Michael was riding his scooter on Moreland Avenue in Atlanta when a driver coming the opposite direction didn’t see him and turned left in front of him. Michael hit his brakes, but couldn’t stop in time. He crashed into the car, flew off his scooter, and hit the windshield. As a result, Michael broke both his legs and fractured one of the vertebrae in his neck. He required surgery on both legs, and has metal plates and screws in his legs that will be there the rest of his life. Michael spent several weeks in the hospital and required months of therapy to recover.
BBGA attorney Michael Ruppersburg secured a $300,000 settlement for Michael, even though the other driver had only $25,000 in insurance with ACCC. He did so by “stacking” the underinsured motorist coverage on Michael’s State Farm car insurance policies on top of the other driver’s $25,000 in insurance. The settlement was for 100 percent of the insurance that covered the wreck.
STACKING UNINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE
Uninsured motorist coverage protects you if you get in a wreck with someone who doesn’t have insurance. Underinsured motorist coverage protects you if you get in a wreck with someone who doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your injuries.
And if you have multiple car insurance policies, Georgia law allows you to make a claim on the uninsured motorist coverage on each policy. You can even make a claim on the policy for a car that wasn’t in the wreck. This is called “stacking” because you’re stacking policies on top of each other and recovering from each one.
Michael had four State Farm policies with uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage:
- the scooter he was riding had $50,000;
- one car had $100,000;
- another car had $100,000;
- another scooter had $25,000;
Stacked together, the insurance policies provided a total of $275,000 in underinsured motorist coverage.
Georgia law requires that you recover all the insurance from the at-fault driver before you make a claim for underinsured motorist coverage. Ruppersburg sent a settlement demand to the other driver’s insurance company for their $25,000 and they quickly agreed to pay it. He then sent a settlement demand to State Farm for their $275,000 in underinsured motorist coverage and State Farm accepted the demand. The case settled within four months and without filing a lawsuit.
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