The S.E. Farris Law Firm recently settled a case for a young man named Michael who was crossing a dark street and got hit by an elderly woman in an older car. Usually, these situations end poorly for my clients—if you have an older car, chances are you have low liability limits because you are trying to save on car insurance costs.
Michael tragically suffered a brain injury. In fact, my first conversation with his mom was at 8 o’clock that night as she was calling lawyers frantically from his hospital room. He was still unconscious. She was scared and didn’t even know what questions to ask. She just needed help.
When I took the case, I was moved, in part, because he lives about four houses from the first home I owned, but also because I thought he needed help. I feared, and told my wife how we probably wouldn’t get a fee—I thought there was no way a little old lady in a rural community had more than the Missouri minimum liability limits. This was the kind of case I went to law school for, and I wanted to help this family regardless.
We worked quickly to demand the policy limits from the insurer. Assuming that there wasn’t much money available for Michael, we wanted to collect it quickly and get it to him. Situations like this force the insurance company to either pay what they owe quickly or gamble that the injuries don’t justify the policy limits and delay. If they bet wrong, they are exposed to much larger damages.
Michael’s injuries were terrible and permanent, but fortunately for him, I was wrong in my assumption about the driver. She had over one million dollars in coverage, and the company offered it promptly.
Our next step was to bring in a lawyer to set up a special needs trust. This would protect my client’s money for his future needs while keeping him eligible for government services. By bringing in the right lawyer to his team, we were able to maximize the money available to Michael for the rest of his life.
A million dollars is not enough money to compensate him for his serious injuries, but it will go a long way to making sure he is taken care of in the future. This peace of mind was worth a lot to his mom, and she was kind with her words when she reviewed us online. That review means a lot to us—that someone would take the time to share their gratitude in one of the worst times of their lives.