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$15 Million Car Accident / Insurance Bad Faith

In October 2016, the defendant was operating his vehicle eastbound on a two-lane road just inside the city limits of a Mid-Missouri town, around 9:30 p.m.

Plaintiffs were operating their vehicle in the westbound lane when the defendant’s vehicle suddenly crossed the centerline and struck plaintiffs’ vehicle in a head-on collision.

The defendant maintained to the police that he fell asleep. However, the defendant was only about 1 mile from his house, where he had apparently just woken up from a nap.

The defendant later testified that he had been using his phone to change songs moments before the crash. All the plaintiffs were injured in the crash.

The plaintiffs made exceptional witnesses during deposition testimony. As part of the confidential settlement agreement, plaintiffs agreed not to describe the nature of their injuries.

Before filing suit, plaintiffs made a written offer to settle with the defendant’s insurance carrier for payment of the defendant’s policy limit of $100,000.

The insurance carrier did not respond to the offer of settlement for over 30 days. However, during that same time period, it adjusted the plaintiffs’ property loss.

After filing suit, the insurance carrier maintained that it had not received the plaintiffs’ written offer to settle.

In response, plaintiffs provided the carrier with proof that the letter had been sent and received via U.S. Postal Service, with a tracking number.

The insurance carrier ultimately paid 150 times its original policy limit.