Fred Dickey’s 2/24/2014 column in the San Diego Union Tribune is a must read for all. The column is about an 83-year-old woman who was severely injured in a car accident caused by a 17-year-old driver. The 17-year-old personally apologized to the woman for causing the accident so there is no dispute about who was responsible. At the scene, the woman had to be cut out of her car and life flighted to the hospital. She spent 5 months in the hospital and her hospital bills were more than $800,000. She still has pain from her injuries but, worse yet, she is no longer be able to live on her own and she has been forced to rely on relatives for her care.
The 17-year-old’s apology shows that he was mature enough to take responsibility for the damage he caused. Too bad that his family’s insurance company wouldn’t do the same. They offered to settle the woman’s claim for a couple of hundred thousand dollars less than the amount of her medical bills, which would have left her in debt and with no way to pay for the future care she will need.
If reading about this gets you angry, it should. It got the woman’s family angry too. They hired a lawyer to represent her and after a trial a jury awarded the woman $2.16 million. But the woman hasn’t gotten a penny of that award. The insurance company is not done playing games with yer quite yet. They asked for a new trial and threatened to appeal and these delay tactics could keep the money tied up for years. In the meantime, an 83-year-old woman who did nothing to deserve either her injuries or the insult of having to file suit to get her medical bills and other expenses paid must wait.
The woman’s family has set up a website called “insurancebadbehavior.org” that details the delay tactics used by the big insurance companies and invites others with similar experiences to submit their story. The family hopes that by shining some light on the despicable conduct of the big insurance companies, they will change their ways. It’s not going to be an easy fight, but it is surely a worthwhile one and I commend the family for taking a stand for what’s right.
If you or someone you love has been injured, call today to find out about your rights.
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