Miami man struck while crossing street in crosswalk settles UM claim for $200,000.00

Attorney Jason MacriAuthor: Attorney Jason Macri

A 58 year-old Miami man was struck by a car during his daily walk. He was crossing the street in a crosswalk with the right-of-way when a driver who was headed in the opposite direction decided to make a left-hand turn at the intersection, striking the man and forcing him to the ground. Luckily, the vehicle stopped in time to avoid running the man over. He was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital with complaints of pain in his right knee. X-ray images of the knee were taken but because they revealed no broken bones, the man was discharged and told to seek follow-up care.

Though he knew he was injured, the man tried to avoid going getting further medical treatment for his knee. He knew the hospital bill was going to be expensive and didn’t want to rack up any other bills. A few days later, he was in so much pain that he couldn’t walk. He decided to place a visit to the orthopedist. The orthopedist referred the man out for an MRI of the right knee. The MRI revealed that he tore his meniscus and would require surgery. At that point, he felt the need to hire the attorneys at Dell & Schaefer to help him make a claim against the person who struck him.

Unfortunately, the driver who hit him did not have any bodily injury coverage on her auto insurance policy. Our only other option was to make a claim against our client’s UM coverage. In the meantime, our client began to notice pain in his left knee that eventually became just as painful as the right knee. His doctor ordered a left knee MRI and noted that he had also torn the left knee meniscus. He would now need to get a surgery on each knee. We notified our client’s insurance company of his injuries and demanded the $200,000.00 UM policy limits. The insurance company denied our demand and countered us with a paltry $11,000.00 offer. They argued that his left knee injury was not caused by the crash, and, even if it was, both knee injuries were pre-existing so his pain was simply the result of an aggravated pre-existing injury.

We filed a lawsuit against our client’s insurance company seeking compensation from the UM coverage on his policy. Before filing suit, we filed a civil remedy notice of insurer violation (CRN) with the State of Florida alleging that his insurance company was operating in bad faith and had made an offer far below the value of the claim. Though they initially denied any wrongdoing, the insurance company employees eventually came to their senses and tendered our client’s $200,000.00 UM policy limits. This enabled our client to have both knee surgeries and all of the follow-up physical therapy that was necessary. He now reports that he is relatively pain free and can walk without a limp. His doctors have even indicated that he should be able to resume his pre-crash workout routine in the near future. Though these are activities that most of us take for granted, our client will never forget the feeling of not being able to walk and the thought that he may never regain the ability to walk again. Needless to say, he was very grateful for the positive result.

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