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Motorcycle Accident Results in $250,000 Settlement

This is a personal injury claim arising out of a motorcycle crash where the injured party sustained severe injuries including: multiple rib fractures, subdural hematoma/brain bleed,  collapsed vertebrae, contusion of the lung, and a laceration to his left leg. Richmond based law firm Geoff McDonald and Associates used the risk of bad faith litigation in their favor to quickly secure a tender of the $250,000 policy limits. 

In mid-July the injured party was traveling on a motorcycle through western Virginia when he was struck by a motorist making a left hand turn across multiple lanes of oncoming traffic. This collision resulted in a T-bone style crash that launched the motorcyclist from his motorcycle. Paramedics arrived at the scene and took the injured party to a nearby local hospital. The injured party was then triaged and airlifted to a level one trauma center where he spent the next days under intensive hospital care. 

Moving quickly, the attorneys at Geoff McDonald and Associates realized the necessity to promptly settle the claim for no less than the liability insurer’s policy limits. After an initial conversation between the attorney and the insurance company in which the insurance company balked at tendering the liability limits, a bad faith demand letter was sent to the insurer as well as the insureds. The short three-page demand letter outlined the insurance company’s responsibility to settle the claim within the policy limits and that any failure to do so may result in an excess judgment at trial – for which the insured would be responsible for. The letter also informed the insured of their right to excess judgment counsel in the event of a verdict that exceeds their policy limits. 

Within a week of the insurance company’s receipt of the demand letter, an offer to tender the entirety of the $250,000 liability policy was made to avoid litigation. 

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GMA Paralegal named ‘Unsung Legal Hero’ 2020

For the past 18 years, Cheryll Reid has served as manager of the firm’s workers’ compensation department, where she has overseen record growth. During her tenure at the firm, Cheryll has helped guide and assist attorneys manage more than 2,000 workers’ comp claims. She has lent her insight, experience and service to both our young and seasoned attorneys. She is admired by her peers for her service, knowledge, mentorship and dedication to her clients and the firm. She is genuinely concerned with the well-being of each client and routinely exceeds the call of duty by providing outstanding client service.

I chose the legal field: I wanted to help people in their time of need. I wanted to be that person that stood up for the rights of others.  

I most enjoy: I enjoy helping and working with our clients and helping them through difficult times. I also enjoy the atmosphere that our firm has. 

Professional accomplishment: I think my biggest professional accomplishment has been the ability to help others, and working my way up from an entry level position to management.  

My first job: Working for an insurance company. I believe this is the reason that I decided to work for our clients rather than against them. It hurt me to have to tell someone that we were not going to cover their injuries. 

In my free time: In my spare time, I am on the board of a youth football team. It helps me to give back to the community. I also like relaxing and spending time with my family. 

Favorite get-away: Hawaii and going on cruises. 

You don’t know: Most people do not know that I hate speaking in public and that I am an introvert.

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Geoff McDonald & Associates Helps Win $38.2 Million Settlement

RICHMOND, VA – Geoff McDonald, founder and president of Geoff McDonald & Associates is a member of the legal team that recently won a $38.2 million settlement against Banner Life and related company William Penn Life Insurance of New York accused of illegally increasing premiums for 7,600 existing life insurance policyholders.

Geoff McDonald & Associates, a personal injury law firm based in Richmond, joined three other law firms in representing policyholders who received notices from Banner Life that their monthly payments would increase by as much as 1,000 percent. McDonald and co-counsel and partner, Frank H. Hupfl, represented their client who was notified that his monthly premium increased from $285 to $1,860.

After five years of litigation the case was resolved on May 20 with Maryland U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett approving a settlement that included these terms:

a common settlement fund of $22.5 million awarded to the three named plaintiffs and a class representing over 10,000 members,
an agreement that the insurance companies will forgo similar rate increases for five years and $18 million in equitable, non-monetary relief, and
the collective value of the proposed settlement benefits of $40,749,525.
In expressing satisfaction with the recovery amount for the policyholders and impact on the life insurance companies, McDonald stated, “I like to think our firm helped tamp down the fraud and other improper actions committed by life insurance companies.”

About Geoff McDonald & Associates, P.C.

Geoff McDonald & Associates (GMA) is a Richmond, Virginia personal injury law firm counseling clients on motor vehicle, motorcycle and truck accidents, brain injury, wrongful death, defective products, workers’ compensation, social security and insurance fraud. GMA also serves families and children through the firm’s dedicated Children’s Injury Law Center. For more information visit https://www.mcdonaldinjurylaw.com.