What Happens When Insurance Isn’t Enough to Cover Accident Damages?

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The night of February 6, 2015 changed the life of a 47-year-old man driving on the New Jersey Turnpike. That night, his vehicle collided with another vehicle that was stopped on the turnpike. The collision caused the man’s car to careen into the center lane, where it collided with another car. As a result, the man filed a lawsuit , and now a jury must decide if an insurance company must pay for accident damages.

What to Do When Insurance Can’t Cover Accident Damages?

Heading home to Howell from Manhattan, the 47-year-old encountered a car sitting in the road with no lights or hazard indicators blinking. He tried to swerve out of the way, but it was too late. He hit that car, and then struck another motorist’s vehicle. The crash left him with multiple hip fractures, but when it came time for the insurance company pay his claim, the company put up road blocks. So, the 47-year-old took Allstate to court.

The 47-year-old came to a settlement with the driver of the car parked in the middle of the road. However, the compensation provided by the driver didn’t cover all of the man’s medical expenses, so he filed an underinsured motorist claim.  The matter wound up in court after the insurer, Allstate, refused the claim.

In court, the 47-year-old claimed that he sustained injuries so severe that he will need a total hip replacement and revision surgeries. He also had four plates and thirteen screws implanted in his hip after emergency surgery. He claimed that the car that was parked in the road had no lights on or hazards flashing, making the crash the fault of the driver of the other vehicle. However, Allstate argued that the collision was the fault of the 47-year-old and not the driver that had stopped her car on the New Jersey Turnpike. The jury did not agree.

What Was the Jury’s Verdict?

The jury found that the stopped car was 100 percent liable for the crashes, and that Allstate should pay $2.5 million to the injured 47-year-old for his pain and suffering. Underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage protects you in the event that you are involved in an accident with a driver who either doesn’t have insurance, or doesn’t have enough insurance to cover the damage inflicted. Yet, even with this coverage, insurance companies can be very resistant to paying a claim. This is why having an experienced attorney by your side can make all the difference.

Having representation helps you know your rights, and it can keep an insurance company from giving you a settlement that won’t fully compensate you for the damages you’ve sustained. So, if you get into an accident with someone who doesn’t have insurance, be sure to contact an attorney before you file a claim.

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