Sauter Sullivan: Insurance Dispute Attorneys in St. Louis, Missouri and Illinois.
The Lawyers at Sauter Sullivan are experts at helping you resolve disputes with insurance companies over the validity of your claim or parts of your claim. Most insurance disputes are over car accidents, homeowner’s damages or liabilities (Premises Liability), and healthcare insurance denial of coverage or payments. Usually the insurance company is denying you benefits and payments you have a right to receive under your policy, or under the policy of someone else who is responsible for your injury or suffering, or the insurance company is making an unfair and low offer to settle your claim and take away your future rights to the claim.
You don’t have to be afraid of the big insurance companies, and just accept what they offer, or just roll over when you are denied benefits and payments you deserve. The Insurance Dispute Attorneys at Sauter Sullivan negotiate with insurance companies on the behalf of our clients almost every day, and we are frequently in court defending the rights of our clients against insurance companies big and small.
If you have a dispute with an insurance company, and you aren’t getting what your believe you are entitled to under the relevant policy, then you should talk to an experienced lawyer right away. The Lawyers at Sauter Sullivan are experts at handling insurance company disputes through negotiation and through litigation, and we can help you.
- Christopher Geldmacher Gets $350,000 Settlement for Woman Injured in Collision with Motorist Assistance Vehicle
A 63 year old woman who works as a home health worker was driving northbound on Highway 157 in Collinsville, Illinois. Suddenly, a large motorist assistance vehicle driving southbound attempted to make a left turn in front of her without yielding and struck the woman’s vehicle almost head-on. She was taken to Anderson Hospital by ambulance, and where she was diagnosed with whiplash injuries to her neck and lower back. The emergency room doctor instructed her to seek follow up medical care. The woman sought treatment from a chiropractor. During the course of her treatment with the chiropractor, it was determined that she needed MRIs of her spine. The MRIs showed herniated discs in her neck and lower back, and she was referred to an orthopedic spine surgeon. The spine surgeon found she was a candidate for back surgery, but it was agreed to try non-operative treatment first. She received injections from a pain management doctor. The injections helped but did not resolve her problems. Ultimately, the woman and her spine surgeon determined that the only option left for her was surgery. At the time that her case resolved, the woman was waiting to have surgery, on the instructions of the spine surgeon, until the point where her pain had progressed to the point where she could not function without getting the problem surgically repaired. She plans on having the surgery when her pain reaches that point.
Chris Geldmacher represented the woman and attempted to negotiate with the insurance company for the motorist assistance vehicle. Geldmacher found the insurance company was not willing to pay an amount considered fair to his client, so he filed suit on her behalf. Shortly after filing, the insurance company for the motorist assistance vehicle reopened negotiations. They were able to arrive at a settlement without having to get very far into the lawsuit. Chris negotiated a settlement of $350,000 for his client.
- $250,000 Settlement for Business Owner Injured by Negligent Driver
Attorney Christopher Geldmacher of Sauter Sullivan, represented a 48 year old business owner from Barnhart, Missouri who was the passenger in a vehicle struck by a 17 year old negligent driver in North St. Louis County. The client went to the ER, and then followed up with a chiropractor. The chiropractor ordered an MRI that revealed disc herniations and stenosis in both the cervical and lumbar spine. The client was then referred to an orthopedic spine surgeon. The surgeon found the client was a candidate for surgery in both his neck and lower back, but the surgeon and client agreed to try non-operative treatment first. The client went to a pain management specialist and physical therapy to try to avoid the need for surgery. The non-operative treatment helped the client but did not resolve the problems. The client returned to the surgeon, who told him surgery was the only remaining alternative to help his pain.
Since the client hadn’t had surgery yet, the insurance company for the negligent driver didn’t want to consider the cost of the surgery in negotiations. So, Mr. Geldmacher filed suit on behalf of his client. Shortly after filing suit, the insurance company approached Chris about mediating the case. At the mediation, Chris was able to negotiate a settlement that considers his client’s future need for surgery and earned his client a $250,000 settlement.
- Over $1.1 Million Won for Injured Construction Worker in Worker’s Compensation related Car Accident
A heavy equipment operator who was suffered a job related injury came to Sauter Sullivan to see if we could help with his complicated case. The client was employed by an Illinois based company, and was working at a construction site at an airport in St. Louis, Missouri.
The employer had previously housed our client and other employees at a hotel while they were working on the job, but had discontinued that benefit, forcing workers to look for their own housing while working on the construction site. On a rainy day, the plaintiff was seriously injured in a car accident while looking for a campsite to keep his trailer. Sauter Sullivan did a thorough examination of both Missouri Worker’s Compensation Law and Illinois Worker’s Compensation Law, and determined that the client’s case should be filed in Illinois because of its favorable travelling employee law. The insurance company made no offer in the case because they claimed the client was not in the course and scope of his employment when the car accident occurred. Sauter Sullivan took the case to trial and won the client an award of over $800,000 plus coverage for continued medical treatment. Sauter Sullivan also collected over $300,000 from the insurance company of the driver who cause the collision, making the total award to the client over $1.1 Million.
- $450,000 Settlement for Truck Driver Hit While Changing Tire
A young, recently married couple from a small town in Southern Illinois was faced with uncertainty after the husband was involved in a terrible truck accident. The husband drives a truck for a living, and was travelling on Highway 57 near Effingham, Illinois, when he had a tire blow out on his tractor-trailer. He put on his flashers and pulled his truck completely off the highway on to the shoulder.
- Workers’ Compensation Case Settles on the Eve of Trial for $155,000 Plus Open Medical Benefits for the Remainder of the Client’s Life
Matthew J. Sauter from Sauter Sullivan represented a roofer who fell through a weakened roof in Jefferson County, Missouri while on-the-job. The roofer sustained severe orthopedic injuries to his wrist and elbow, which required surgery. Matt Sauter filed a Workers’ Compensation case on behalf of his client. During the course of the case, the roofer kept complaining of headaches and memory loss. At that point, no doctor had diagnosed Sauter Sullivan’s client with a head injury. Matt Sauter felt that his client had a head injury caused by the fall, and pursued this aspect of the case. When the insurance company would not retain a doctor to treat the client, Sauter Sullivan retained a doctor and obtained a diagnosis and treatment for the client. The insurance company finally agreed to provide treatment for the head injury. The initial offer on the case was $20,000. The client was able to go back to work, so Sauter Sullivan could not make a claim for permanent total disability benefits. After a long fight, and the retention of several medical experts, and depositions, Sauter Sullivan was able to get the insurance company to agree to pay a settlement of $155,000 plus full medical benefits for the client for the remainder of his life.
- $125,000 Settlement for Man Who Suffered Stroke after Head-On Collision
In January 2013, a high school principal and father was driving in south St. Louis City when another driver coming from the opposite direction tried to make a left hand turn in front of him, causing a head-on collision. The client initially went to the ER for complaints of neck and back pain, and then started chiropractic treatment. Then, a few days after the car accident he suffered a stroke, which required a lengthy hospitalization, and extensive treatment and therapy. While the injuries and treatment from the car accident itself were not very substantial, the injuries resulting from the stroke were quite extensive, requiring over a year of therapy and causing the man to miss over 6 months of work.
There were many intricate questions about whether the stroke was causally related to the car accident as the client had pre-existing risk factors that could have resulted in the stroke. The gentleman came to the Sauter Sullivan law firm for help. Carolyn Caruthers listened to the man’s story, took the case and worked hard to ensure her client got the compensation he deserved. Claims were made with the other driver’s insurance company as well as the clients for underinsured motorist coverage. Caruthers consulted with medical experts and fought through a protracted investigation on the causal connection between the car accident and the subsequent stroke. In the end, Caruthers was able to gain two policy limits settlements for her client totaling $125,000.
- Seriously Injured Auto Accident Victim Gets $100,000 Settlement from Insurance Company
A sales manager in his mid-40’s was seriously injured in an auto accident in Madison County, Illinois. The man was driving to work on a snowy January morning when a woman driving towards him from the opposite direction lost control of her vehicle and crossed over into the man’s lane, striking his vehicle. The impact spun the man’s vehicle around in such a manner that the woman’s car struck him a second time and pushed his vehicle off the road into a ditch. The man suffered serious injuries to his neck, shoulder and knee as a result of the car crash. The knee was so badly damaged he required a total knee replacement, and his shoulder required surgery to repair his rotator cuff. He also had 3 disc bulges in his neck for which surgery was not a good option, requiring him to undergo more conservative treatment including physical therapy and injections. His injuries were so severe he was off work for a period of time for which he lost wages, plus he incurred huge medical expenses associated with his surgery and rehabilitation therapy. When the woman driver’s insurance company was not forthcoming with compensation, the injured man contacted Carolyn Caruthers at the Sauter Sullivan law firm. Caruthers assertively negotiated on behalf of her client in the insurance company dispute, and reached a settlement wherein the insurance company paid $100,000 in compensation, the maximum limit under the policy.
- $75,000 Jury Verdict for Express Scripts Employee Injured in Rear-End Collision
A 43-year-old Express Scripts employee and father of four was injured in a rear-end collision heading westbound in backed up traffic on Interstate 70 just outside of downtown St. Louis. The man went to the ER and followed up with a chiropractor for treatment of the injuries he sustained. Ten months after finishing treatment with the chiropractor, he was still suffering with neck and shoulder problems. He went back to the chiropractor for additional care. The chiropractor then referred him to an orthopedic surgeon for injections in his neck and left shoulder. The treatments left the man with medical bills totaling just over $31,000.00.
The other driver’s insurance company refused to take responsibility for the client’s injuries arguing that since there was very little damage to either car involved in the collision, the man’s injuries could not be that serious. The gentleman hired Christopher Geldmacher of Sauter Sullivan to represent him with regard to his injuries and fight the insurance company. Initially, the insurance company was only offering just over $12,000.00…only enough to cover about a third of the victim’s medical bills due to the accident.
Mr. Geldmacher filed suit and fought to get his client a fair resolution of his claim. Just before the trial, the insurance company raised its offer to $21,000.00, still well short of the medical expenses. Mr. Geldmacher took the gentleman’s case to a jury trial in the City of St. Louis. At trial, the insurance company once again argued that the light damage to the vehicles involved meant that this man’s injuries could not have been as severe as the doctors were saying. The jury did not agree. Instead, the jury awarded Mr. Geldmacher’s client $75,000.00.
- $21,000 Settlement for Mother of Two Involved in a Car Accident with a False Police Report
A woman traveling south bound on Route 3 in St. Clair County, Illinois, stopped at a red light at the intersection of Camp Jackson Road, and waited to turn left. After getting a green left turn arrow, she started into the intersection. As she did so, another driver traveling north bound ran a red light and crashed into her vehicle. The woman was rushed to the hospital by ambulance, and her car was totaled. She suffered soft tissue injuries to her neck, back and both knees, experienced headaches, and required chiropractic treatment after the accident. The police officer who investigated the car accident blamed the accident on the woman without actually getting a statement from her. The officer sided with the other driver from the beginning and used a statement from a witness to justify the findings in the police report. Medical bills were coming in, the woman’s car was totaled and the insurance company was denying her claim. Desperate for help, this mother of two came to Chris Geldmacher at Sauter Sullivan. Chris contacted the witness cited in the police report, and found out that the statement attributed to the witness in the police report was incorrect. Mr. Geldmacher took a statement from the witness that was recorded in which the witness explained that the police report was false and that Mr. Geldmacher’s client was not at fault. He also located a second, independent witness who corroborated his client’s story. After fighting with the insurance company and ultimately filing suit against them, Mr. Geldmacher convinced the insurance company that the police report was wrong and that its insured was at fault. In the end, Mr. Geldmacher worked out a $21,000 settlement on behalf of his client.