OK, so here’s the drunk driving/drag racing week’s final post: I met yesterday with these two wonderful clients to hand them their final checks after recovering the entire insurance policies available, well in excess of $100,000.00, short of trial. I argued that the young man that crashed into them on Highway 121 in Hurst was possibly impaired (he claimed he fell asleep at the wheel at 10:00 in the morning). There was no evidence of any alcohol or drug use, however. I also reduced their outstanding medical bills by over 50%. It was gratifying to read these kind words from them on the leading Avvo lawyer rating service:
My wife and I were in a horrible accident a year ago. Bill was retained as our Lawyer and during the past 13 months has worked diligently for our fair treatment. The whole ordeal after the wreck was one mountain to climb over another but the Berenson Law firm has been the one positive we could count on. We thank Bill and his staff for our legal services but also for the treatment on a personal basis far beyond what was expected.
Thank you so much, Daniel and Sarah (names were changed to respect their privacy). That means a lot, knowing that you were so pleased with your results. I work hard to make sure that all of my clients are happy. More reviews can be found here, in case you have been injured in a collision and are shopping around for the best attorney for your case. I am an Eagle Scout, and our motto, after all, was “do your best.”
Without an aggressive attorney, I’m sure that my clients wouldn’t have received much money — if any. In fact, the young man’s insurance company flat out denied coverage, claiming that it couldn’t find their own driver. I did, and got him served with process at 6:00 a.m. — as he was being released from the Hood County jail for threatening his grandmother with a knife. This is a charge I told the defense attorney I’d nail him with at trial.
In Texas, all automobile insurance policies have a provision requiring “cooperation” of the policyholder before claims are paid. Some less scrupulous companies — like the one here — will use this provision to refuse to pay damages even on clear liability cases — such as this. Essentially, if the policyholder doesn’t answer the calls from his insurance company, the company can deny the claim and the injured party’s only option is to file a lawsuit. Even worse, if you get a large verdict after going to court, the insurance company can still refuse to pay, so the judgment will be presumably uncollectible.
Every liability policy contains a broad cooperation clause like this one:
You and any involved insured must:
(1) Immediately send us copies of any demands, notices, summonses or legal papers received in connection with the claim or “suit”;
(2) Authorize us to obtain records and other information;
(3) Cooperate with us in investigation or settlement of the claim or defense against the “suit”; and (4) Assist us, upon our request, in the enforcement of any right against any person or organization which may be liable to the insured because of injury or damage to which this insurance may also apply.
I just forced a different company yesterday to accept liability on a crash case, even though their woman had refused to call them back, after I said I’d be filing suit today.
We Can Help
It is important to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your wreck. If a defendant is not cooperating, the sooner we can start working to locate him, the better chance we are to be successful. Once this defendant was released from jail, we had no way to locate him and likely never would have been able to get his insurance to cover my client’s injuries.
My clients were covered by uninsured/underinsured motorist protection which would have provided some coverage, but at first this company indicated that it would not be paying them any money. Since my clients were smart and hired my firm immediately after the wreck, I was able to locate the defendant, make his company pay his full limits available, and vastly increase the value of their case.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, please contact my office immediately at 817-885-8000 or toll-free at 1-888-8-1-8585 or e-mail us by using the form under “contact us.” We can meet with you here in our office or at your home or hospital room and answer all of your questions. We will gather evidence before witness accounts fade and evidence disappears and build your case. Please ccontact us so we can help you get the money you deserve.