Case Result: Head-on Collision on Two-Lane Road with Serious Injuries; Underinsured Negligent Driver
Our client, a 27-year-old woman, was on a dark road with one lane in each direction. She could see a car coming toward her, crossing over the center line and swerving back and forth. The oncoming vehicle was driven by an 83-year-old woman. As the elderly driver approached our client’s car, she swerved into the oncoming lane toward our client. Our client swerved to the left and the adverse driver corrected at the same time, resulting in a head-on collision.
Our client suffered multiple fractures including several ribs, an ankle, and knee. She was transported by EMS and was in the ICU for several weeks. She underwent multiple surgeries and was unable to walk for several months, leaving her wheelchair bound. Her medical bills totaled over $1 million, and she is still in treatment as of this writing.
This case had unique twists and only after pursuing many avenues was attorney Meehan able to collect this amount.
First, our client had her own auto insurance policy, which paid out $50,000. Attorney Meehan was able to collect all the underinsured (UIM) bodily injury coverage AND property damage from all applicable policies because she claimed punitive damages since the negligent driver crossed the center line. Underinsured motorist coverage, or UIM, protects the owner of the policy in the event they are injured, and the cost of their injuries exceeds the insurance coverage of the negligent party, as was the case with our client.
The victim was also living at home with her parents at the time of the accident, so Attorney Meehan was able to stack the underinsured motorist insurance coverage on these policies for $200,000 as well as pursue the adverse driver for as much as possible under her policy, which was $100,000. She collected approximately $39,000 in excess property damage from the adverse driver’s insurance as well.
While our client’s health insurance plan covered her medical bills, they did subrogate the claim, meaning they filed a lien on any money recovered. Luckily, this health plan allowed for reduction of the lien. Some healthcare plans, by federal law, do not allow reductions and the full amount must be paid, which would have wiped out the entire settlement.
Our client was employed at the time of the crash and exhausted her Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) time. Losing her job was also a constant worry.
After much consideration and discussion about pursuing a lawsuit, the client decided to settle with all parties, given the negligent driver had limited resources and a protracted court case would probably result in a similar outcome. The case took five months to come to conclusion.
Complex cases require the skill and knowledge of an experienced injury attorney. If you have questions about an injury case, call or contact us for a free consultation. We can help you weigh the pros and cons of the choices you have and advocate for you if you choose to pursue a claim.