A 40-year-old plumber was riding his Suzuki motorcycle on a city street when a female driver cut him off causing him to fall off the motorcycle. He was transported to the Emergency Room from the scene by way of ambulance. Two months later, it was determined he required knee surgery but had no health insurance. A request was made to the insurance company representing the other driver to reveal the policy limits, which was necessary to convince an orthopedic surgeon that there would be sufficient funds to pay him for his services from the claim. The insurance company would not disclose the policy limits despite several requests and even after Russell & Lazarus spoke directly to the defendant who informed Russell & Lazarus she had authorized disclosure of the information and her agent had as well. The client then had the surgery after the insurance company did not comply with a deadline to release the limits. After the surgery was completed, the insurance company then offered the $100,000 policy limits but Russell & Lazarus refused to accept since the insurance company had violated an uncommonly known California law by not releasing the limits information earlier. As a result, Russell & Lazarus took the position that the policy was “open,” meaning that the insurance company was responsible for all the client’s damages, just not up to the cap of $100,000 that the defendant had purchased. After the lawsuit was filed, the insurance company then attempted to resolve the claim for $25,000 over the policy limits. Russell & Lazarus recommended to their client that he reject the offer even though it was above the $100,000 policy limits. The claim was resolved for $300,000, full value, soon after the lawsuit was filed as the insurance company realized that their games had completely backfired.
DISCLAIMER: Please note that every case is different and these verdicts and settlements, while accurate, do not represent what we may obtain for you in your case.
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