Our Personal Injury Settlements and Verdicts
The list below is only a partial list of our cases. Many of our cases—including some of our biggest cases—are so confidential that we can’t disclose any information here on our website. Our success is due in large part to the fact that we are constantly creating new ways for insurance companies to understand the full value of each one of our cases. At Christensen & Hymas we fight to recover all of the compensation to which our clients are entitled. Since we do not run a high volume practice, all of our clients get our personal attention – no matter the size of your case! Please note, out of respect for our clients’ confidentiality, we will not disclose their full names when listing the cases they have brought. Please also note that the insurance companies in Utah have the benefit of not being the named defendant in most cases, but they are the real-party-in-interest. In other words, while somebody else is the named “defendant,” it is the insurance companies below that choose whether to deny payment, that decrease payment, and that control what lawyers to hire and what defense methods to employ to deny our clients the compensation that they believe they are entitled to under the law. For that reason, we have listed the insurance company as the defendant, as that is the powerful interest we went against to achieve the results listed. Disclaimer: Keep in mind that the cases and results achieved were determined by many factors. Every case is different and must stand on its own merits. As a result, these verdicts and settlements, while accurate, cannot represent what we may obtain for your case.
Fatal Car Accident C.H. v. Geico Insurance $5,266,265
C.H. and her husband were driving together on I-80 in Salt Lake City when C.H., who was driving, felt a migraine headache coming on. She pulled over onto the shoulder of the freeway so her husband could drive. As C.H. and her husband stopped the car and were getting ready to change seats, a reckless driver approached, following behind a semi-truck. The impatient driver decided to pass the semi-truck on the right, driving on the shoulder of the freeway. As soon as he pulled onto the shoulder, he slammed into the back of our client’s car, instantly killing her husband and seriously injuring her.
Fatal Car Accident – Drunk Driver W.A. v. State Farm Insurance $1,307,475
W.A. and his beautiful wife had been married for 45 years and were traveling to Moab for a weekend golf retreat when a reckless driver, under the influence of drugs, crossed over the center line, hitting W.A.’s vehicle head-on. The impact caused his vehicle to spin around and collide with a semi-truck, killing W.A.’s wife. W.A. contacted our firm, confused and heart-broken after losing the love of his life. The insurance company was treating his wife’s death just like any other claim, and the reckless driver wasn’t being prosecuted. W.A. was grieving with his family and didn’t know the best way to handle his wife’s claim. At Christensen & Hymas we started investigating the case, contacted the prosecutor, and handled all communication with the insurance companies, so W.A. could focus on his family and their needs. Since W.A.’s wife was 64 years old at the time of her death, we knew that State Farm would down play the value of her life and life expectancy. So we took the time to interview her family, friends and doctors and compiled their statements into a compelling video that was sent to State Farm with our settlement demand. State Farm quickly realized how amazing W.A.’s wife was and how much she meant to him and his family. We were successful in recovering one of the largest settlements in Utah for the loss of love, companionship, society, comfort, protection, and care from W.A.’s wife.
T-Boned Car Accident NS and CS v. State Farm $84,500 Liability Policy Limits and UIM Policy Limits
NS was driving with her husband, CS, southbound through a green light on 1200 West when Defendant turning left on 800 North T-boned NS. The force of the accident threw CS into the sun visor causing severe lacerations and a broken nose requiring surgery. NS suffered cuts and burns to her hands, face, and head including fractures to multiple bones. After receiving the at-fault driver’s full policy limits, we then turned to our client’s underinsured motorist coverage with her own car insurance (Allstate) and were able to collect under that policy. We succeeded in helping the insurance companies see the damage the defendant had caused and how it affected our clients.
Rear-ended on I-15 WR v. USAA and Allied Ins. $75,000 Liability Policy Limits and UIM Policy Limits
WR was headed southbound on I-15 in North Las Vegas, NV pulling a trailer. He came to a stop with traffic and was rear-ended. The accident caused severe back injuries and many secondary problems as a result. WR’s medical bills quickly started adding up, because of a surgery to repair two discs in his back. We found out that the Defendant’s insurance policy was just a fraction of the medical bills. In order to compensate for the small amount of insurance available to reimburse WR’s damages, we employed a strategy of collaboration. Through negotiation were able to get the defendant’s policy limits and then moved on to WR’s own underinsured policy. It didn’t take much convincing to get the underinsured limits as well. With the combination of settlements, health insurance, and medical providers agreeing to take reductions, we were able to cover WR’s medical bills, get future medical care, and compensate WR for pain and suffering.
Rear-ended by Texting Driver ST v. Allstate $12,500
ST was headed north on I-15 near Springville when traffic stopped due to construction. A cell phone went off in the car behind ST, the driver of that car reached to grab the phone. When he looked up, he swerved into ST’s lane to avoid a collision and rear-ended ST. The accident caused whiplash injuries and severe headaches. After ST concluded his chiropractic treatment, negotiations began with Allstate. It took a few rounds of negotiation to make sure Allstate understood the facts. They eventually agreed to cover all of ST’s medical bills, reimburse his PIP, and put a fair amount in his pocket for the pain and suffering and inconvenience of the entire ordeal.
Pedestrian Hit by Car Backing Up LB v. Progressive Insurance $15,000
In the grocery store parking lot LB had placed her children in the car while loading groceries. A driver backing out of the parking stall stepped on the wrong pedal when trying to brake. The car lunged backwards into LB’s car while she was still loading groceries. The car door slammed down and causing neck, back, and knee pain.
Head-on Collision with Drunk Driver MJ v. Bristol West Insurance and Allstate $100,000 Policy Limits
MJ was headed east on SR-6 in Spanish Fork Canyon when a drunk driver swerved in front of him and hit him head-on. The collision caused significant back problems (herniated discs), a deep knee laceration exposing the knee cap and shredding the tendon, a head laceration, a shoulder injury, right knee meniscus tear, neck injuries, and severe headaches. Obviously, the medical bills began to pile up quickly. The driver was charged with reckless endangerment and alcohol-open container. Bristol West, the at-fault driver’s insurance company, tendered their policy limits of $50,000 as soon as negotiation started. We then pursued a claim under MJ’s own insurance because there wasn’t enough money in the at-fault carrier’s policy to pay the full value of the case. After going back and forth with the UIM carrier we were able to get MJ another $50,000 to pay for the medical bills, and compensate him for the significant pain and recovery he had to endure.
Permanent Neck Injury M.T. v. Safeco Insurance Confidential Settlement
M.T. had just started her sophomore year at BYU when she was riding in the back seat of a car that was rear-ended. The chronic pain and injuries she sustained made it difficult for M.T. to fulfill her curriculum, so she lost her art scholarship and had to change majors just to finish her degree. We obtained evidence and testimony demonstrating that our client will have severe pain and significant disabilities throughout her life. We were able to settle this case at mediation for an amount we are not able to disclose. Our client was very happy with the outcome of her case and the positive difference it will make on the rest of her life.
Pedestrian Accident – Wrongful Death T.E and R.E. v. Farmers Insurance and GEICO Insurance Policy Limit Settlement
T.E. answered the phone at the same time R.E. heard the sound of a life flight helicopter passing overhead. Neither imagined that both the call and the helicopter were for their daughter who, just five minutes before, had left for school. She had been struck by a car while crossing the street on the way to school, and had sustained a traumatic brain injury in the accident. Her parents could only stand by and watch in overwhelming grief as, over the course of the next several weeks, their daughter slipped into a coma and eventually out of their lives. Even though the defendant’s insurance limits were not high enough to cover the medical bills in excess of $1,000,000, we were able to negotiate with our client’s medical providers and health insurance carrier so our clients could get a fair settlement and even establish a fund in memory of their daughter. This is one of numerous cases we have seen in our years of practice where our clients needed more than the legal guidance we provided. They were grieving at a level few could understand, and we were able to provide them with resources and tools to navigate through the grieving process. In so doing, not only were we able to honor their loved one and resolve the case without filing a lawsuit, but we also developed a lasting bond with the family.
Fatal Car Accident C.N. v. Metlife Insurance Confidential Settlement
C.N.’s 19-year-old son was a passenger in a truck when the driver took a sharp turn on a rural country road too fast, causing the truck to roll several times before coming to rest. The driver survived, but our client’s son was killed in the roll-over. His family did the research on which attorney to hire and chose our firm. C.N.’s son was a remarkable young man with a bright future full of promising professional achievement, but the insurance company tried to argue that our client’s life wasn’t as valuable because he wasn’t married and no one was financially dependent on him. We successfully proved otherwise.
Bicycle Accident H.D. v. Roto-Rooter Confidential Settlement
H.D. came to our office when his original attorney told him he didn’t think he could win his case. H.D., a musician and contractor, was riding his bike through a crosswalk near 900 South in Salt Lake City when a Roto-Rooter employee who wasn’t paying attention to the traffic signal struck H.D. on his bike, nearly killing him. Surgeons were able to keep his leg from being amputated, but H.D. lost 90% of the use of that leg. He also sustained a serious brain injury. When Roto-Rooter’s insurance company refused to accept responsibility for the collision, we filed a lawsuit. The insurance company eventually made a fair settlement offer at mediation. The amount is confidential, but our client was very thankful that we filed the lawsuit and reached a successful settlement that included future medical care, lost wages and pain and suffering.
Fatal Car Accident R.L and S.B. v. CNA Insurance $521,873
R.L and S.B. contacted our firm shortly after their mother had been killed in an automobile accident. They were uncertain how to navigate through the complex process of a wrongful death claim. Both children were extremely close to their 78-year-old mother. Although she had multiple sclerosis and was confined to a wheelchair, their mom was a strong, vibrant, and sharp woman. One of their biggest concerns was that the insurance company, CNA, would not treat the claim fairly because of their mom’s advanced age and medical condition. We believed the best way for CNA to get to know their mom was through her family members and close friends. We interviewed many of them and created a DVD that we sent to CNA so the adjuster could see the kind of person she was and the tremendous void that her passing left. We also met with their mother’s primary doctor, who confirmed that she had many years of life left in her! And when CNA made an insulting offer to settle the claim, we demanded arbitration and had the matter decided by an arbitration panel. We received the arbitration award–nearly double what the insurance company had initially offered! The amount of the award sets a precedent for the value of these types of claims in Utah, and will help others in the future who lose elderly family members due to another’s careless conduct. But this claim was never about money for R.L. and S.B. “I would give back every penny to have one more precious moment with my angel mom,” S.B. said. Of course, no award could ever serve as an adequate substitute for the remaining years that our clients would have enjoyed with their mother, but it did force CNA to recognize how invaluable those “golden years” were. We were humbled by S.B.’s comments after the claim was resolved. “Thank you for taking the time to get to know my mom throughout the case,” she said. “It was an honor to have you represent her. You did her proud!” We are grateful for R.L and S.B.’s trust in us, and for the opportunity to get to know their mom through her children’s eyes. We are also optimistic that the result we were able to obtain will help insurance companies to look at those who have been seriously injured or killed in accidents as real people, not just numbers, and place a fair value on their claims.
Rear-end Car Accident K.F. v. American National Property and Casualty Insurance (ANPAC) $500,000 Policy Limits
This high speed rear-end collision caused extensive damage to K.F.’s vehicle and the forces involved broke the back of her seat, resulting in a herniated disk that compressed the L5 and S1 nerve roots. Surgery was inevitable. K.F received a spinal cord stimulator implant that allowed her to return to some level of normal activity. After receiving the at-fault driver’s full policy limits, we then turned to our client’s underinsured motorist coverage with her own car insurance company (ANPAC). ANPAC initially claimed that K.F.’s policy limits were only $10,000 and not the substantially higher limit she had requested when purchasing her insurance. We successfully proved that she was entitled to the higher amount and eventually settled for the full policy limits.
Left-hand Turn Accident – Mild Traumatic Brain Injury D.L. v. Allstate Insurance $325,000
D.L., a 12-year-old young man, was a passenger in his brother’s car when a negligent driver turned left directly in front of them. D.L’s head struck the side window, knocking him unconscious. D.L sustained a mild traumatic brain injury that caused significant short term memory problems and chronic migraine headaches. We helped D.L. get cognitive therapy and a settlement that included funds to cover his future medical costs and compensation for the headaches he will experience throughout his life.
Head-on Collision – Back Surgery R.L. vs. Farm Bureau Insurance and Allied Insurance $200,000 Policy Limits Settlement
R.L., a 28-year-old construction worker, was involved in a head-on collision when another driver attempted to turn left in front of him. He suffered a severe back injury that required surgery. R.L.’s surgeon also told him that he will need the vertebrae in his back fused together in the near future. The insurance company disputed the need for a future surgery, and also argued that a prior back injury R.L. suffered at work was to blame for his problems, rather than the auto accident. We filed a lawsuit and proved otherwise. The insurance company finally backed down and paid the full policy limits. R.L. was extremely happy with the results.