Insurance companies love to tell you they have your back and they are your good neighbor. But when it comes to paying out a claim, you see an entirely different side of the industry.
The dark side of how Big Insurance works was very evident in the recently concluded trial of Farah & Farah client, Keiondra Dennis.
Two days after Christmas in 2010, Ms. Dennis was driving a large SUV Chevy Tahoe, near the Jacksonville airport.
A semi tractor-trailer was stopped in a turn lane coming from the opposite direction. A young woman, Ashley Cottles, driving a Nissan, pulled into the intersection and hit the Tahoe’s right front side, which knocked Dennis head-on into the semi.
The impact from the two collisions caused Ms. Dennis to suffer whiplash and severe nerve damage to her neck, injuries she is still being treated for today.
Liability was not at issue in this four-day trial, which began June 5, in Duval County’s Fourth Judicial Circuit Court in Jacksonville, (Case No. 16-2012-CA-4040), before Judge Kevin Blazs.
During the trial, the insurance company suggested Ms. Dennis was a liar and that her injuries were not that serious. But Farah & Farah attorney, Kevin A. Brown, convinced the jurors that Ms. Dennis injuries were serious and permanent.
The jury verdict was delivered on Thursday, June 8 with six jurors awarding Keiondra Dennis $493,986.65 for past and future medical treatment.
Interestingly, the insurance company involved had an opportunity to offer a $27,500 settlement early on in the negotiations, before we knew just how serious Ms. Dennis was injured.
Fortunately for Ms. Dennis, they turned that down.
As for her future, Ms. Dennis’ doctor testified at trial that she injured the nerves in her facet joints, the joints in the spine and neck that make it flexible.
Nerve injuries don’t heal and nerve roots regenerate, so she must undergo burning of the nerve roots in three separate areas which interrupts the pain signal temporarily. Nerves regenerate in about six months and so does the pain.
She will have to undergo treatment for her lifetime.
Despite her injury, Farah & Farah attorney Brown says over the seven years he represented her, he came to admire Ms. Dennis and her determination to become a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office police officer.
Her goal was completed in March when Ms. Dennis graduated from JSO training. She is currently in the last phase of field officer training before she is on the street by herself.