purchase, george & murphey.

purchase, george & murphey.


Erie Car Crash Lawyers Insurers Drive Costs With Frivolous Defense The Latest Example

September 30, 2010

October 1, 2010, Erie, PA — In our Case Results Section, we’ve recently posted a new entry about a case that settled just prior to the October trial term in Erie County. It was an Erie car accident case in which State Farm insured the negligent driver. The details are in the case study but they can be summarized briefly,

State Farm’s driver was 100% responsible for the accident and State Farm’s driver was perfectly willing to accept responsibility for the accident. But State Farm wasn’t. State Farm refused to accept that its driver caused the accident all through 2 years of a lawsuit, right up until the very end when it became apparent that their ludicrous position would be exposed to a jury.

State Farm hired it’s own high priced doctor to examine our client and even the hired gun agreed that our client had been injured in the accident. But State Farm wasn’t ready to accept responsibility for the injuries.

Before the lawsuit was filed, State Farm made a ridiculous offer of settlement and swore they’d never budge. And they didn’t, not until just before trial.

State Farm’s driver felt terribly about the accident. She was a nice lady and was haunted by the memory of the accident. That didn’t stop State Farm from forcing her to go through a two year lawsuit, including a deposition in which she had to answer questions under oath about the lawsuit.

Ultimately, State Farm collapsed just prior to trial and the case settled for 4 1/2 times what they’d initially offered. The case would have settled for less than that had State Farm made a reasonable offer before our client went through two years of litigation and the costs related to that litigation.

The bottom line? State Farm’s frivolous defense of the case ended up costing everyone far more than was necessary. State Farm itself paid its defense lawyer and its hired gun doctor. I don’t know how much they paid, of course, but I used to do their work back in my insurance defense lawyer days, so I have a reasonable basis for judging their costs. I’d estimate that they spent at least $15,000 and maybe as much as $25,000 defending the case. State Farm made its own insured go through the unpleasant process of litigation and deposition and no doubt caused her great stress as she was forced to relive the accident and contemplate going to trial in a case that she would have preferred to simply avoid. Of course, State Farm also made it unnecessarily difficult on our client to get what she was entitled to from the very beginning.

This is the behavior that drives insurance costs skyward. Insurance companies cry and moan about frivolous personal injury cases but the truth is that they’re spending their money defending meritorious cases. They are driving the costs upward because they won’t pay even when their own insured admits fault and even when their own hired doctors admit injury.

At Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C., our Erie car crash lawyers are committed to educating the public about the tactics and behavior of the insurance companies. For more information, review our Articles on car accident cases.