The Advocates Injury Attorneys • www.UtahAdvocates.com • (801) 783-3555
Y ears ago, a client came into our practice who had been involved in an extremely severe accident. Late one Saturday night, this woman in her early 20s and her close friend were heading home from a party when, suddenly, tragedy struck. Just as they were passing straight through a thoroughfare, the light as green as can be, another driver turned left, colliding almost head-on with their vehicle. The injuries were catastrophic. As the car crumpled against her, she shattered both ankles. The swelling got so bad that it resulted in something called “compartment syndrome,” a buildup of blood and fluids. The inflammation pressurized her legs to the point that it restricted blood flow, potentially fatally. In the hospital, she underwent seven brutal surgeries, and the doctors did everything they could to restore her to normal. In the end, she lived, but needless to say, the course of her life was fundamentally altered. Finding Meaning in Personal Injury Law After she approached us and we proceeded through the process, it came out that she had been drinking that fateful night. The other side focused on this fact constantly, arguing that the accident could have been avoided if she had simply been under the limit. But with extensive research, we found this claim to be totally baseless — she hadn’t been speeding, and she’d meticulously followed the laws of the road. It was the other driver who had run the red light and caused the collision in the first place. We were committed to going the distance, taking it all the way to court. But a week before trial, the insurance company buckled under the pressure and agreed to pay their measly policy limits. But by this point, we knew that wasn’t enough; it wasn’t right to simply pay off a tiny chunk of her insane bills. So we refused their offer. For days, they scrambled frantically for a solution. Eventually, the insurance company convinced their own client, the driver of the other vehicle, to file bankruptcy to get out of paying her share of the damages. Basically, they Helping Those Who Need It Most Still, as the medical bills piled up to an astronomical sum, the insurance companies refused to help. They wouldn’t even pay their miniscule policy limits.
sold her down the river to get out of paying up. They thought this would stop us in our tracks, but all it did was convince us to redouble our efforts. Though we couldn’t retrieve damages from the individual, we could still go after the insurance company. After a couple years of fighting against the insurance company and working with the bankruptcy trustee, we ended up reframing the case as a bad faith claim against the insurance company. They’d given the driver of the other vehicle horrible advice by encouraging him to file bankruptcy. Though, as the advocates for the plaintiff, we couldn’t represent the defendant, independent counsel came in. In the end, we received almost $450,000 for our client, and the defendant came out much better too. It makes you wonder why the insurance companies don’t pay what is fair to begin with in these situations. So many of the people who seek our representation are just struggling to put their lives back together in the wake of a terrible accident. When someone comes in desperate, not knowing where to turn or what to do, it means a lot to be able to look them in the eye and tell them, in no uncertain terms, that we’re there to help them make it through. When the defendant in that case filed bankruptcy, most firms would have packed it in and given up. But we knew it wasn’t the right thing to do, so we fought with everything we had until we got our client the resolution she deserved. It all comes down to the fact that we genuinely appreciate every person who puts their faith in us in the midst of crisis. We take that trust seriously, doing everything we possibly can to help them out of the terrible situation they’ve found themselves in. In the spirit of the giving Christmas season, as our families come together to spend time and reflect on what’s most important to us, I’d like to extend a sincere thank-you to each and every person who’s entrusted us with their well- being. Truly, there’s no greater gift we can receive during the holidays than a kind word from a client.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays from all of the Advocates,
www.UtahAdvocates.com • 1
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