Auto Accident Case Resolves For $200,000 Despite Insurance Companies Efforts To Back Out Of The Settlement
Author: Attorney Daniel Villalobos
Client Gets Into An Accident
Our client, a middle aged mother of two, was driving her vehicle on a hot summer day in Miami Dade County, Florida. Suddenly and without warning, another vehicle side swiped her causing her car to strike a guardrail. The car spun around a few times and came to a complete stop on the shoulder. Dazed and confused our client did not know what to do. She called the Miami Dade County Accident and Injury Attorneys Dell & Schaefer. Our firm quickly took the case and began the process of aggressively representing her interests in this matter.
Dell & Schaefer Negotiate A Settlement But The Insurance Adjuster Backs Out
After our client underwent surgery as a result of the accident, our firm filed a bodily injury demand with the insurance company for the vehicle that struck our client. Our firm sought monetary damages for bodily injury, aggravation of a preexisting injury, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, disability, mental anguish, property damage, past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and impairment of ability to earn future wages. The case was worth approximately $80-90,000. However our firm aggressively negotiated with the adjuster for the insurance company. Our attorney was able to secure a settlement offer in the amount of $200,000, which was more than twice what the case was worth. After the attorney hung up the phone with the adjuster, as is routine with our law firm, our attorney sent a follow up letter to the insurance company that stated “this letter confirms our agreement today to settle this case for $200,000.” This one line would turn out to be worth a lot of money. Most likely the insurance company realized they heavily overpaid the case because one week after the case settled, our firm received a letter in the mail stating that the insurance company was exercising their right to withdraw the offer. They reasoned that since our client had not officially signed any release yet, that there was no contractual agreement under the law and that they were free to back out of the deal. Our firm took swift action against this dirty trick. Within a matter of minutes of receiving the insurance company’s notice of intent to breach the agreement, our firm immediately sent a copy of the confirmation letter that was sent on the day the agreement was reached for $200,000. We stated that this letter showed that a legally binding contract was created the week prior when the insurance company and our firm verbally agreed to settle the case for $200,000. Once again the insurance company refused to pay the claim. In response, our firm drafted a lawsuit (but did not file the lawsuit) for breach of contract. We sent the insurance company a copy of the lawsuit and informed them if they did not honor the agreement, we would sue the insurance company for breach of contract and seek damages well above the $200,000 settlement. We informed them we would seek millions of dollars in punitive damages and for negotiating in bad faith. This tactic obviously scared the insurance company because one day after receiving a copy of our lawsuit with our demand letter, the insurance company recanted and called us to let us know they intended to pay our client $200,000. Our client was absolutely thrilled that our firm took immediate action when the insurance company tried to employ a dirty trick.
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