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Auto Accident – Insurance – UIM Claim

TOPIC: Auto Accident – Insurance – UIM Claim SETTLEMENT:

$ $825,000. Defendant’s primary carrier tendered $25,000. The remainder of the award was paid under two UIM policies (USAA paid $225,000 and Travelers paid $575,000).

DATE OF SETTLEMENT: 12/15/2005
JUDGE: None

PLAINTIFF ATTORNEY(S):George E. Francisco, Winston-Salem

Fred Folger Jr., Mount Airy

DEFENDANT ATTORNEY(S): Withheld

AGE: 71
SEX: F
MARITAL STATUS: Widowed

FACTS:

An elderly woman was injured in a motor vehicle collision caused by a 16 year old driving under the influence of marijuana. The driver admitted liability and, after a lengthy insurance proceeds debate, plaintiff agreed to a mediated settlement in the amount of $825,000.

Plaintiff was a 71 year old female. She was a passenger in an SUV struck by a vehicle driven by the 16 year old defendant. Reportedly, defendant had run a stop sign and was under the influence of marijuana at the time of the collision. Defendant admitted liability and pled guilty to felony DUI.

Plaintiff suffered significant injuries to her head and chest and claimed past and future medical expenses in excess of $400,000. Defendant had only $50,000 in primary liability coverage. Plaintiff and the host driver both had underinsured motorist policies. The two underinsured motorist policies offered combined coverage of $1,500,000. Plaintiff asserted claims under all three policies.

Both liability and damages were conceded. However, total damages and allocation of liability were in dispute. Defendant’s primary insurance company filed an action requesting allocation of liability coverage limits. The primary UIM carrier tendered its limits of $50,000 to the court and cross claimed for interpleader. The issues were resolved through mediation with a final settlement of $825,000 to the plaintiff.

ALLEGED INJURY:

Moderate closed head injury resulting in loss of consciousness and mild cognitive impairments, multiple facial fractures, lacerations and abrasions, rib fractures, a pulmonary embolism and myocardial contusion. Plaintiff submitted a claim of $187,220 for past medical expenses and $221,398 for future medical expenses.

INSURANCE CARRIER: Owners (Liability); USAA (Primary UIM), Travelers (Secondary UIM)

EXPERT WITNESSES:

Plaintiff:

Charles R. Bokesh, M.D. – Internist – Mt. Airy, NC Adrian M. Griffin, M.D. – Psychiatrist – Mt. Airy, NC

Defendant: N/A

CASE CAPTION:

Anonymous 71 Year Old Passenger v. Anonymous 16 Year Old Driver
CASE NUMBER: 04 CP 30 0863
VENUE: Laurens County, SC
COURT: Court of Common Pleas
CITY: Laurens

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