Tenacity. It is often what separates the “great” (or Super) lawyers from the merely “good” ones. Does your lawyer accept the first offer presented by the insurance company? Does your lawyer pursue all available insurance policies? Does your lawyer pursue “bad faith” cases against your own insurance company if it denies, delays, or low-balls your claim without a good reason? A tenacious lawyer will not rest until every reasonable opportunity to advance his clients’ interest is pursued.
Recently the personal injury attorneys at Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima had the opportunity to put their tenacity into action. It started with a car crash. Our client was stopped in her vehicle waiting for traffic to pass when suddenly another vehicle rammed into her at 30 mph.
Our client was already suffering from significant preexisting medical issues, and then the force of this impact slammed her head into the seat rest and tore ligaments in her spine. As a result of this violent crash, our client underwent a spinal fusion surgery.
The insurance company of the at-fault driver initially offered less than $30,000—a completely unacceptable amount considering the severity of the injuries. Perhaps a less tenacious firm would have pushed to immediately settle the case, take their fee, and call it a day. But that is just not how we do it at Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima.
We pushed and pushed the at-fault party’s insurance company with additional arguments, supported by reports from physicians. Eventually the offer tripled, but even that just was not enough. The policy carried $100,000 in coverage, and our client needed and deserved every cent. Due to our tenacity and our client’s courage, the insurance company eventually paid the full $100,000 to avoid a lawsuit and trial.
Even that was not the end, because, like many drivers, our client had been dutifully paying for “underinsured motorist coverage” through her own insurance company that provided for up to another $150,000 in coverage. When our client’s own insurance company refused to pay all of the money available (and, again, initially offered only around $30,000) we sued the client’s insurance company in court; and, lo and behold, the insurance company eventually paid the remaining $150,000. Curiously, however, the insurance company wanted our client to release it from any “bad faith” (i.e. unjustified denials, delays, and low-ball offers) on its part in handling our client’s claim. By this part of the story, you should know our answer: No deal.
Perhaps another law firm would gladly sign and take the check without another thought. But our firm was not going to let the insurance company off that easy or comprise our client’s rights. We insisted that our client receive the $150,000 with no strings attached, and then turned around and sued the insurance company for its “bad faith” conducting in which it lowballed our client and forced her to file suit to get the contractual benefits she was entitled too.
At Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima, we believe in full justice for our clients, and we do everything in our power to obtain it for them. It is undoubtedly more work for us, but it is work that tenacious lawyers do to obtain full justice for clients.
Is your lawyer tenacious? We hope so. If not, call Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima for a case evaluation.