Last week, a Mulvey, Cornell & Mulvey client received a $100,000 settlement for injuries he sustained in a car accident on October 8, 2011 in Raymond, NH. As our client proceeded down Nottingham Road another vehicle was approaching the intersection of Nottingham Road and Ham Road. The driver of the other vehicle failed to stop at the stop sign and entered the intersection causing the collision. The other driver told the investigating officer that she never saw the stop sign.
Immediately following the accident, our client was treated at the scene by EMT personnel and then was transported to Eliot Hospital. At the hospital, our client complained of pain in his head, neck, back, and left arm. Tests revealed that he suffered a fractured cervical vertebrae, at C-7, during the collision.
For the next month, our client was forced to wear a hard cervical collar to help keep his neck immobilized so that the fracture could heal. On November 10, in a follow-up visit, he was told he could switch to a soft collar. Then, on January 6, approximately three months after the car accident, he was told that he could begin to limit the use of his collar.
Over the course of the next few months, our client's pain in his neck had diminished significantly and eventually completely resolved. Unfortunately, the pain and numbness in his left arm and hand has not resolved. His left hand is constantly numb, which affects his ability to do any activities that require the use of that hand's fine motor capabilities. Our client has been told that this condition is likely permanent because the risks of surgery to repair the nerve do not outweigh the potential benefits.
Defendant's insurance company did not contest liability for the accident. They admitted that their insured was negligent for failing to stop at the stop sign. However, at first, they did contest the nature and extent of our client's injuries. Defendant's insurance policy had a maximum policy limit of $50,000. Following a series of discussions, we were able to convince the insurance company to pay the full $50,000 policy without the need for a lawsuit.
Fortunately, our client had an insurance policy on his car with limits of $100,000. Therefore, we were able to make an underinsured motorist claim against his insurance for the difference between his policy limits and the limits carried by the other driver. Initially, the underinsured insurance company argued that the claim was not worth another $50,000. Accordingly, we filed suit against the underinsured carrier seeking the additional $50,000. Upon being served with the lawsuit and after a series of phone calls, we were able to get the underinsured carrier to offer the other $50,000, which gave our client a total recovery of $100,000.
This claim demonstrates two important concepts. First, it is important for your own protection to purchase insurance policies with high limits because, if you are injured in an accident, you have know way of knowing what the other driver will carry for policy limits. If the other driver's limits are too low, you can then look to your own insurance company to make up the difference. Second, it is vital to let an experienced personal injury attorney handle your claim. Most people are unaware that the option of an underinsured claim against their own insurance company is even an option. There are many provisions in insurance contracts that may provide benefits to injured person.
We here at Mulvey, Cornell & Mulvey have decades of experience helping injured clients take advantage of all of possible insurance options in order to obtain the largest recovery possible for their injuries. If you have been injured through no fault of your own, please contact us immediately to discuss your claim. We will evaluate your case at no cost to you and you don't ever owe us a fee until we get you a recovery. Our offices are in Portsmouth, NH but we regularly practice throughout the state and will drive to meet you at your home if that is more convenient.