Levinson Axelrod, P.A. Attorney David A. Cook recently prevailed on behalf of a client following a three-day trial in Hunterdon County before Judge Michael O’Neill. Attorney Cook was able to secure a jury verdict worth 12 times the initial settlement offer from the defendant’s insurance company.
About the Case
As noted in court records, Mr. Cook’s client had been rear-ended while his vehicle was stopped in traffic. As a result of the collision, he sustained permanent neck injuries.
David and his client faced several legal hurdles in the case, including:
- Low Settlement Offer – During settlement discussions, the defendant’s insurance carrier, Progressive, offered just $5,000 to settle our client’s claim, even though coverage available through the policy was only $15,000.
- UIM Coverage – Given the low policy limits and coverage available in this case, additional compensation was sought through our client’s uninsured / underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. However, our client’s insurance carrier, AAA, declined to make an offer until the defendant’s insurance offered its policy limits.
- Defense Arguments – The defense went to great lengths to avoid paying our client a policy-limit settlement, and worked with a medical expert to argue that his injuries were pre-existing, age related, and not as severe as claimed.
In addition to insurance coverage issues, David and our client faced considerable dispute from the defense. Per court documents, the defendant’s insurance carrier hired a medical expert who examined our client and contended that he suffered only soft tissue injuries.
Although testimony provided by the defense’s medical expert allowed the defendants to argue that our client did not require substantial compensation, David was able to disprove the defense’s theory that the injuries were age-related, and that they existed prior to the accident. He also called attention to the fact that while the injuries in question involved our client’s neck, the defense doctor was a knee and shoulder specialist.
Ultimately, David’s efforts and the case he presented at trial resulted in a hard-fought victory for our client. The jury deliberated for less than an hour before returning a $60,000 verdict for our client – 12 times the insurance company’s initial settlement offer.
Because our client protected themselves by purchasing Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage, they should recover the full amount of the verdict, which was well in excess of the defendant’s policy limits. This is an example of how important uninsured and underinsured (UM / UIM) coverage can be, and how it can help make the difference when it matters most. Our legal team encourages all motorists to consider purchasing this optional coverage as part of their auto insurance policies.
NJ Accident Lawyers Fighting for Justice
Levinson Axelrod, P.A. congratulates Attorney David Cook on this significant trial victory. As a firm that represents victims across New Jersey, we handle both high-value cases and claims in which victims face considerable challenges when fighting for the justice and compensation they deserve.
Though not a six-figure verdict, this result is a considerable victory given the insurance company’s extensive efforts to pay our client as little as it possibly could. It’s also a lesson as to why working with caring and compassionate lawyers can make all the difference when victims take on powerful insurance companies and corporations that care more about profits than people.
If you have questions about a potential motor vehicle accident case or any other personal injury claim, our legal team is available to review your matter during a free and confidential consultation. Call (732) 440-3089 or contact us online to speak with an attorney.