Navigating personal injury claims becomes more intricate when a pre-existing condition is involved, since many insurers look to use a pre-existing condition as an easy way to get out of paying for the damage their insured caused. This makes choosing the right attorney after a car accident all that more important. Attorney Tommy Terrell of Joye Law Firm’s Myrtle Beach office recently handled a case involving a man injured in a car accident, who also had a pre-existing condition. Through a thoughtful approach, Terrell was able to get his client the settlement he was owed.
A Reckless Driver Causes a Severe Rear-End Collision
In the fall of 2022, a 60-year-old Myrtle Beach resident was traveling on Peachtree Road after an appointment with a pain management doctor he had been seeing about chronic back pain. The maximum posted speed limit on this section of Peachtree Road is 45 miles per hour. As our client was slowing and signaling to make a turn, traveling at an estimated 25 miles per hour, another driver traveling at an estimated 65 miles per hour according to the collision report, slammed into the rear of his vehicle. The impact caused significant damage to his vehicle.
The South Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper tasked with investigating the collision promptly and correctly found the other driver to be the sole contributing cause of the collision. However, as we will see later in this case study, the police report’s statement of fault does not always determine if an insurance carrier will cover the damage.
Significant Back Injuries and a Life-Altering Surgery
Ten days after the wreck, the victim, grappling with intense back pain, reached out to Joye Law Firm. After Attorney Terrell was assigned the case, he recommended an updated MRI to establish the extent of damage caused by the crash, knowing it was crucial due to the client’s pre-existing condition. After enduring months of pain, the client underwent a transformative surgery to address severe back issues. His surgeons performed a transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion at L4/5 vertebrae and bilateral nerve decompression with posterior lateral fusion and bilateral pedicle screw fixation to resolve a “severe block at L4/5 where he has anterolisthesis of about 6-7mm dynamic on bending films.” He woke up out of surgery and could immediately tell he was better than before.
Negotiating with Multiple Insurance Providers
With over $300,000 in medical bills and ongoing recovery, Attorney Terrell diligently negotiated with the at-fault driver’s liability insurance provider, State Farm, seeking the policy limits of $50,000. Attorney Terrell’s negotiation efforts extended beyond the at-fault driver’s liability insurance to our client’s own Underinsured Motorist (UIM) policy. While UIM policies are not mandatory in South Carolina, it proved to be a lifeline for our client in this case. Our client was insured by Allstate, and had a $400,000 Underinsured Motorist (UIM) policy available to him.
Ultimately, after intense negotiations by Joye Law Firm, both insurance providers agreed to pay the policy limits in full. Attorney Terrell emphasized the significance of the updated MRI, which proved the connection between the accident and his client’s worsened back pain. This evidence was crucial in securing the full policy limits from both insurance providers. Negotiations with the client’s health insurance provider were also successful, with Attorney Terrell ensuring satisfaction of the lien within the policy limits.
Insights from the Resolution of a Successful Car Accident Case
The successful negotiation resulted in a $450,000 settlement, relieving the client of financial burdens related to the wreck. The case not only highlighted the importance of choosing the right attorney after a car accident, but also shed light on the critical role of updated medical evidence, specifically the post-accident MRI, in establishing the link between the collision and the client’s pre-existing condition. This crucial evidence played a pivotal role in negotiations with multiple insurance providers, ensuring the client received the full policy limits from both the at-fault driver’s liability insurance and the client’s Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage.
Furthermore, the significance of carrying UIM coverage in South Carolina became evident, providing a financial safety net that proved indispensable in covering the extensive medical bills incurred by our client. Without this coverage, the maximum payout would have been severely limited, emphasizing the need for comprehensive protection in the aftermath of a serious accident. “I don’t think there’s any way he could have gotten that without help or even would have known he could ask for that much,” emphasized Atty. Terrell.
The ultimate success of the negotiation relieved the client of significant financial burdens and also contributed to his overall satisfaction with Joye Law Firm. He expressed being “1000% happy with his service” and the outcome of the case. Attorney Terrell’s sharp legal skills and dedication have left a lasting impact, offering a positive resolution to our client’s challenging journey through the complexities of a personal injury claim.
Disclaimer: Past results do not guarantee future outcomes