Earlier this month, a Maine court heard a case brought by a woman that arose out of a motorcycle accident in which her husband was found to be at fault. In the case, Wood v. Wood, the court had to decide whether interim payments made by Husband to Wife counted towards the final verdict amount. Ultimately, the court determined that it needed further clarification as to whether the payments were based on Husband’s liability to Wife, or whether the payments were made to Wife based on her own coverage under the very same policy.
The confusion in this case arose because both Husband and Wife were on the same insurance policy. After the accident, but before the trial had concluded, the insurance company had paid roughly $5,000 to Wife. After the trial, Wife received a verdict in the amount of $50,000. The insurance company then sought credit for the $5,000 it paid prior to the court’s ruling.
Wife’s position was that the $5,000 was not a medical liability payment but was a payment made to her as an insured party who was involved in an accident. The insurance company, through Husband, claimed that credit was deserved because Husband was ultimately determined to be at fault, and thus the payment was a liability payment that should be credited towards the total.
The lower court determined that the insurance company should be credited the amount, and Wife appealed.
The appellate court hearing the case was not able to resolve it based on the record created below. The court noted that, if the payment was found to be a liability payment, it likely would need to be credited against the total owed. However, if the payment was to Wife as the insured party, no credit would likely be necessary. The court remanded the case back to the lower court to resolve the issue.
Lawsuits Between Loved Ones
Often, personal injury lawsuits arise between complete strangers. However, as the above case illustrates, that is not always the case. It is not uncommon for an injured passenger to seek compensation through a loved one’s insurance policy for the injuries they sustained as a result of the accident. This is the case even when their loved one is found to be at fault in the accident.
Of course, complex problems can arise in these situations, as indicated by the case above. It is for this reason that a skilled attorney is recommended whenever someone is considering a personal injury case against any potentially negligent driver, including a loved one.
Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Motorcycle Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been involved in a serious Maryland motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries and pain you have endured. To learn more about how you may be able to recover, and to speak with a dedicated Maryland personal injury attorney about your injuries and the possibility of filing a case against the responsible driver, call 410-654-3600 today to set up your free consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Former Episcopal Bishop in Baltimore Pleads Guilty to Automotive Manslaughter and Other Related Charges, Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog, published October 7, 2015.
Bicyclist Struck by Drunk Driver Emphasizes Driver Education to Avoid Future Accidents, Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog, published November 5, 2015.