Experienced personal injury attorneys, like those at Lipkin & Apter in Chicago, IL, will work to achieve full and just compensation if you are involved in an auto accident. In some cases, compensation in excess of insurance policy limits can be earned.
Our client, a 53 yr old woman, was involved in an auto accident. The accident happened when the defendant left a stop sign without checking for oncoming traffic. As a result, our client crashed into the defendant’s car.
During the crash, our client struck her head. She was diagnosed with a concussion, and later, Post Concussion Syndrome. She was sensitive to light, forgetful, and suffered constant headaches. She was treated for approximately one year by a neurologist.
At the time of the auto accident, our client was on her way to her doctor’s office, following left foot surgery, which had occurred 2 months earlier. A month after the auto accident, she developed pain in her right foot, for an osteochondral defect.
Several years earlier, our client had had surgery for this condition. Fifteen months after the accident, she had another surgery. The medical records of both her neurologist and orthopedic surgeon indicated a causative relationship between the car crash and her injuries, including the second foot surgery.
Our client’s medical bills amounted to $45,000. The defendant was insured with the minimum coverage allowed under Illinois law, $20,000. Shortly after a personal injury lawsuit was filed by Lipkin & Apter, the defendant settled the case against him for $20,000.
Thereafter, an underinsured motorist claim was filed under our client’s automobile insurance policy, which carried policy limits of $100,000. After a statutory set off of the defendant’s $20,000 policy, a claim was made for $80,000.
Our client’s insurance carrier balked at paying this amount, maintaining that because of her pre-existing foot condition (i.e. the osteochondral defect), and “limited” head injury, they were willing to pay only $45,000 on her underinsured motorist coverage,
Successful Resolution: $117,000: $17,000 over all insurance policy limits
Our client received an additional $17,000 beyond all insurance policies, or $117,000 in all. The personal injury claim proceeded to arbitration, mandatory under Illinois law. Lipkin & Apter argued that our client’s insurance company was exercising bad faith in resolving her underinsured motorist claim. As evidence of our client’s injuries, and relationship to the car crash of June, 2003, we presented medical reports and deposition testimony of the neurologist and orthopedic surgeon.
The insurance company presented no medical evidence in support of its decision to pay only $45,000 of the $80,000 available under its underinsured motorist policy. At arbitration, our client was awarded the full $80,000. The insurance company made no payment for more than 30 days.
Thereafter, Lipkin & Apter filed a lawsuit against our client’s insurer. We claimed that the company’s conduct in offering only part of its underinsured motorist claim policy, with no medical testimony to support its decision, and then failing to make payment of the arbitration award for more than 30 days, constituted a “vexatious and unreasonable delay” in settling her underinsured motorist claim, in violation of the Illinois Insurance Code.
Almost immediately after suit was filed, the insurance company’s lawyers contacted Lipkin & Apter to settle the “bad faith” lawsuit. Our client received an additional $17,000 beyond all insurance policies, or $117,000 in all.
The Illinois personal injury attorneys of Lipkin & Apter will make sure you receive the full settlement amount that is deserved. We stand for the rights of our clients. If you have been involved in an auto accident, schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced lawyers.