$200,000 UIM Evaluation Policy Limits
A young man wasn’t paying attention while driving up French Street in Erie, PA. He failed to notice traffic stopped in front of him and, as a result, he struck a car in the rear. The collision was substantial and resulted in a freakish accident: the young man’s vehicle “snowplowed” under our client’s rear axle, stopping with our client’s vehicle atop the defendant’s vehicle.
Our client injured her back. She was fortunate to avoid disc revision or vertebral fusion surgery, but she required a spinal implant. The implant surgery is less invasive than the other options but still requires occasional revisions.
Our client was originally represented by another Erie injury lawyer. The first lawyer had done good work in preparing the case. Unfortunately, he was unable to get the third-party carrier to settle the case and he was unable to get our client’s underinsured motorist insurance company to evaluate the case. In desperation, the first Erie lawyer turned to Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C.
We went to work, preparing the case for trial. We previously reported that the case against the insurance company for the young man settled this past summer for policy limits. We next turned our attention to our client’s underinsured motorist coverage.
Underinsured motorist coverage is a benefit you buy from your own insurance company so that you are protected in the event that you’re injured by another driver and the driver who hurt you doesn’t have enough insurance coverage to compensate you for all your harms and losses. We were convinced that our client’s underinsured motorist company owed her the full benefits available on the policy. Not surprisingly, the underinsured motorist company disagreed. They evaluated the case and, with a straight face, told us that the case was only worth one-half the policy limits.
We were having none of it. We told them that we were exercising our rights under a clause in the policy that required them to submit the case to arbitration. “Wait!” they said. “Let us take another look at it. We’ll run it up the chain of command and maybe they’ll authorize a larger payment.”
“Do whatever you think you need to,” we said. “But we’re not taking less than 100% and we’re not waiting much longer. Pay us or we’ll exercise the arbitration clause.”
Two weeks later, they called. “Well,” they said. “We ran it up the chain of command. We can’t offer you the full benefit your client paid for, but we can go to 90%.” They suggested that we should take their offer. After all, we could get nearly all of the coverage on the policy without having to put the work in that it would take to get the last 10%. Easy money, I suppose, was the pitch.
But we were having none of it. “We understand,” we said. “But we’re not taking it. We’ll put the work in to get our client every last cent she deserves. We’re electing arbitration.”
They caved. “Okay,” they said, “you can’t blame us for trying.” And they agreed to pay 100% of the policy.
Can’t blame them for trying? Were they joking? Of course we can blame them. We blame them for trying to cheat their own insured out of the benefits the insured had purchased from them. Every year, our client had faithfully paid her premium, in full. Our client had never said to the insurance company, “Um, how about you accept 50% of the premium this year?” Our client never sent a check for 90% of the annual premium and hoped that the insurance company would accept it. Our client paid 100% and, when she was hurt, she was entitled to 100% and not a penny less.
We’ll blame the insurance companies, certainly. And we’ll tell everyone who will listen that even your own insurance company is not to be trusted. They aren’t looking out for you. They aren’t trying to be fair. They are trying to get away with as much as they possibly can. And unless you know what your case is worth and unless you know how to hold the insurance companies accountable, they’ll take advantage of you just like they tried to take advantage of our client.
Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. Will Help You with Your Pennsylvania Insurance Claim
Eric Purchase and Tim George are well prepared to help you with your Pennsylvania auto
insurance claim. Before starting his personal injury practice, Eric worked for 15 years as a defense lawyer and represented the Erie Insurance and State Farm Insurance Companies in many cases. He understands how insurance companies work and he uses that knowledge to negotiate on behalf of his injured clients. Both Tim and Eric teach seminars to other lawyers and to insurance adjustors on insurance topics. The community looks to us as leaders on personal injury and insurance issues.
Let the Erie car insurance claim lawyers of Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. put their four decades of combined legal experience to work for you and let us help you recover the insurance settlement to which you are entitled. Contact us today at 814-273-2010 or via our contact form for a free consultation.
Awarded: Policy Limits