Head-on motor vehicle accident
Injuries: Catastrophic orthopedic injuries
Outcome: Policy limit settlement
We handled a claim for a nice couple who were driving just across the Wisconsin/Iowa border on the Iowa side near Prairie du Chien. The husband had recently retired and his wife was set to retire from her banking job in two weeks time. The husband was driving and his wife was a front-seat passenger. As they were proceeding down the highway, an oncoming pick-up truck suddenly swerved into their lane apparently attempting to make a left-hand turn. A severe head-on collision resulted. Both of our clients sustained very severe orthopedic injuries that required multiple surgeries and lengthy hospital stays with some short-term nursing care to follow.
Both of these very nice people were left with permanent injuries and deficits. It is important to note that before this accident, both were perfectly healthy and active people getting ready to start their retirements.
Unfortunately, the defendant driver had limited liability coverage. Contributing to this problem was that our clients had limited underinsured motorist coverage. They had never realized how important this coverage was. They were also very upset to learn that their insurance agent had not sold them more coverage. Because of a then-existing clause in their own underinsured motorist coverage, they were not able to collect all of the policy limits that they had paid for.
Our clients were very upset about the realities of their own insurance coverage. Recently, we assisted them in testifying before the legislature describing how a hidden clause in their own insurance coverage worked against them. Fortunately, this type of clause was recently outlawed by the legislature which is to the benefit of all Wisconsin consumers. We were able to negotiate down our clients’ significant medical expenses and at least get them something out of this horrible accident. More importantly, our clients, with our help, were able to make a real difference in the way insurance law now works for all Wisconsin motorists.