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Insurance Carrier Tries to Avoid Coverage

Insurance Carrier Tries to Avoid Coverage

Posted By The Dunnion Law Firm || 7-Jan-2011

Two Fresno residents were out for a Friday evening ride on their motorcycle in September 2009 when a 17 year old boy made an illegal left turn directly into their path striking the motorcycle nearly head on. The impact sent both riders flying from the motorcycle and into the emergency room and the intensive care unit at the trauma center at Community Regional Medical Center. Both sustained severe injuries and remained hospitalized for more than a week.

The front rider suffered from an epidural hematoma (bleeding between the inside of the skull and the outer layer of the brain), a left wrist fracture, a facial fracture, and multiple vertebra fractures. He had several surgeries, including a craniotomy. The orthopedic surgeon attempted a closed reduction of the left fracture that failed, and it was necessary to perform open reduction and internal fixation of the left arm.

The rear rider suffered from facial lacerations and multiple fractures including multiple pelvic fractures and a grade III significantly displaced humerus fracture. Surgical repair of the facial lacerations were required and she also underwent surgery on her humerus in which they inserted an intramedullary rod internally attached to the shaft of the humerus.

The motorcycle riders hired The Dunnion Law Firm after the accident. The insurance company for the defendant vehicle offered the policy limits of $100,000.00 to each of the motorcycle riders. The at fault driver and the his father each signed declarations subject to the penalty of perjury claiming there was no other insurance coverage.

After a thorough investigation, The Dunnion Law Firm determined the driver did not live with his father. Instead, he lived with his mother, who was divorced from the vehicle owner and she had her own insurance policy that should have provided coverage for the driver as a resident relative. There were two separate insurance policies that each owed $100,000.00 to each injured person, for a total of $200,000.00 each.

The insurance company refused to acknowledge coverage owed on the second policy and denied the claim. The insurance company brought in a high priced attorney from San Diego to argue their position. Trial was scheduled for March 30, 2011. After discussions with The Dunnion Law Firm, the hired gun attorney recommended to the insurance company that they pay the $200,000.00 to each of the motorcycle riders in December 2010.