While participating in a bicycle event, our client was struck by a vehicle
which was traveling behind him, knocking him off his bike and running
him over. He suffered a serious shoulder injury which required surgery.
After receiving successful surgery, he sought only property damage recovery
from the negligent driver’s insurance company. However, the insurer
refused to pay the fair value of his destroyed bicycle and related equipment
Upon receiving the denial, the client sought legal counsel from Attorney
Michele Kennedy at Swartz & Kennedy, who evaluated his case and determined
all his available legal options. While our client focused on taking the
necessary steps to make a successful recovery, our Monterey personal injury
lawyer proceeded the with legal aspects of the case. After determining
the full extent of our client’s personal injuries, Attorney Kennedy
demanded and recovered the policy limit of the driver. Since the driver’s
policy limit was below the value of our client’s damages, Ms. Kennedy
then made a claim for the additional value of the client’s damages
to the client’s own insurance company.
Fortunately, the client carried uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
(UM/UIM) in the event of situations where a car accident injury was caused
by someone who either had low policy limits or no insurance whatsoever.
Unfortunately, the client’s insurance company undervalued his damages
and made a “nuisance” offered a few thousand dollars to close the case.
Attorney Kennedy believed that our client’s insurer made an unreasonable,
low-ball offer hoping our client would not pursue a claim for the fair
value of his damages. Our Monterey personal injury lawyer accused the
client’s insurance provider of acting in bad faith towards their
own insured by offering a low settlement despite the seriousness of the
injury and underlying accident. When the low offer was rejected, Attorney
Kennedy demanded that the case proceed to arbitration. During arbitration,
she would have the opportunity to present evidence of the terrible nature
of the accident and subsequent injuries. She believed an independent arbitrator
who would award fair compensation to the client, unlike his insurance company.
Once litigation proceedings began and the case was ready to be set for
the arbitration hearing, Attorney Kennedy was able to negotiate and secure
a fair settlement offer that was far in excess of the original unfair
This case is a clear example of a situation where an injured party’s
own insurance company makes an unfair low settlement offer hoping it’s
insured will not seek legal counsel to learn the true value of his/her
damages. This injured party is often someone that has paid its insurance
premiums for years and never made a claim. The first claim may be a situation
where the negligent party’s policy limit is less than the value
of the damages it's insured suffered. Adding insult to injury, the
insured’s insurance company refuses to offer its own insured, the
injured party, fair compensation for his/her injuries.
The most important thing to understand is that insurance companies—even
your own—are never looking out for your best interests. Rather,
they are only interested in protecting their own bottom line and making
profits from your premiums—doing whatever it takes to reduce your
claim or deny it entirely.
At Swartz & Kennedy, our experienced legal team is committed to protecting
your rights and best interests throughout the legal process. With more
than eight decades of combined legal experience, we understand what it
takes to help you obtain the financial compensation you deserve.
For more information about uninsured and underinsured motorist claims,
contact us and schedule a free consultation today.