RESULTS
RESULTS

Insurance Knowledge Nets
7-figure Settlement

Heinrich Law protected the interests of a pedestrian struck by a drunk driver

Jain v. Nzolameso

BACKGROUND

Ms. Jain was a pedestrian who was struck at high speed by a drunk driver in a parking lot in Los Angeles, CA. Upon impact, she was thrown up onto the car and then to the ground, where she struck her head and suffered skull fractures and internal bleeding. She required surgeries, extensive and expensive medical treatment, and her life was completely upended.

CHALLENGE

The drunk driver was at fault for our client’s substantial injuries, but his insurance coverage was inadequate, and he had no appreciable assets from which we could recover appropriate compensation for our client.

Heinrich law needed to:

  • Identify and recover the insurance limits the driver and owner of the vehicle carried;
  • Identify any other available insurance coverage which could provide compensation for our client; and
  • Communicate the severity of our client’s injuries and damages to all applicable insurance carriers with the objective of avoiding the additional time and expense of protracted litigation.

HOW WE WON

Our first step was to establish liability: We proved the drunk driver was clearly at fault for our client’s devasting injuries. Our next step was to identify all potential sources of recovery – all insurance policies that might provide compensation to our client. Finally, we focused on educating the insurance carriers regarding the seriousness of our client’s injuries and their impact on our client’s life.

Boots on the ground

We immediately collaborated with law enforcement to identify the drunk driver who nearly killed our client. Our investigation determined that he was driving a borrowed vehicle. We then identified the insurance policies of both the driver and the owner of the vehicle.

Swift action

We opened claims with all relevant insurance carriers. Our substantive demands left no doubt that Ms. Jain was entitled to recover the single-person limit of each applicable policy.

Creativity and a precise understanding of insurance and case law

The major challenge on this case was that Ms. Jain’s injuries and damages far exceeded the value of the driver and car owner’s policies.

To achieve full compensation, we opened an underinsured motorist claim under an umbrella policy held by Ms. Jain’s parents. When we did this, we immediately faced a major obstacle: the policy had an exclusion for non-resident family members, and Ms. Jain had been attending university away from home in Los Angeles, CA.

Our ability to achieve justice and full compensation for our client was based on two essential discoveries:

  • A deep reading of the policy language allowed us to establish permanent residence, forcing the insurance company to reluctantly admit coverage for our client’s claims; and
  • We identified case law specific to this fact pattern that showed when students attend school away from their parent’s home but are still being financially supported by one or both parents, their permanent residence remains at their parent’s home.

By providing the insurance representative this information, coupled with evidence proving the severity of our client’s injuries and damages, the insurance company was left with no choice but to admit there was coverage for the claim, and to then tender to our client the entire available policy limits of $1,000,000, less the amount we recovered from the adverse driver and car owner.

Engaging appropriate expert witnesses

Prior to submitting a final underinsured motorist demand for the policy limits of $1,000,000, Heinrich Law had Ms. Jain evaluated by a board-certified neurosurgeon who then prepared a report outlining the severity of her skull fractures and internal bleeding which necessitated highly invasive surgical procedures. This expert then assisted a team of digital animators to create a video simulation (below) of the surgical procedures that saved her life. The neurosurgeon’s report and digital animations submitted with our demand package served as dramatic proof of the value the claim thereby enabling us to secure full compensation for our client.

A GREAT OUTCOME

With thorough research, and understanding of insurance coverage law, aggressive advocacy, appropriate use of experts, and advanced technology, Heinrich Law obtained for this deserving client full compensation in the amount of $1,000,000.

Fortunately, the client has made a very good recovery and has returned to her studies in Southern California.


If you were a pedestrian and seriously injured by someone , please call us. The consultation is free to you.