BASIC FACTS OF THE CASE:
In this case, David was badly injured when he was riding his motorcycle to work at the Oakland Airport. A confused elderly woman driving in the opposite direction, made a left-turn directly in front of him, and my client was unable to avoid colliding with her vehicle at a speed of approximately 35 m.p.h. David suffered multiple fractures, some internal injuries, serious derangement in the knee, and multiple scars. From the outset, it was clear that David’s claim would be in the range of hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more.
Unfortunately, the driver only had a $100,000.00 policy, and very little in the way of assets in addition to her insurance policy. The $100,000.00 insurance policy was offered up in settlement immediately if we would thereby conclude the claim.
The person responsible for causing the accident appeared to have insufficient insurance available to compensate my client.
Instead of accepting the settlement, which the other driver’s insurance company was attempting to force upon my client, we searched thoroughly to see if there was any other theory or policy which might be available. After about four months of investigation, we discovered that at some prior point, the other driver had been named as an additional insured on her adult daughter’s homeowner umbrella policy, which had a $2,000,000.00 policy limit. Even though the mother had not lived with her daughter for a number of years, the insurance company had for some reason not taken the mother’s name off of the daughter’s policy, as an additional named insured.
Armed with this new information, we were able just before trial, to successfully make a demand on the umbrella policy, and were ultimately able to settle the case, not for the $100,000.00 initially offered, but for $1,600,000.00.