Case Studies Attorneys That Succeed
We’re a little bit like the CIA–our best wins we can’t talk about. Attorney-client privilege, or confidential settlements. But fortunately, we can talk about a couple of moments where we made a difference for our clients. Names and identifying details have been changed. Continue reading to learn how we helped one accident victim recover more than the insurance company offered, and how we helped one DUI defendant beat the charge.
Motor Vehicle Accident
- At fault driver hits bicyclist
- Insurance company offers bicyclist $400
- Client hires us
- We recover six figure settlement for client
The client, Allison, was hit by a car while biking to work. The car’s windshield was fogged over and the other driver couldn’t see her. He drove right into her without stopping, or slowing, or anything. Law enforcement cited him for the fogged over windshield and inattentive driving. She got shoulder surgery after the crash. Open and shut case, right? Allison came to us about 3 years after the motor vehicle accident. For over a year, she had attempted to settle the case with the other driver’s insurance company without an attorney. They had offered her $400 to go away. Four hundred dollars–after she had in-patient surgery and a year of physical therapy. Fortunately, Allison had a family member that actually worked for an insurance company. The family member told her about the games insurance companies play and she came to us.
We needed to lock in the details of the crash and medical treatment. We obtained the police reports, investigated the other driver, and gathered all of the client’s medical records going back before the accident (to defeat any pre-existing conditions arguments from the insurance company). We had a doctor review the medical records to confirm that the crashed caused the need for surgery. Once we had the evidence, we went back to the insurance company.
HOW WE WON
We were persistent. At first, the insurance adjuster tried to defend his low ball offer. Then the adjuster went on vacation. Then our mail to him got lost. Then he stopped returning phone calls. Finally, we got his supervisor involved and presented the draft complaint of the lawsuit we were about to file. We settled the case for policy limits. But even policy limits wasn’t enough money for Allison’s injury. We needed to find another way to recover. Allison had wisely paid for underinsured motorist coverage through her own car insurance company. Even though Allison was on a bike, we thought there was coverage because she was hit by a car. We went to her car insurance company. Initially, they sent a denial of coverage letter. At this point, we were setting them up for a bad faith claim in addition to the underinsured claim. Again, we stayed on the adjuster, calling and writing several times a week for months. Ultimately, they settled the case for policy limits. Now we had recovered six figures for Allison. Because Allison’s medical bills were so significant, she wasn’t going to walk away with very much money if she paid retail on the medical bills. So we went to her treaters and providers. They had a lien for the full amount of her bills. We negotiated that lien down. Now Allison was going to walk away with a meaningful amount of money–not $400. Done.
DUI Case Study
- Client stopped for broken headlight
- Client provides BAC urine test showing .14
- We challenge BAC test at Jury Trial
- Jury finds Client not guilty
The client was arrested for DUI. The sheriff stopped him for a burned out headlight. The client did medium to poorly on the field sobriety tests and failed the portable breath test. At the jail, the deputy administered a urine test for alcohol, showing a BAC of .14.
This was not a case we could get thrown out on a technicality (though we tried). There was a lawful basis for the stop, probable cause for the arrest, and an admissible BAC test above the legal limit. However, we felt very strongly that the urine test for BAC is a junk test, based on junk science. This case had to go to a jury. The client did not have money for fancy expert witnesses to explain the junk science. We couldn’t afford to hire a scientist to go to Court with us.
HOW WE WON
Instead, of expert witnesses, we brought in the textbook used by the Director of the State Crime Lab (called the Chemical Testing Program in Wyoming). When the prosecutor called the Crime Lab expert, we were ready. Through cross examination, and using the textbook, we forced the him to admit the flaws in the chemical test. He denied a few things, but his credibility was shot. When we made State’s own expert crumple, the jury knew our Client was innocent. The State had not proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty.