$812,500 Settlement: Uninsured Motorist Claim
Claimant was a 30 year old woman who was a passenger in a vehicle involved in a collision in Arkansas. Claimant retained one of the most prominent attorneys in Arkansas, but she was not pleased with his case handling or lack of communication, so she retained Mr. Tomasik after she moved to California for graduate school. Claimant sustained a fracture to her left (non-dominant) wrist which was surgically repaired. She did not make a complete recovery from that surgery and had another surgery to remove metal hardware, but continued to suffer pain, weakness, and limitation of range of motion. Claimant eventually developed Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy(RSD)/Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).
After obtaining a $25,000 settlement from the insurance company for the driver who rear-ended Claimant, Mr. Tomasik initiated an Underinsured Motorist (UIM) claim with Farmers, who was the insurance carrier for Claimant’s father. Farmers repeatedly tried to deny that the claim was covered under Claimant’s father’s insurance policy, but Mr. Tomasik was eventually was able to convince Farmers that Claimant was covered.
Claimant had over $100,000 in past medical bills and alleged that she would need an additional $100,000 in future medical treatment. Claimant had hoped to become an editor for a prominent magazine, and thus contended that she would have over $750,000 in wage loss due to her inability to type for long periods of time. Farmers argued that Claimant could use voice recognition software, and consequently her wage loss was minimal. Arkansas juries tend to be extremely conservative in their awards, so Mr. Tomasik had the UIM claim transferred to California as permitted under the terms of the policy. After litigating with Farmers for over a year, Farmers eventually offered $400,000 to settle the UIM claim, but on Mr. Tomasik’s advice, Claimant rejected that $400,000 settlement offer. Farmers filed a motion to prevent the arbitration hearing from proceeding in California and attempted to transfer venue back to Arkansas, but Mr. Tomasik was able to convince them to settle the UIM claim for an additional $787,500, resulting in a total recovery to Claimant of $812,500.