Chrissie is a real-life claims adjustor for a major insurance company but we are not using her real name to protect her privacy. The claims stories are real but the names have been changed to protect their privacy as well.
Imagine sitting in your back yard enjoying a beautiful sunny day drinking some tea. All of a sudden a huge muscle car is flying through your wooden fence, into your backyard and you have no time to react. As you sit there in disbelief the car comes right towards you and strikes you and then drags you 15 feet before finally coming to a stop after hitting the side of your house.
This happened to one of my client’s Mr. Badluck. Mr. Badluck sustained full facial fractures (every bone in his face was fractured), two broken legs, a broken pelvis, and full body rash, lacerations and bruising.
Mr. Badluck was life-flighted from his home and taken to the emergency room where he underwent numerous surgeries to repair his broken body. Mr. Badluck was in the hospital for 3 months before he was released to come home where he was bedridden with in-home nursing care for the next year.
Mr. Badluck is married with 2 kids. He could not work during his year of recovery and to this day still has issues with residual pain. Mr. Badluck’s medical bills exceeded $200,000.00 not to mention having to go on disability because he could not physically go to work.
Mr. Badluck’s policy limits were the state minimum of Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury $15,000.00/person and $30,000.00/accident. The claimant’s policy limits were the same. Unfortunately what this means is the most that can be paid out under the claimant’s policy is $15,000.00. And since policies do not stack, Mr. Badluck could not make an Underinsured Motorist claim with his own insurance company because his limits matched the claimant’s policy limits.
Had Mr. Badluck had higher Uninsured/Underinsured policy limits, he could have submitted his bodily injury claim not only to the claimant’s carrier for their policy limits, but also to his own insurance company for their policy limits if warranted. This sure would have helped him with those monstrous medical bills and lack of earnings.
Lesson: purchase a policy with adequate limits because you never know what can happen!! Don’t be Mr. Badluck—be Mr./Ms. Goodluck.