Our lawyers settled a case for an Atlanta man who broke his hip in a car accident, requiring two surgeries to repair it. The settlement was for a total of $250,000: $25,000 from Progressive, the insurance company for the driver that caused the wreck, and $225,000 from USAA, our client’s uninsured motorist company.
Mr. V worked as a waiter at a local restaurant and was riding to work with a co-worker. It was raining and the co-worker was driving way too fast. She hit a patch of water, lost control of the car and drove off the road into the ditch, which caused it to flip several times. After an investigation, the police cited her for driving too fast for conditions and failure to maintain lane.
Mr. V was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with a intertrochanteric fracture of his right femur. He had surgery to repair the fracture, which involved inserting a plate and several surgical screws into his hip. He was discharged from the hospital and although he seemed to be making a good recovery, he kept experiencing pain in his hip. His doctor ordered a CT scan that showed one of the screws had pulled out of his hip, causing the hip to heal incorrectly. Unfortunately, this required a second surgery to re-insert the surgical screw and re-set the fracture to ensure that his hip healed correctly.
SETTLING WITH PROGRESSIVE
The first step was settling with Progressive, who insured the driver that Mr. V was riding with. We sent a settlement demand explaining the facts of the wreck and that Mr. V had two surgeries and Progressive quickly agreed to pay its $25,000 policy limits.
SETTLING WITH USAA
The next step was settling with USAA, Mr. V’s uninsured motorist carrier. The USAA policy was actually Mr. V’s parents’ policy. Automobile insurance policies typically cover all “resident relatives,” meaning all people who live with the person that holds the insurance policy. Since Mr. V lived at home with his parents, he was able to qualify for coverage under his parents’ policy as a “resident relative.” We sent a settlement demand to USAA and after several rounds of negotiation settled for $225,000.
In the meantime, Mr. V is on the road to recovery. He’s back at work in a job that doesn’t require him to be on his feet and do much lifting. He’s also using the settlement to go to college and get a degree in information technology.