Normally, an injured party can only recover from a defendant’s insurance policy the amount stated as the limits of liability. In the case of Kelvin Ward, our firm was able to recover twice as much as the insurance company represented was available.
In this case, American Family Insurance represented to us that Mr. Ward could only collect $250,000.00 as a result of his serious injuries when he was ejected out of the back seat and through the windshield, because that was all that was available in insurance. We did not believe them and filed our lawsuit.
The defendant’s insurance policy did only have $250,000 worth of coverage but American Family knew they owed more. In fact, in another case with the same exact policy language, a different Court had ruled that the policy was poorly written, and because another American Family policy insurance was issued to the policy holder for another vehicle owned by the owner of that vehicle, they owed double.
This is called stacking insurance coverage, and it almost never happens in liability cases, but we did it for our client. There were other technical legal facts in this case, for example this was a non-owned vehicle and an operator’s policy, but the point is we more than doubled our client’s recovery because we filed a lawsuit and aggressively pursued the matter. And we did it all in St. Joseph Missouri, about a six hour drive from St. Louis.