Megan was injured in a car accident in the parking garage at Kansas City International Airport. She had driven there to pick up a friend who was returning from vacation. While circling the garage, Megan was hit by a traveler in a large SUV who had just landed and was on his way home after a business trip. At the time of impact, Megan’s shoulder hit the side of her car door; she experienced intermittent pain and numbness in that shoulder and arm from that day on.
Megan had always been told that it’s best to hire an attorney who is located near where the accident happened, so, shortly after her collision, she did exactly that. Three years later, Megan came to us, explaining that her “local” attorney wasn’t doing anything and wouldn’t return her phone calls. She wanted to make a change and asked us to take her case, which we agreed to do.
To prevail in any car accident case, we have to prove that the other party was negligent and that our client was injured as a result of the other party’s negligence. Megan’s case was challenging because the airport parking garage did not have any stop or yield signs, so proving that the accident was the business traveler’s fault was no easy task. To complicate matters, Megan’s symptoms did not all develop immediately after the accident, making it harder to prove that her many years’ worth of pain and suffering were attributable to the accident.
We started by attempting to negotiate with the business traveler’s insurance company, Farmers Insurance, but the adjuster working Megan’s file must have believed that Megan would take whatever was offered and would not file a lawsuit. Pre-litigation, Farmers offered only $33,600 to settle Megan’s claim. We rejected this offer and filed a lawsuit on Megan’s behalf. If you’re curious, here is a redacted version of the petition we filed for Megan:
During the lawsuit we deposed the business traveler, who eventually (and reluctantly) admitted that he should have yielded to our client. We also hired an expert witness to testify about Megan’s injuries and to help explain how her many years of pain can all be traced back to the accident. Choosing the right expert is very important because he or she needs to know what they’re talking about, be able to effectively communicate to a jury, and stand up to cross-examination by opposing counsel.
If you’ve read our other case stories, you know that we handle each case individually, always looking for a way to enhance our client’s recovery. In Megan’s case, we quickly hired a surgical specialist to serve as an expert witness on Megan’s behalf. We knew that this expert was very smart and would do a fine job, but we also knew something else—our opponent, Farmers Insurance, routinely hired this expert to testify for its clients. Our acting fast and hiring him first meant two things: first, we now had an expert that even Farmers Insurance would have to acknowledge as a proper authority; and, second, Farmers Insurance would not be able to retain its preferred expert for this case and would have to find a different, possibly-inferior expert.
Shortly after this development, Farmers Insurance agreed to pay Megan $155,000 to settle her claim against the business traveler. This amount was nearly five times greater than what it previously had offered!
When solving our clients’ problems, we do not use a one-size-fits-all approach. Our strategic decision to engage the insurance company’s preferred expert in Megan’s case is a great example of how our dedication to strategic thinking and treating each case individually allows us to achieve great results for our clients.
At Riemann Injury Litigation, every client gets individual attention, and our results speak for themselves. To discuss your case, call us at 816-348-3003, or send us a message and we will get in touch with you right away. Initial consultations are always free.