jury disagreed, however, and returned a verdict in our client’s favor. He was awarded payment for all past and future medical expenses relating to the injury, $275,000 for pain and suffering he is expected to suffer in the future, and $75,000 for pain and suffering he already did experience. Initially, Farmers threatened to file an appeal, later acquiescing and paying not only the award amount in full, but also paying an additional $20,000 in attorneys fees due to their denial of obvious facts at trial.
Large insurance companies like Farmers will often either refuse to make any offers to people who have been injured, or they will extend offers of settlement that are wholly insufficient. When you have been involved in an accident and have been injured, contact a Newport Beach personal injury attorney at Russell & Lazarus APC at (949) 851-0222.