On December 4, 2007 Richard G. was thrown from a vehicle occupied by several people who had stolen plumbing supplies from his truck. Not surprisingly those individuals fled the scene and were never identified.
Following the accident, Mr. G. was transported by EMS to the Detroit Medical Center where he was diagnosed with a Closed Head Injury and multiple facial fractures. The staff noted that he was speaking in full sentences, but not making sense. On CT multiple comminuted fractures were seen to the lateral wall of the right orbit, posterolateral and anterolateral walls of the right maxillary sinus with multiple fracture fragments seen within the right maxillary sinus, comminuted fractures to the right zygomaticarch and pterygoid plate. Mr. G. underwent reconstructive surgery (Open reduction internal fixation of right zygomaticomaxillary fracture done through intraoral approach). He was discharged with a diagnosis of Moderate traumatic brain injury secondary to motor vehicle collision with the patient as the pedestrian with Mild difficulty in walking.
Despite his severe and extensive injuries Mr. G’s insurance company terminated his benefits after it sent him to several doctors that it frequently uses to obtain favorable reports. Not surprisingly each of these frequently used doctors said that Richard had made a full and complete recovery. Richard came to the firm several years after the accident and more than a year after his insurance benefits had been terminated by his insurance company.
Upon reviewing his No-Fault policy we determined that Richard had purchased uninsured motorist insurance which would provide coverage to him for the hit and run type crash. SMDA filed suit on Richard’s behalf for the uninsured motorist coverage and to get his PIP benefits reinstated. After lengthy litigation, SMDA was able to convince the insurance company to arbitrate the case wherein a very favorable arbitration award was issued against the insurance company despite the opinions of its frequently used doctors who said nothing was wrong with him.
This case perfectly illustrates the critical importance of purchasing uninsured motorist coverage. Had Mr. G not purchased this coverage he would have essentially been out of luck for his pain and suffering. One last thing-this coverage is typically very inexpensive, usually less than $30 per year! Do yourself and your family a favor and call your insurance agent to make sure you have this coverage. DO IT. NOW.