Being involved in a serious motorcycle accident can take its toll on the body and mind. First is the physical recovery, often involving months of therapy. After the body has mended itself, it often takes time for the mind to heal, since being involved in a motorcycle accident is a traumatic experience that is not easily forgotten or overcome. However, once a motorcycle accident victim does heal both body and mind, there is often the issue of how they are going to pay for the medical expenses and make up for the time away from work.
Insurance companies should be the solution. Since all drivers are required by law to maintain a base limit of coverage, an insurance company should be there to help the accident victim recover, providing monetary compensation to help the injured party overcome the financial hurdles that come along with being involved in a serious accident. However, insurance companies are motivated by their own bottom lines, and all too often they try to avoid paying out on even the most worthy claims. A recent case in front of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals illustrates the difficulties that an accident victim may face when dealing with an insurance company.
Etherton v. Owners Insurance Company: The Facts
Etherton was involved in a car accident that resulted in little physical damage to his vehicle but required that he undergo three back surgeries. He was insured through Owners Insurance Company, with a policy limit of $1,000,000. Etherton settled his claim with the other driver’s insurance company for the amount of $250,000. He then asked Owners to cover the remaining amount up to his policy limit, $750,000.
After months of discussions between Etherton and Owners, Owners offered to pay Etherton $150,000. Etherton asked why the amount was so low, and Owners responded that there were “serious questions of causation.” After several more months of communications, the parties were unable to reach an agreement, and Etherton filed a lawsuit against Owners, seeking compensation for his injuries. He filed a claim for reimbursement of medical expenses, as well as a claim for unreasonable delay in settling the original claim.
After a six-day jury trial, Etherton was awarded $1.5 million in damages, $750,000 for the remaining amount under his policy limit and an additional $750,000 for the unreasonable delay in settling the case. Owners appealed this ruling, based on several alleged evidentiary errors made at trial, but the appellate court upheld the verdict.
Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Motorcycle Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Maryland motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation through either your own insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company. However, as the above case illustrates, dealing with insurance companies can be extremely difficult, and they often only take claims seriously when they are filed by an attorney. The skilled personal injury attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC have the experience and reputation necessary to deal with difficult insurance companies on behalf of their clients. Call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free consultation to discuss your accident with a personal injury attorney.
More Blog Posts:
Accident Victims May Still Recover Damages Even if Law Enforcement Does Not Issue a Citation after a Crash, Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog, published August 4, 2016.
Alcohol Is a Major Factor in Many Fatal Maryland Motorcycle Accidents, Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog, published July 15, 2016.