Our 14 year old client caught a ride home with the wrong driver, an older peer who took a curve at 60 mph in a 35 mph zone, causing him to lose control and slam into a tree. The crash devastated the car. Our client suffered two broken legs (one compound fracture), three broken fingers, and cuts to his face.
To help this boy, Rob looked for any insurance policy he could find. The driver’s policy had a $100,000 liability limit. Rob also discovered that car had at least $15,000 in underinsurance coverage (UIM). Our client needed UIM because $100,000 was not nearly enough to cover his extensive medical bills or compensate him for the harm and loss he suffered. Rob also researched our client’s parents’ insurance policies to see if they had UIM, since UIM policies also give you coverage even if you are riding in someone else’s car. Fortunately, our client’s parents had the wisdom to buy a $50,000 UIM policy. Rob got the insurance companies to pay all $165,000.
When a child’s personal injury case is settled, a judge must approve it. Part of the reason is to protect the child’s right to the money. One thing Rob did to protect this child’s rights is help his parents get a structured settlement, which would hold the money in low risk investments until the child reached adulthood. It also allowed his parents to control when he got the money after he reached age 18, protecting him from blowing it in youthful squandering.
Meanwhile, Rob discovered the driver’s insurance agent may not have offered UIM as required by South Carolina law. Rob filed a lawsuit against the insurance company to get additional UIM coverage on that policy up to the liability limits of $100,000. That case settled for a confidential amount.
Luckily, our client’s parents had health insurance coverage, which they wisely submitted to pay his medical bills. The health insurance company asserted a subrogation claim against our client’s parents for repayment of the amounts paid providers. Rob settled this claim for less than the health insurance company paid on the medical bills. This helped get more money in our client’s pocket, as his health insurance paid the doctor bills at a discount, then gave him a discount when he repaid them from this settlement.