Ft. Lauderdale car accident attorney obtains auto insurance policy limits
Young Woman Injured in Ft. Lauderdale Auto Accident
Dell and Schaefer personal injury attorneys represented a single female in her twenties in a serious car accident. Our client was rear-ended on I-595 and her car was forced across the highway into another lane of westbound traffic where she was struck again. Our client was taken by ambulance to Broward General Hospital where she was diagnosed with numerous injuries, including a fractured collarbone. The accident was determined to be the fault of the party who initially rear ended our client. Unfortunately, he only had a $10,000.00 bodily injury policy. After submission of all of the relevant medical records, the insurance company for the at fault party offered their policy limits of $10,000.00 to settle the claim.
Insurance Attempts to pay $15,000 instead of the Maximum $25,000 in UM Benefits
Fortunately our client, who was from Mississippi, had $25,000.00 in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. A complete package of information was sent to the insurance adjuster on behalf of our client demanding the $25,000.00 underinsured policy be paid. The insurance adjuster indicated that Mississippi had a “set off” provision in their contracts of insurance that allows them to set off the $10,000.00 obtained from the first party liability coverage, therefore paying only an additional $15,000.00 to settle the claim.
The State of Florida, where the accident happened, does not have any set off provisions in underinsured motorist claims. However, since the contract of insurance emanated from Mississippi, it was Mississippi’s law that would control many of the legal issues and whether the setoff applied. The Mississippi setoff language in the uninsured motorist statute is far from clear. In fact, it created even more legal issues.
Attorneys Dell & Schaefer Recover Maximum Insurance Payment of $25,000 for Injured Client
Exhaustive research was done to accurately analyze the law. Dell and Schaefer attorneys spoke to several prominent Mississippi law firms to try to get an idea of how the law, which was extremely vague, was interpreted and implemented in Mississippi. The several lawyers we spoke to were equally perplexed over the law.
Ultimately, after legally prodding and promises of lawsuits and appeals if necessary, the insurance company retracted their initial position on the set off of the original $10,000.00 settlement against the $25,000.00 of underinsured motorist coverage. The insurance company paid the entire $25,000.00, in addition to the $10,000.00 the client had already received from the at fault party. Dell and Schaefer was able to convince the Mississippi insurance adjuster that their vague law left enough room to create an avoidance of the uninsured motorist set off.
Complex legal issues often arise in cases that initially appear quite simple. Dell and Schaefer, with years of experience, are well-equipped to detect, understand and resolve these problems. Feel free to contact us for a free consultation.