EXAMPLES OF HOW WE FOUND 'HIDDEN RECOVERIES' OR TURNED 'GARBAGE' CASES INTO 'GOLD'
HOW MANY 'POLICY LIMIT' CASES' OR EVEN SIX FIGURE TO MILLION DOLLAR CASES HAVE YOU TURNED DOWN BECAUSE YOU DID NOT 'HAVE THE TIME' TO DO A PROPER INVESTIGATION BY A HIGHLY SKILLED RECOVERY EXPERT?
THE MAJORITY OF THESE EXAMPLE CASES WERE RESOLVED WITHOUT LITIGATION OTHER THAN AN OCCASIONAL STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FILING.
MANY SETTLED FOR SIX FIGURES AND MORE BASED ON CORRESPONDENCE AND NEGOTIATION ONLY.
A young man released from jail to work and live with mom rode on the back of a friend's defective motorcycle. The motorcycle driver later was found to be 'high', and had concealed his drug use.
The crash into a tree caused the injured man released from jail on work-release to suffer horrendous orthopedic injuries to his leg, knee and hip, to lose his work-release job, thus causing him to be returned to serve his remaining year's jail term.
The motorcycle had no insurance, the driver had no insurance, and the rider apparently had no insurance.
Sleuthing, we found:
The rider had a bad faith claim for wrongful denial of coverage for first and third party claim as a family member under a relative’s motor vehicle insurance
He had first party claims of over $100,000 for his medical bills which had gone unpaid until our sleuthing uncovered a source of payment.
He had a source of 'third party payment' owed and concealed from him and under our help and direction his attorney collected his damages 100% from sources that previously were unknown and unrevealed.
He had contacted more than 25 highly reputable accident, injury, and insurance attorneys each of whom rejected his case as 'unrecoverable' because of 'no recovery resource' before we were asked to sleuth the case for 'hidden insurance and other recoveries.
Each attorney who did not follow our methods turned down this highly lucrative case. This claim was paid on the basis of extensive, highly documented legal correspondence similar to briefing and never was filed in court.
A woman who had a work injury and a non-work injury second injury was collecting on her total Long Term Disability payable to age 65 from a private plan of insurance (not worker’s compensation). She had been on claim at 2/3 salary two and a half years and with an irrecoverable condition would expect to be 'on claim' until age 65.
At the insurer's request and then unrepresented she was asked to take a physical examination with a doctor well known for writing ‘washout’ opinions saying almost all disabled people 'on claim' were capable of doing ‘some work'; making them ineligible for continued benefits.
This doctor wrote a report saying she could do her usual work. Her disability payments for life were terminated -- a total of 26 remaining years -- a very large sum.
The doctor’s report and interviews revealed the doctor had NOT done a full examination. His exam and conclusions were faulty, as he did not even take into account her work or what she might do for work. He entirely disregarded her pain, a principle component of her injury
That was not all.
The claims file was demanded, and a copy was furnished, revealing no otherwise forbidden reason for claims termination, but there was suspicion the furnished file copy had been illegally altered.
Before Photoshop and ‘contrast enhancement’ was widely available, the claims examiner’s ‘termination determination’ workout page was scanned on a Xerox machine with contrast turned to maximum, then the page scanned again and again 20 times until FOUR FORBIDDEN REASONS WERE REVEALED as well as 'White Out' artifacts that had been used to 'cover up' for copy purposes those four forbidden reasons. The defense insurer had not expected this 'coverup' to be found out and when informed threw in the towel and asked for a demand.
THIS CASE SETTLED FOR FULL PAYMENT OF MONTHLY PAYMENTS TO AGE 65, GENERAL DAMAGES, AND A VERY LARGE SUM EQUAL TO HUGE PUNITIVE DAMAGES, ALL WITHOUT A FILING OR TRIAL.
A young motorcycle passenger with a leg fracture whose father was an insurance agent, tried to claim injuries against the family auto insurer, but the company would not take the claim or even write it down.
Sleuthing revealed that this major California insurer represented that in all cases--contrary to California law--‘we don’t insure motorcycles’, and they kept no record of such calls.
Under certain, special circumstances under California law all auto companies must insure motorcycles for certain coverages.
This was one.
Faced with the possibility of her leading a potential class, she received a very, very large settlement for general, special and an amount that was the equivalent of huge punitive damages, all without a court filing or arbitration.
In admitting they would not even take or evaluate motorcycle accident claims, that opened an entire class to massive claims against that insurer and such claims were found, and pursued one by one for both general and punitive damages.
The insurer henceforth changed its policy in all types of claims made to accept all claims, whether they believed covered or not and to evaluate all claims without discrimination at the reception desk.
A number of medium to very large recoveries were obtained from what initially looked only like a ‘broken leg injury’.
Two six year old boys on bikes, collided at an intersection in a famously wealthy South San Francisco Bay Area city. One boy had run a stop sign, hitting the other and causing catastrophic injuries.
Through his parents his case was shopped to the region's best attorneys, but was turned down by a long series of highly reputable accident, injury, and insurance attorneys who pointed out the responsible six year old had very limited liability under California state law.
Each attorney contacted by the parents pointed out as there was limited liability and NO APPARENT INSURANCE as they declined representation.
These attorneys believed that since the responsible boy was not covered under an auto policy since he was not driving a 'motor vehicle', there was no other source of insurance.
They were all wrong.
We found a million dollar public liability policy that paid, plus first party insurances that were concealed from the insured’s parents and the claimant.
We collected the policy limits, additional general and special damages, plus bad faith damages for concealing first party insurance from the responsible insurance company without a court filing, all from brief-like correspondence of extraordinary length and depth.
A young man with no vision in his right eye was abandoned at a girl's house he and his so-called 'brother' had been visiting. His 'brother' and he had different mothers who co-parented their 'sons'.
The girl's home was far from his home, he was not invited to stay the night, he had no money, no phone available, but his 'brother' left his newly-purchased motorcycle and told the younger 'brother' to 'drive it home'.
Buses were not available and there was no money for a taxi; home was too far away to walk, and the boy was stranded.
His mother said her son was 'absolutely stupid' and everybody knew it' including his so-called 'brother'
The young man took the motorcycle, but had never even had car driving instructions let alone instructions on motorcycle driving and had no license at all. Tests revealed he had the mentality of a sixth grader and was known for poor judgment.
He drove about 1,200 yards past a freeway underpass when he was struck by a car coming from his right, driven by a Chinese who soon fled the country to Taiwan and never returned. The Chinese’s auto had no insurance and the injured's motorcycle had no insurance.
This was the first time the injured young man had ever attempted to drive anything.
No attorney out of dozens contacted by the young man and his mother wanted to even speak to them after hearing of the circumstances and lack of obvious insurance.
The motorcycle driver suffered catastrophic orthopedic injuries. Worse, medical records revealed that though he claimed the car that struck him 'ran a stop sign on his right' he
was totally blind in his right eye' since birth, which was widely known to family.
We found insurance for the man who lent the partially-blind, inexperienced motorcyclist the vehicle, and negotiated a settlement based on the older brother and motorcycle owner being 50% at fault for lending the motorcycle to this injured young man knowing his inexperience, and a very low IQ. Fifty per cent fault was attributed to the injured driver.
The case settled after a 100-page claim letter on the basis of 50% fault and an agreed million dollar injury took a $500,000 policy.
Other, first party insurances also were uncovered and general and bad faith damages collected for "refusal as part of the auto company to take a 'motorcycle injury claim'" which helped open the door for multiple other motorcycle claims against that insurer.
Part One -- Death and insuring.
Eduardo was 14 and big for his age. He was invited to a drinking party at the home of richer, older friends and everyone, including Eduardo, who had never drank before, became drunk.
The group ran out of beer and other alcohol and decided to send Eduardo to a nearby grocery known to sell alcohol to underage youths. The classmate son of the homeowner gave Eduardo the keys to his parents 2nd car, some money, and told Eduardo to drive to the grocery to buy more booze.
On his way back, Eduardo, who had no training and was legally drunk, missed badly a turn in a nearby intersection and the car vaulted into an apartment building, and down one floor into its subterranean garage, crushing a woman resident to death. Eduardo was arrested. Civil and criminal consequences inevitably followed.
Eduardo's father was a minimum wage laborer; his mother a housewife. Eduardo's family had no car or any insurance at all to make claim against.
The car owner's [the drunk boy's parents] protested that they they had not given permission to Eduardo to use the car, and that Eduardo had somehow 'stolen the vehicle'.
Truth revealed their son had given Eduardo the keys. We argued 'Entrusting the keys is entrusting the car'.
There was a $500,000 combined single limit public limit liability policy on the auto and one death claim.
The insurance company agreed, finally, after much persuasion, that the act of giving the keys to Eduardo from the owner's son (a 'resident relative' and therefore an 'insured' under the policy) made Eduardo a 'permissive user' and therefore an insured under the policy notwithstanding his age (14) and his lack of licensing or skills.
The death claimants (parents) accepted the [policy limit's $500,000] in settlement and released all parties except the liquor store owner -- all on the basis of letter correspondence with no suit filed
Part Two -- Payment For Eduardo's Therapy
Eduardo was sentenced to six months' incarceration for his delinquent act plus counseling. He was severely traumatized by this event.
Eduardo's impecunious parents had no source to pay a skilled trauma counselor for his PTSD and shame, but the auto insurance policy provided $30,000 limits for 'medical payment' 'no fault' for accident caused injuries. After severe prodding and claims representation that huge company never had paid such a claim in their company's history, the famous auto insurance paid $30,000 policy limits for Eduardo and Eduardo's family's bills for trauma related mental health counseling
EXTENSIVE INTERVIEWING TURNS $500 DISSOLUTION INTO A MID SIX FIGURE RECOVERY
The Attorney fee was in six figures for a case declined as 'not collectible' by very attorney the client contacted over many years as well as public agencies and recovery services.
The client long ago had forgotten she even might have a case, and never mentioned the facts of this claim to her newly sworn in attorney when she sought the newly-sworn in attorney for a no-fault divorce without assets.
This young attorney had clerked for a respected bar member, famous for his thorough interviews and quick mind. The first thing after signing the client, the young attorney interviewed the client for every possible claim she (and her relatives) might have that might result in a substantial recovery.
The young attorney was well rewarded with a mid six figure claim his client had been told was 'worthless'.
Plaintiff mother in an unpaid child support claim had been told there were good defenses for all but a few years' claims for 'back child support, the claim was interstate, very expensive to pursue, public agencies then had no 'compact' and even so would not have pursued 'back support' past the statute of limitations and the father was evasive and lacked resources anyway.
This fledgling attorney recovered ALL damages for 16 years overcoming the statute of limitations and related defenses AND recovered every penny including costs. Equitable defenses were lost to defendant.
A secretary from down the hall hired a newly sworn in attorney renting space to process her 'no fault' divorce involving an uncontested, short marriage with no property at a time before courts provided such services free. The fee - $500.
He had trained under a smart, clever attorney who believed in thorough interviews and who believed that among all his clients he would find 'hidden cases and recoveries' worth the effort other attorneys would never discover.
The newly admitted attorney signed the mother to a flat fee dissolution retainer that also provided for a percentage fee if he discovered 'other recoveries' on a fixed percentage basis. Both knew of this back child support arrearage claim, but both knew it was deemed 'uncollectible.'
He interviewed her for several hours about all aspects of her legal and financial life.
Client had a prior marriage and a child of that who would in two years graduate from high school.
She was owed 16 years back child support from an out-of-state n'er-do well who had never paid a penny in child support, and once had taunted her about that.
She also mentioned she heard he had started a construction business but that had been literally 'wiped out' when a dam burst.
The attorney investigated, found there had indeed been a burst dam, the construction business had several D-9 Caterpillar and other heavy equipment sent tumbling and destroyed by flood water. His sole proprietorship that once prospered was wiped out by the burst dam.
He also discovered there were federal reparations owing the father, and the very substantial reparations were to disburse within less than one year.
She and her attorney filed to 'prove up' the arrearages in local court and served the defendant out of state.
Arrearages totaled well in mid six figures. Her own state's district attorneys already had refused to seek past child support for more than a few past years. Otherwise, she was referred to 'private counsel', she years past sought an attorney, and all who heard her case told her to 'give it up'.
The man defaulted suit on the out-of-state judgment. A judgment setting arrearages was entered and then served on the man, starting the time running to 'set aside the father's default'.
When that time ran out, an action had been started in his local state's home court to collect the judgment, the judgment filed, and a lis pendens [notice of legal action] clouding the titie to his home was filed. The defendant father's defaulted on actions in his home state, and instead conveyed away his home and assets to his best friend.
He later told co-counsel 'I thought that putting my house and things in my best friend's name would keep everything safe'.
It didn't, and it was all taken to satisfy the mother's judgment.
A motion had been made in his local state court to set aside the 'fraudulent conveyance', pursuant to the lis pendens filing. The property was placed back into the man's name, subject to the judgment, sold promptly, and all proceeds transferred to the child's mother. They were used to put the man's child through university.
By defaulting, the man had lost all equitable defenses. Further, by default in his state court and by his 'fraudulent conveyancing' he had lost any homestead rights he might have had,. Those defenses were lost forever and never litigated. Even though he later tried numerous times to re-litigate the matter, he could not obtain counsel.
The man later got into a bar fight and was unable to work for life and then received a social security disability pension. Years later, by chance, several hundred miles from the homes of each party, the mother and the father met unexpectedly while going different directions at coffee shop at an Interstate rest stop.
The father there told the mother that her taking the six figures from his federal reparations was 'the best thing I ever did', because it put his child through university.
They became friends again. He said he was now 'PROUD' his money was taken from him for his child's future. 'I just would have drunk and gambled it away', he told her. 'This way it did some good.'
The attorney was extremely well rewarded for his 'first dissolution' and then conducting a thorough interview not just of the case in front of him, but of the client's entire circumstances.
Moral: There's potential gold to be found for the astute attorney in every client encounter.