$575,000.00 Injury Settlement - Illinois Head / Brain Injury Settlement - Illinois Drunk Driving Car Accident Lawsuit
In August 2007 my client was the injury victim of a high speed car accident caused by an Illinois drunk driver operating a large pick up truck owned by a car dealership. See: Illinois Truck Accident - Drunk Driver Covered by Auto Dealership Policy
In Missouri and Illinois evidence of intoxication by an at fault driver will, in most cases, allow the imposition of punitive damages. Under Missouri and Illinois law, punitive damages cannot be added to a lawsuit until after filing a motion with the court, showing sufficient evidence to justify punitive damages, then the court will grant leave to file punitive damages. As a practical matter, if the evidence is overwhelming that the driver was drunk, then I often will add punitive damages initially as the defense will not fight the punitive damages claim as they know the judge will ultimately allow it. For example, See Illinois Drunk Driving Lawsuit - Negligence and Punitive Damages. Should a motion be necessary for leave to file punitive damages allegations supporting drunk driving should suffice to have leave granted to file punitive damages. See: Motion for Leave to File Punitive Damages - Illinois Drunk Driving Personal Injury Lawsuit.
Punitive damages are important as they can be used to pressure the insurance company to settle quickly to avoid an excess judgement. An excess judgement is when the judgement exceeds insurance policy limits and thus holding the at fault driver personally responsible financially over and above his insurance coverage. In such situations, I send a letter to the insurance company demanding payment of policy limits within a certain time period, usually 30 days. At the expiration of the time period the offer is forever withdrawn. This tactic opens the insurance company up to potential liability for an excess judgment under a bad faith refusal to settle claim.
The key to the above drunk driving head injury personal injury lawsuit settlement was the combination of the potential excess judgment liability and even more importantly properly evaluating, treating, and proving our client's traumatic brain injury through his treating neurologist as well as different experts to evaluate his current impairment as well as future impairment that he will suffer as a result of the head injury.
As a result of our efforts, the Illinois drunk driving injury lawsuit settled for a total of $575,000.00 $350,000.00 from the car dealership's insurance policy covering negligent entrustment and the negligence of the drunk driver; $100,000.00 being the policy limit for the drunk driver's separate personal policy, and $125,000 from the insurance policy that covered the driver of the vehicle my client was traveling in.
If you or someone you know has suffered a traumatic brain injury, post concussion syndrome, or other head trauma as the result of the negligence or fault of another, please contact us for a free evaluation of your case.