Passen & Powell represented the estate of a man who was a pedestrian struck and killed by a car driven by a woman with inadequate insurance. Fortunately, our client had substantial Uninsured Motorist (UM) and Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage on his auto insurance policy. UM/UIM coverage allows you — in the event you or your family member is injured by a negligent driver who is uninsured or has low insurance coverage — to recover from your own insurance company up to the limits in UM/UIM coverage on your policy.
In this case, we first recovered the full policy limits of the negligent driver. Second, we sought to recover the full measure of damages from our client’s insurance company under the terms of his underinsured motorist (UIM) policy.
To recover anything for our clients, we needed to prove that the driver was negligent, and also had to minimize our client’s own comparative fault — which was a real challenge. The crash occurred at an intersection where our client ran across the street, against the light, outside the crosswalk, at night, wearing black clothing. We were nevertheless able to prove — through accident reconstruction and human factors expert testimony — that the driver should have seen and reacted to our client by slowing down much sooner than she did. We also accepted some responsibility for the actions of our client.
This case went to arbitration and fortunately, the three-member panel of arbitrators found in our favor and awarded his estate $1,125,000. The case settled for that amount after the arbitration.
To discuss a potential personal injury or wrongful death action arising out of a motor vehicle crash — including a possible UM/UIM action — call us at 312-527-4500 for a free consultation.