36-Year-Old Woman Injured by Driver Who Made an Improper Turn

WRSH Partner Kenneth Halperin obtained a $225,000 award at an Underinsurance Arbitration hearing. This represented almost the entire $250,000 policy limits that were available.

The plaintiff was a 36-year-old woman who was injured when the vehicle that she was a passenger in was struck by another car that made an improper turn. As a result of the accident she sustained two herniated cervical discs. We also contended that as a result of the neck pain caused by the herniated discs she was forced to undergo a bilateral breast reduction in order to relieve the pressure upon her neck. Despite these injuries, she was able to return to work shortly after the accident.

After discovery proceedings, the defendant's insurance company offered their full policy limits of $25,000 to settle the case. After obtaining this offer, we filed for Underinsurance Arbitration because the vehicle that our client was in had a $250,000 SUM (Supplementary Uninsured/Underinsurance Motorist) coverage. This allows an additional recovery when accident victims are injured by vehicles without adequate insurance coverage.***

At the Arbitration hearing, our client, as well as one of her treating physicians, testified. We also introduced her complete medical records into evidence. The insurance company's attorney introduced medical records that disputed all of our client's claims, but did not go to the trouble, nor the expense, of calling a doctor to testify.

After the hearing, the Arbitrator sent out our client's MRI films for independent review. The review did not corroborate the findings of our client's treating radiologist who had diagnosed her with herniated discs.

Despite this, the Arbitrator found our case so compelling that she awarded damages of $225,000 out of a possible $250,000.

***It is imperative that you review your SUM policy limits so that you are protected in the event you are ever involved in a motor vehicle accident with a vehicle that does not have adequate insurance to cover your damages for medical expenses, possible loss of earnings and pain and suffering.

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