A Hayward man was a passenger in a vehicle in San Jose when a negligent driver failed to yield in an intersection and struck the passenger side of the man’s car directly on the door where he was sitting. The man refused to go to the hospital by ambulance because he did not have health insurance, but he immediately felt pain in his neck, shoulder, and back.
After four days, the pain intensified so he went to a local chiropractor seeking relief from what he believed was a minor injury. The chiropractor immediately identified a more significant problem and referred him to an orthopedic surgeon who ordered an MRI which showed a torn rotator cuff.
Because the man first saw a chiropractor, the insurance carrier for the negligent driver refused to accept the doctor’s diagnosis as being related to the accident and refused to make any offer of settlement to the obviously injured passenger.
The man turned to The Dunnion Law Firm for help. A demand was made for the insurance company to tender its inadequate policy limit of $50,000 per person. The insurance carrier again refused and a lawsuit was immediately filed. Throughout the case, the negligent driver admitted to being at fault, and eventually his attorney signed a stipulation to admit liability at trial. The insurance company still refused to make ANY offer of settlement. During the litigation it was also discovered that the negligent driver had a second policy of insurance that had a limit of $15,000.00, making the total amount of insurance coverage available $65,000.00.
The Dunnion Law Firm pushed the matter toward trial in the face of the unreasonable denial by the insurance companies and with less than sixty days before trial the insurance companies finally changed their tune, trying to offer the policy limits of $65,000.00. In light of the insurance companies bad faith denial of the claim, The Dunnion Law Firm refused to accept the settlement without a stipulation for judgment that would make the injured man entitled to receive full reimbursement of the litigation costs he incurred in pusuing his claim with the Dunnion Law Firm. The Judgment was entered only six days before the trial was scheduled. The Dunnion Law Firm would not give up until full justice was given to the victim regardless of the time and effort it took to force the insurance companies to pay.