An extremely social and active couple living in a retirement community in Orange County enjoyed traveling, visiting with family, playing golf and tennis, among other activities. Unfortunately, after their vehicle was rear ended by a driver who was not paying attention to traffic on the 405 Freeway, their injuries prohibited both husband and wife from maintaining the same lifestyle they had prior to the crash. The husband became dependent on a walker to get around as the crash caused disc bulges in his back, and the wife’s knee remained so swollen due to a meniscus tear so that if she wore tight pants or shorts, it was visibly noticeable.
Although KTL was able to quickly settle for the other driver’s insurance policy limits of $30,000 each, the couple’s injuries and damages far exceeded those funds available. Therefore, KTL turned to the couple’s own insurance policy, which provided coverage in the event the underlying policy (other driver) was insufficient.
To access this coverage and ensure the best possible recovery for our clients, KTL had to address head-on certain issues with damages. The insurance company maintained the position that the husband’s condition was caused by old age, and that the wife’s knee had healed. By a thorough review of medical reports, KTL was able to show that the husband’s was an “eggshell” plaintiff, or one who had pre-existing injuries to his back that were made worse by the crash, and that the wife’s knee had not healed and still caused her pain, and was a new injury brought on solely by the crash.
Ultimately, at mediation with the adjuster who represented the insurance policy, the parties were able to agree to settle for $395,000, for a total global settlement of $455,000. This was a great outcome for the couple, who could finally put the crash behind them and focus on healing.