$1,965,000 Judgment And Jury Verdict – Motor Vehicle Collision
Shiver Hamilton obtained a jury verdict on behalf of a man who was rear-ended on his way to work. The lawsuit was filed and went to trial in Henry County, Georgia. Shiver Hamilton’s client, who was 50-years-old at the time of the collision and worked as a carpenter, had a variety of prior injuries and complaints of back pain. The driver who caused the crash was insured by one the nation’s largest insurance companies. Prior to trial, the insurance company was given an opportunity to settle the claim for policy limits, which were less than half of our client’s projected medical and surgical costs, and insisted that his injuries were not related to the collision.
How to Deal with Large Insurance Companies
The insurance company ultimately never changed its evaluation of the case and offered $26,000. After a two-day trial, the jury awarded $1,400,000, an amount forty times larger than the insurance company’s highest offer. Because the insurance company had rejected an “Offer of Judgment” prior to trial, attorney fees and expenses in the amount of $565,000 were added to the verdict amount. Despite the fact defendant only had $100,000 of insurance coverage, the insurance company was responsible for the entire judgment amount due to its failure to timely settle the claim. In Georgia, an insurance company can be held responsible for an amount in excess of its policy limits when it refuses to appropriately and timely settle claims. These cases are referred to as “bad faith” and Shiver Hamilton is frequently called upon to handle these types of claims.