We had the joy of helping an Inman, South Carolina couple, Joey and Kristin, recover a settlement from Joey's Spartanburg motorcycle accident case.
Best of all, we turned a bad situation into a good one. Our motorcycle accident lawyers were able to use legal techniques to get a far bigger settlement than Joey or Kristin expected – and a bigger one than it looked like they could ever get.
A Young Inman, South Carolina, Family Upended by a Motorcycle Accident
Joey and Kristin are hardworking folks. He's in construction, and she's a waitress. They are the proud parents of a son and daughter.
Their lives took a terrible turn on May 23, 2023. Joey rode his Harley Davidson motorcycle with their daughter on the road they live on. As he rounded a curve, the at-fault driver drove his pickup truck into Joey's lane, leaving him nowhere to go. All Joey could do was lay the bike down. Like the good father he is, his first concern was his daughter. As the bike went down, he turned and grabbed her to protect her. His right shoulder slammed into the at-fault driver's door.
As Joey sat propped up against the at-fault driver's truck, unable to move from agony, the at-fault driver showed his true colors, saying "I got to get out of here because this truck isn't in my name, I've got no driver's license, and it's not insured. I can't be here; they'll never find me." He fled on foot.
He left Joey there with a shattered right shoulder, his dominant arm.
Things took a fast, hard downturn for the family. Joey couldn't work, and he soon learned that his injuries required an operation. Like many folks who work for small businesses, he had no health insurance. Suddenly the family faced not only a crippling loss of income but devastatingly huge medical bills. So, they took action.
Joey and Kristin Seek Help – and Get It
Joey and Kristin knew they couldn't afford to lose their only shot to do their case right, so they sought professional help. I'm thankful they found me from a Google search.
They turned over the responsibility for the legal details and handling the adjuster to me and my team. Now, all Joey had to do was focus on getting better and returning to work. He found a surgeon willing to work with him and got the operation he needed. The surgeon reset his shattered scapula by implanting screws into a plate to hold the bone fragments together.
When a Motorcycle Accident Insurance Denial Becomes a Blessing
Meanwhile, I threw my efforts into finding as much insurance as possible for Joey's motorcycle accident settlement.
It got worse before it got way better. In a typical case, the at-fault driver has liability insurance. Since most drivers don't have enough insurance to cover a serious injury like this, a prime source of bigger car and motorcycle accident settlements in South Carolina is your own insurance if you have coverage called underinsurance.
Joey and Kristin didn't have it. I am pleased to report they do now!
But then we got a huge break in the strangest way – the at-fault driver had no liability insurance. This got confirmed after an extensive search by Joey's insurance company in its hope it wouldn't have to pay. The lack of liability insurance meant we could use Joey and Kristin's policies for a different coverage for their settlement – uninsurance. Luckily, Joey and Kristin had it. Even better, they had coverage on multiple vehicles. Using a legal technique called stacking, we could access coverage on all those vehicles if needed.
A Bigger South Carolina Uninsured Motorcycle Settlement Than Seemed Possible
I got to flex my legal muscles by asking Joey's insurance company to pay its property damage coverage for his injuries. While that may seem impossible since property damage coverage is supposed to only pay for repairing or replacing a vehicle, I knew a 2018 South Carolina Supreme Court case called GEICO v. Poole ruled an accident victim can get uninsured or underinsured property damage coverage for injuries in the right case. Given the severity of Joey's injuries, this was the right one.
I issued a demand letter asking for a settlement from all uninsured injury and property damage coverage. A few weeks later, the adjuster called. I'll never forget her opening commentary on my demand letter, "I love it when you make my job easier.'' The adjuster agreed to pay all the coverage: $100,000.00 injury coverage and $100,000.00 property damage for a total of $200,000.00, stacked from 4 vehicles with $25,000.00 limits on both types of coverage.
But I wasn't quite finished. Joey's mammoth legal bills could still eat up most of the settlement. I negotiated a reduction everyone could live with.
Joey and Kristin were thrilled his South Carolina motorcycle accident settlement worked out far better than they had planned. They called the settlement "life changing.'' They plan to use the proceeds to fix up the family home Joey inherited from his grandmother.
Best of all, Joey's back at work. I'm pleased I got to play a major role in helping this family move on and move up, exceeding their expectations by getting a dramatically larger motorcycle settlement than they could have anticipated getting on their own.