In this matter Jim Miller represented the respondent in an underinsured motorist claim. The claimant argued that he sustained injuries to his cervical spine which necessitated the need for surgery. Jim relied upon a qualified neurosurgeon to point out that the surgery was not necessary and that it was not related to the subject motor vehicle accident.
In this case, the claimant had received $25,000 from the underlying tortfeasor. Jim and his client’s offered the claimant $25,000 “new money” which was rejected.
At the arbitration the claimant’s attorney initially advised that he thought the case had a value of $500,000. After hearing Jim’s presentation and testimony from Jim’s neurosurgeon the claimant’s attorney advised the arbitrator that he believed the case had a value around $190,000.
The arbitrator determined that the claimant did not need surgery and simply had an aggravation to a preexisting condition. The arbitrator awarded a “gross” amount of $45,000. Since the claimant had received $25,000 from the underlying tortfeasor, the net award was $20,000 – $5,000 less than what Jim had offered the claimant before going to the hearing.