How to spend $200,000 in one Fender Bender

“I wasted countless hours in a courtroom across from a guy with bandages on his thumbs.” 

In today’s world, it’s an all too familiar story AND it’s the reason you have liability insurance.

My friend from soccer was sharing with a group of guys between matches:

“So I rear-ended this guy at like five miles per hour.  Just a fender bender.  Both of us got out and quietly observed the bumper damage to our cars. We exchanged insurance information, a cop showed up to file a report, and that was it.  I was bummed but whatever.”

Sounds normal enough.  It’s the most common claim that insurance companies deal with.  A fender bender, no injuries, and everyone moves on with their lives.

“But then two months later I get a call from my insurance company.  The guy was approached by the local ambulance chasing lawyer and he miraculously has damage to both thumbs.  The attorney feels he won’t be able to work for the rest of his life.”

 

Right about now your blood is probably starting to boil.  How can this happen?  Why can people do this?  We all have our theories about why this happens in society and how to fix it.  We all know that most attorneys don’t engage in this kind of thing and most people don’t invent injuries just to manipulate the system, but what actually happens when an ambulance chaser meets a willing accident victim?

My friend continues, “So the attorneys from my insurance company jumped in.  They offered the guy $13,500 as a settlement.  But he didn’t go for it, he wanted $15,000.  My company said no and the ambulance chaser attorney convinced him to take the battle to court”

In these scenarios, insurance companies will often attempt to settle.  It may not be ethically the right play but it almost always is financially.

“Two months later, we go to court and his attorney argues that his client should be a paid one cent per minute for the rest of his life.”

Time for some math.  60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day.  That’s $14.40/day.  Not a huge wage and really, you could see a jury going for it.  In a year that’s $5256.  Add 40 years and that’s $210,240.

“The guy was suing for like $200,000!  So, I spent two days in a court room and when it was all said and done the jury found me Not Guilty.  The other guy didn’t get anything and it serves him right.”

So it worked out for my friend.  He still has a claim but it isn’t for  $200,000.

Even if it had been $200,000 he had the right insurance coverage and the company would have picked up the bill.  But would yours?

Check out your policy and look at the “Bodily Injury” Coverage.  What’s your per person limit?  State minimum in Indiana is $25,000.  If my soccer buddy had that coverage and the other guy had won, he would’ve had to come up with $175,000 out of his pocket.

How much would you have paid out of pocket?  If it’s a lot you should consider a better policy.  It might surprise you how little it will cost to get the right coverage. Call your local insurance agent and have him/her help you out.  Stuck with a 800 number?  Let’s fix that, contact Shine Insurance today.

 Independent Insurance Agent Bloomington IN
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