Jury Verdict for 3 1/2 Times Insurance Policy Limits
John Doe was sitting on his motorcycle, stopped in traffic, when he was hit from behind by a high school student and pushed into the pickup in front of him. After the accident John began to feel numbness and tingling in his hands which over time progressed to weakness that caused him to drop things.
The Shands Jacksonville neurosurgeons diagnosed central cord syndrome and performed a four level cervical fusion. The surgery stabilized John’s spine, but he can no longer do all the athletic things he used to and faces significant medical complications and costs in the future.
After the surgery was scheduled, and before filing suit, Pajcic & Pajcic sent all of the medical records to the insurance company for the student and offered to settle all claims for the $250,000 limits. The insurance company only offered $100,000.
Just before mediation on the eve of trial, the insurance company finally offered the $250,000 and filed proposals for settlement totaling that amount. The Does declined and filed their own proposals for settlement totaling $550,000. The insurance company accepted the proposals to the student’s mother who owned the car, totaling $110,000, but rejected the ones directed to the student.
The jury returned a verdict of $902,000. The plaintiffs have a pending motion for not only costs, but also for attorneys fees since the final judgment exceeded plaintiff’s proposals for settlement to the student by more than 25%.
Pajcic & Pajcic expects the student’s insurance company to end up paying the full amount of the final judgment, as other companies have always had to do in previous cases where they have rejected Pajcic & Pajcic’s policy limits offers.
Like most plaintiffs the Does felt bewildered by all the technical legal maneuvering, but they now feel relief and gratification that our jury system is working to do justice.