Posted by Gary Burger on June 27, 2016
Gary: Hi, I’m Gary Burger of Burger Law. Sitting here with me is my client and friend Audra Hessel. Hello, Audra.
Audra: Hi Gary.
Gary: So, you’re here today to do what?
Audra: To sign the settlement for my underinsured claim that we had to file against my insurance company.
Gary: All right, and so, we settled that case. How much did we settle that for?
Audra: Total, 125.
Gary: And this underinsured is for a 100, right?
Gary: And that’s thousand.
Audra: Hundred thousand, yes.
Gary: All right. So, how did you like working with our firm and how did you think we did for you?
Audra: Oh, I love working with your firm. Everybody was extremely nice, professional. I never felt like I was an inconvenience. When I came in, I was always greeted with a smile. You were always more than willing to come out of your office and say hi to me, even if it was just for me to come in and sign papers, so I have absolutely no complaints.
Gary: I think you and Casey are like friends now.
Audra: Yeah. We became Facebook friends during all of this.
Gary: Right, right. So, you know, thank you. The interesting thing about your case, your case was like a law school exam question, which means like there were so many issues coming in on. You had an accident on November 21 st. You treated for that. You were on your way to the chiropractor to get or the next day.
Audra: No, the next day I was due.
Gary: To be released?
Audra: To be released.
Gary: And what happened?
Audra: I got side-swiped.
Gary: In a second accident.
Audra: In a second accident.
Gary: All right. So, what we did is whenever there are two accidents, the one always blames the other.
Gary: So like the second accident, the lawyers, in that case, are gonna blame the first accident, and the first accident, they’re gonna blame the second accident for your problems. So what we did is we filed a lawsuit, litigated the case. You did your deposition, right?
Audra: Yes, I did.
Gary: You did a great job.
Gary: You worked hard at that. Thank you.
Audra: Yeah, you’re welcome.
Gary: What did you think about the deposition preparation, that litigation stuff?
Audra: It was stressful going into it, not knowing what to expect, but once I got there and talked to you, you calmed my nerves about it because it was being honest, which is what we were anyway. You’re like, “All you’re gonna do is just tell the truth, and you’re gonna be okay.” So, we went in, and there were no worries because I knew when I had the accidents. I didn’t remember all the names of everybody that went to you, but you reassured me that that wasn’t important that time, just basic timeline because the rest of it would come out during our deposition.
Gary: Did you watch the deposition video prep things that I did and the different stuff that we have on the website for prepping?
Audra: Oh I tried. I couldn’t get them all to open, so the first time I really got any of it was when I came in. I think I called like Casey, and she was like, “Okay, we’re all gonna be okay.”
Gary: We brought you in.
Audra: You brought me in.
Gary: And we did at that. Good, good.
Gary: And then we deposed the defendants. They came up with some crazy stories about how the accident happened.
Gary: But I think I did a pretty good job on calling BS on that.
Audra: Yes, we did.
Gary: Yeah, because it couldn’t have happened that way.
Audra: No, there was no way.
Gary: So whenever you have a, and you had an underinsured policy on your own insurance policy, and you have to make sure you get the full amount on the underlying case, so we settled the full amount for the 25 grand and then a little bit from the first accident, right?
Gary: And then we made our underinsured claim, and you had significant damages from this. You had a lot of wage loss. I know you were hurting for a long time.
Audra: I still hurt occasionally from the injury that I sustained, and there are many things that I still can’t do. I can’t play sports or do anything that’s gonna jar my back anymore, ride rollercoasters, stuff like that, but yeah. I’m not mad of my job at work that I’ve had for 17 years, and when that happened, I took over $4 an hour pay cut that I’ll never gain back. Yeah, both accidents combined drastically affected my life.
Gary: And I know we made those wage loss claims, and if anybody watches it, you know, getting this much money in a case doesn’t just happen. Your damages were significant, the wage loss claim, and not only did we prove the past wage loss claim but the $4 in our wage differential as you say, we take that into a future… Sometimes we hire economists for this case we did, and I was an Econ major, so I do a lot of those economic arguments myself, and they were persuasive. Did you feel that you were fully compensated in this for your injuries?
Audra: I do after the underinsured came through.
Gary: Now you do.
Audra: Now I do. Yeah, because at first, whenever… The second accident actually caused the majority of my injury. Their cap was so low that it barely covered my medical costs over the last two years between all my physical therapy, all my specialists that I had to go see, the chiropractors which there were two of them, my pain management specialist.
Gary: You had injections.
Audra: Yeah. I had a set of 12 injections total in my back and my side.
Gary: You did a lot of work. You did a lot of work.
Audra: Yeah, a lot.
Gary: You know, that’s the thing. Missouri minimum’s insurance is $25,000 and for someone like you that just ain’t enough to compensate you, so it’s good to always remember when you get car insurance to get that underinsured coverage because if you’re in a wreck, and the other side doesn’t have enough insurance to compensate you, then you have your own underinsured claim you go after, and then you’re able to, if you’re unfortunate to have those significant injuries, then your back. So, any other lessons you learned from this process or anything else you learned?
Audra: Well, I don’t ever want to get into another car accident. That’s one thing. No, I just… I know that if anything ever happened like that again, I would definitely come back to you to represent me again.
Gary: Well, we’re gonna be friends forever. I appreciate your support. I appreciate you doing the video for us, and anybody else who’s looking for a good lawyer, and you’d recommend me again. So, if you ever need a good lawyer for this, visit www.burgerlaw.com . Call us at 314-542- 2222. Email me at [email protected], and we’ll be happy to help you. Thank you.