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Piccuta Law Group Settles Monterey Personal Injury Lawsuit for Auto Insurance Policy Limits After Receiving Initial Low-ball Offer
Today, the Monterey personal injury attorneys at the Piccuta Law Group settled a car accident case for the maximum available insurance policy limits. The case was filed in the Monterey County Superior Court and entitled D’orsay v. Metzger (Case #: 18CV002456). The case was filed in June of 2018 and was presided over by Judge Marla Anderson.
The case arose from a high-speed car accident on Highway 1 in Moss Landing, California back in 2017. The firm’s client, a 23-year-old Monterey peninsula entrepreneur at the time, was proceeding Southbound on Highway 1 and was traveling at or near the posted speed limit of 55 miles per hour. A drunk driver headed in the other direction attempted to make a left turn. In doing so, he cut across the client’s southbound lane of travel and directly into the client’s path.
The client had no time to stop or react and struck the drunk driver head on causing a T-bone collision. The client’s vehicle was totaled and both airbags deployed. Despite the violent, high-impact collision, the client was able to walk away from the crash without significant injuries. The client stated that he believed he was going to die when he saw the drunk driver turn in front of him and that it was a miracle that he was able to walk away. The client did not request medical treatment at the scene of the crash.
The drunk driver was found at fault for causing the collision by the investigating law enforcement officer. Specifically, the officer found that he caused the crash by driving his vehicle in violation of Section 23152(a) of the California Vehicle Code—driving a motor vehicle under the influence of an alcoholic beverage and that an associating factor was a violation of California Vehicle Code Section 21801(a).
California Vehicle Code Section 21801(a) states in part: “The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left or to complete a U-turn upon a highway, or to turn left into public or private property, or an alley, shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching from the opposite direction which are close enough to constitute a hazard at any time during the turning movement, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to the approaching vehicles until the left turn or U-turn can be made with reasonable safety.”
A violation of this vehicle code section is a common cause of car accidents causing injuries to others. The personal injury attorneys at the Piccuta Law Group see violations of this code section repeatedly in the cases they handle. Under California law, drivers have a duty to yield the right of way to other drivers. If a driver fails to yield the right of way and violates California Vehicle Code Section 21801(a) or any other right of way statute they are responsible for causing the crash and the resulting injuries.
In this case, the drunk driver was also cited for driving without a valid California’s driver license and without current proof of insurance. The drunk driver was given field sobriety tests which he failed. He was then arrested and transported to Monterey County Jail. The drunk driver was later prosecuted for his crimes.
The client went to the emergency room later that day complaining of a headache and shoulder pain. An x-ray of his shoulder was performed which was insignificant. The client was diagnosed with a shoulder strain and it was recommended that he participate in physical therapy as needed.
The client completed six physical therapy sessions and eventually stopped. After the physical therapy, the client continued to experience nagging pain in his shoulder while sleeping and moving his shoulder in certain ways. He was no longer able to participate in the physical activities he loved without pain like he did prior to the collision. Even though his shoulder gave him problems, he did not have extensive medical treatment. The total amount of the client’s medical expenses after physical therapy and including the hospital visit were less than $2,300.
We presented the client’s claim to the insurance company for the drunk driver. The insurance company for the drunk driver was Progressive Insurance Company. Despite the horrible crash and apparently long-lasting shoulder injury, Progressive Insurance only offered $4,019.00 to settle the client’s claim. We attempted to negotiate a fair settlement, but the insurance adjuster believed we would not file a lawsuit because the client had very little medical treatment. As such, she believed that she could offer an unreasonable amount and that the client would have to “take it or leave it.”
Our injury attorneys will file lawsuits and try those cases as required to make sure that the insurance companies are kept honest and pay out fairly what our clients deserve.
The adjuster was wrong. Our personal injury attorneys believe that every client deserves fair value for his or her claims. We will not allow an insurance company and their low-level adjusters to take advantage of our clients. Our injury attorneys will file lawsuits and try those cases as required to make sure that the insurance companies are kept honest and pay out fairly what our clients deserve. On June 29, 2018, we filed the lawsuit on behalf of our client.
On November 20, 2018, after filing the lawsuit, an offer of $6,000 was made by Progressive Insurance through a newly appointed adjuster. This amount was still grossly insufficient. We pressed on with the litigation and eventually were able to obtain the entire insurance policy limits on behalf of our client. We are now working on obtaining more money for our client through his own underinsured motorist coverage contained in his automobile insurance policy.
If you are getting jerked around by an insurance company or have hired an attorney who will not fight to get you what you deserve, contact the personal injury attorneys at the Piccuta Law Group today. Our attorneys are not afraid to fight the battles and take cases to trial to make sure you get fairly compensated for your injuries. We suggest that you ask your personal injury attorney when was the last time he or she took a case to trial and what the result was. If his answer is never or not recently, then you should find an attorney who will. The trial attorneys at the Piccuta Law Group regularly try cases and obtain results.
About the author: The content on this page was authored and prepared by Monterey personal injury and civil rights attorney Charles Tony Piccuta. He graduated with honors from Indiana University-Maurer School of Law in Bloomington in 2006 (Ranked Top 35 US News & World Report 2018). Piccuta took and passed the State bars of Arizona, California, Illinois and Nevada (all on the first try). He is a trial attorney that regularly handles serious personal injury cases and civil rights lawsuits. He has obtained six and seven figure verdicts in both state and federal court. He has been recognized by Super Lawyers for six years straight. He is a member of the Consumer Attorneys of California, American Association for Justice, National Police Accountability Project and Arizona Association of Justice, among other organizations.