July was a busy month at Ladendorf Fregiato & Bigler. We wanted to highlight a case we were able to settle for our clients to demonstrate how your life can be changed forever in the blink of an eye when another driver on the road is not driving safely.
Our first client was riding his motorcycle in a rural Indiana County when another driver fell asleep behind the wheel, went left of center, and hit our client. He suffered numerous injuries in the crash, including fractures to multiple thoracic vertebrae, fractured scapula, fractured rib, and a bruised lung.
Tragically, his wife was also with him riding as the passenger on the motorcycle. She was also ejected from the bike and suffered numerous injuries as well, notably a severely broken arm that required an open reduction/internal fixation with plates and screws and a bone graft.
Aside from their original ER treatment, both husband and wife had a long road to recovery over the next several months. They both had to complete physical therapy to reach their maximum medical improvement. Sadly, in spite of the best of efforts of our clients and their doctors, they both suffered permanent injuries that will leave them with lifelong physical impairments, to say nothing of the psychological trauma that will stay with them forever. All told, their medical bills totaled over $165,000.
Thankfully, the person who caused this wreck had much more than the minimum insurance required by Indiana law and we were able to recover the total $500,000 in policy limits. After ensuring that their medical bills and health insurance subrogation were paid, we were able to put over $300,000 in their pockets as compensation for the living hell they were forced to endure.
There are two lessons we can all take from this:
- Please make sure you have sufficient uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. One in seven drivers in Indiana is uninsured. Many more only have the state minimum $25,000 in coverage. These clients were lucky. Had this been situation where there was only $25k, $50k, or even $100k in available coverage, they could have faced bankruptcy or at least a pittance in compensation compared to what they had to live through. A significant uninsured/underinsured motorist policy is the best protection you can have from other drivers’ negligence.
- If you’re injured in a car accident, it’s worth at least talking to an attorney to see if there’s something they can do to help guide you through a horrible situation. I often tell my clients to let us worry about dealing with insurance companies, adjusters, doctors, and getting you the best possible outcome from the legal world so you can focus on your health and your recovery.
We sincerely hope you never need us, but if you do, we’re here for you. Be safe out there!