A man whose sister died in a car accident chronicled his family’s prolonged suffering at the hands of an insurance company with a recent blog post. His story reveals the misery inflicted on him and his family by their own insurance company’s actions, a situation known in legal circles as a “bad faith” action, requiring the services of a lawyer experienced in insurance bad faith law.
The tragedy begins when his sister died in an auto accident in 2010. The crash happened when a driver ran a red light, striking the woman’s car and killing her. A settlement was reached quickly afterwards, but the amount was small due to the at-fault driver being under-insured.
The woman’s policy required that her insurance company pay out the difference between the underinsured driver’s policy limit and her own under-insurance limit. She had paid for this type of insurance in case she was ever struck by someone who was under-insured or uninsured. Her family reasonably assumed that her insurance company would meet the difference, but the insurance company refused to pay.
Instead, her insurance company waited for resolution of the court case involving the at-fault driver, hoping for a hung jury or that she would be found to be at fault for her own death. The woman’s parents sued the company, only to find out that the laws in their state prohibited third party lawsuits against an insurance company that refuses to pay out.
The parents were forced to sue the man who caused their daughter’s death in order to establish the driver’s negligence, which, in turn, would enable them to use the decision to force the insurance company to pay up. During the lawsuit, the insurance company actually defended the man in an attempt to delay or reduce paying out their insurance limits.
The at-fault driver was, ultimately, found negligent and the insurance company now states it will work with the family of the deceased to reach a resolution.
Source: The Blaze, “B.S. of A.’s Matt Fisher Details Insurance Nightmare: ‘The Guy Who Killed My Sister Was Defended By Progressive’s Legal Team’,” Billy Hallowell, August 14, 2012.
Our firm handles insurance bad faith claims as well as other insurance matters on behalf of victims of accidents and injuries.