SMDA WINS UNDERINSURED MOTORIST VERDICT
SMDA Partner, Patrick Derkacz, 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.
Our 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.
We are glad to report that the jury completely rejected the insurance companies arguments and entered a verdict for more than $900,000.