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While I was away-PIP, UM and Trials

It has been quite awhile since I last posted a blog. I have not had the time to post because while I was away I tried several cases.

In addition to handling Long Term Disability cases our firm also handles various other types of matters including automobile accident insurance claims.

In December I tried a case for a client who was injured in a 2005 motor vehicle crash. She had neck surgery for a herniated disc but continued to have pain and problems for which she received ongoing treatment. Her Insurance company, which I will not identify, (State Farm) refused to pay for any of her medical care. When a person is injured in a car crash their insurer is responsible for paying their personal injury protection (PIP) benefits, including lifetime medical care.

My client is the nicest person who takes care of an adult child with profound disabilities. The Insurance company did everything it could to try and avoid paying her medical bills going so far as to argue that she could perform physical therapy on herself at home.

I am glad to say that the jury completely rejected the Insurance Companies arguments and decided they should pay every single penny that we sought.

Then I just finished a trial this week for a client who was injured in a 2004 crash. We sued his insurance company for underinsured motorist (UM) coverage. This is coverage which you buy for yourself which should pay if you get in a car crash and the at-fault driver does not have enough coverage.

My client suffered a serious injury to his ankle called a sub-talar dislocation. He soon developed post-traumatic arthritis. He walks with a limp and has ankle pain every single day. His doctors have offered ankle fusion surgery but cannot promise him that it will relieve his pain.

The Insurance company took the position that the money paid by the at-fault driver’s insurer (Allstate-after years of litigation) $100,000 was “adequate compensation.” We strongly disagreed.

The case was complicated by the fact that my client is the owner of a small business with strong ties to the auto industry who experienced a significant decline in revenue the year before the crash. The Insurance company argued that his loss of income was solely due to the economic conditions of the industry, rather than his serious ankle injury.

I am glad to say that the jury completely rejected the insurance companies arguments and entered a verdict for more than $900,000.