We recently represented a client who was hurt in a motorcycle wreck. (The at-fault driver made a left turn in front of him.)
Motorcycles were this guy’s life. He worked at a dealership, his social life revolved around motorcycles and he spent weekends with his wife going for rides. (They even got engaged on a ride).
Unfortunately, the at-fault driver didn’t have enough insurance. (Not a big surprise since probably 90 percent of people on the road are either uninsured or underinsured.) So, we made a claim under his underinsured motorist (UIM) policy.
There are a lot of factors that go into case value. The most objective one is treatment expenses. Treatment expenses frequently (but not always) are a barometer for severity of injury.
This case was different. Our client had pretty modest treatment expenses. But the wreck had a big impact on him. He stopped riding and testified he doesn’t have any plans to start riding again. We explained to the UIM carrier that this was a massive loss which impacted his social life, his work and his marriage.
Important pieces of his life were missing because of the wreck. But the carrier didn’t offer any money. So, we arbitrated the UIM claim. The arbitrator determined our client’s losses were worth well into the six-figures.
But our client didn’t have a massive UIM policy. So, we took the position the carrier’s failure to offer our client any money before arbitration constituted “bad faith.”
The carrier ultimately paid more than twice our client’s UIM policy limits to resolve his bad faith claim.