In the early morning hours of May 15, 2011, a Bay area man was driving on I-80 west of Sacramento. It had been raining off and on throughout the night and the roadway was slick. Before the man changed lanes, he glanced over his right shoulder for a brief second to make sure the other lane was clear of traffic. When he glanced back to his lane of travel, to his horror he saw a set of headlights glaring through the windshield of his car. A driver of the pick up truck lost control of his vehicle, spun out and ended up in the man's traffic lane. A split second later, the man collided head on with the pick up truck. This was a violent collision at freeway speed. Luckily, the airbag in the man's car deployed and his seatbelt held him tight or he would have been killed. After the collision, the man was transported by ambulance from the accident scene to UC Davis Medical Center where he was admitted for observation. Upon his release from UC Davis, he returned to his home in the Bay area, where he received medical care for his accident related injuries. Five days after the collision, the man hired the Dunnion Law Firm to represent him in his claim for personal injuries and damages against the owner and the driver of the pick up truck.
The pick up truck was insured by State Farm Insurance. The driver of the pick up truck was also insured by a separate insurance policy issued by Commerce West. The driver of a pick up truck told State Farm that he was stalled in the man's traffic lane " for at least at least a minute" before the collision occurred. Based upon the pick up truck driver's statement, State Farm took the position that the client was partially at fault for the collision and his injuries because the client "should have seen the stalled pick up truck with its headlights glaring at him and the client failed to take any evasive action to try to avoid the collision". State Farm further questioned the client's credibility, stating that if he was wearing his seatbelt as he said he was, how did he fracture his chest on the steering wheel and crack the windshield with his head? State Farm alleged if he had been wearing a seatbelt, those injuries would not have happened. Further, State Farm alleged the owner of the pick up truck never gave the driver of the pick up truck permission to drive her pick up truck on the night of the collision, which raised a serious coverage issue. It was clear to the client that State Farm was not going to be a "good neighbor" and accept liability for the collision, but instead chose to fight him every step of the way.
With this "prove us wrong" attitude, State Farm fought with The Dunnion Law firm. The firm did not back down and eventually prevailed on all issues, forcing State Farm to pay the pick up truck owner's $100,000.00 policy limits. The Dunnion Law Firm also collected the driver's $15,000.00 policy limits from Commerce West, and $22,000.00 in underinsured motorist and medical payments benefits from Allstate, the client's insurance company, for a total settlement of $137,500.00. Since the client did not have health insurance on the date he was injured, The Dunnion Law Firm worked with the client's medical providers and significantly reduced the client's outstanding medical obligations which allowed him to pocket more of the settlement money.
We've all seen the television ads "Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm is There" haven't we? Don't believe it - State Farm certainly proved to be not a "good neighbor" in this case, choosing to blame the client for the accident and the injuries he suffered! The injured man had the foresight to call the Dunnion Law Firm a few days after the car wreck, , knowing he would need tough, aggressive lawyers to handle his case. He made the right decision, and so should you if you are involved in an accident caused by another Don't believe the propaganda that the insurance company will be a "good neighbor" or that you are in "good hands" when you are injured in an accident through no fault of your own. Call the Dunnion Law Firm and let us take care you - it's just that easy.