In the Fall of 2010, we met with a client who had been injured in a rear-end impact in Bella Vista. Her car showed few signs of damage, but she had struck her right knee on the steering column of her car upon impact. The pain and swelling slowly developed over the next several hours and continued for several days. She sought medical treatment and tried to figure out what was wrong with her knee. After over 7 months of treatment, it became apparent that she would have to have surgery to correct her knee issues. The surgery helped but did not completely correct the knee problems and our client had to live with knee pain on a regular basis.
Once it became apparent that our client had reached maximum medical improvement, we submitted a demand to the insurance company of the young man who had injured her. That insurance company did not want to pay for her knee treatment. Despite the overwhelming evidence the other driver’s company claimed her knee was not injured. However, after hiring our law firm they paid the policy limits. She only received $25,000 from the other driver’s insurance, which was barely enough to cover her medical bills because he carried minimum liability limits. Fortunately she had made the responsible decision to carry UIM or under-insurance protection with her own insurance company for $50,000.00. We made a claim against our client’s insurance in order to fully compensate our client for her out of pocket expenses and the pain she had dealt with as a result of this injury.
Surprisingly, her own company received our client’s demand and promptly declared that they did not believe that she was injured in this collision and that they were not paying a dime to their insured. Despite the fact that our client lives daily with the pain of her knee and can no longer do many of the activities she previously did, her own insurance company was implying that she was a liar and a fake. The treating doctor told the insurance company through a letter that our client’s injury was caused by the collision. However, the letter was found not to be good enough and her insurance subpoened the doctor for a deposition in which he testified to the same facts he had written in his letter. We filed a complaint against her insurance company alleging bad faith, breach of contract, and asking the court for punitive damages. Over a year later and after many court filings, hearings, and depositions, the insurance company agreed to pay our client $40,000.00 and our client and her doctor were vindicated.
Keith, Miller, Butler, Schneider, & Pawlik is committed to serving our clients and ensuring that they are treated fairly by all insurance companies, including their own. Often, the process of filing an UIM claim with your own insurance company can be just as adversarial as filing one with a third-party insurance company. Although insurance companies often accuse people of faking or exaggerating an injury, that is rarely the case. It is one of many excuses that insurance companies use to try to avoid paying a fair claim.
If you have been injured through no fault of your own, give Sean or Anna a call at (479) 621-0006 and let us see what we can do to help you.