Our 65-year-old client had recently retired after a long career as a nursing educator and was looking forward to some well-earned years of rest and traveling the country with her husband. In early 2017, she was walking through a crosswalk to enter a Barnes & Noble bookstore when a man driving a pickup truck sped through the crosswalk and rammed into her, shattering her ankle. When the negligent driver got out of his truck, he was monstrous to our client. He berated her, subjecting her to horrible verbal abuse as she lay under his truck. The other driver did not even call 911, instead simply yelling at our client after barreling over her in the crosswalk.
Rushed to the hospital, our client was diagnosed with ankle fractures so severe that the bone fragments were too numerous to count. She underwent multiple surgeries and had to spend more than a month in an inpatient nursing facility away from her husband. Our client’s recovery was long and painful, and she never fully recovered. Instead of the retirement she had planned after a lifetime of hard work, our client will be limited in her activities for the rest of her life because this negligent driver ran her over in a crosswalk.
This case was complicated by the fact that the at-fault driver only had $100,000 in automobile liability coverage, and our client’s damages were much greater than that. By pursuing a claim against our client’s own insurance carrier for underinsured motorist coverage, we were able to obtain a recovery well beyond those liability limits. We also secured a personal payment from the at-fault driver himself by pursuing a legal theory under which we could settle with our client’s own insurance carrier and then proceed to trial against him alone. This would have left him personally on the hook for any amounts over the $100,000 he had in liability coverage. By pursuing all avenues of recovery including a personal contribution from the at-fault driver, we were able to secure a recovery three times the liability policy limits for our client.