Pedestrian Brain Injury

Confidential Settlement after Insurance Company Failed to Pay

A motorist, after passing a flashing amber light and a yellow warning sign indicating a pedestrian crossing ahead, ran down a college student who was crossing in the marked crosswalk. The force of the impact sent the young woman cartwheeling on the pavement, fracturing her skull. The young woman suffered head injuries resulting in the total, permanent loss of the ability to smell, impaired taste, and other losses.

The young woman was studying to become a dietitian, a career goal that had to be given up after the brain injuries took away her sense of smell and part of her ability to taste.  Those injuries significantly impair one’s ability to enjoy eating and drinking; just think of the aroma of coffee in the morning or the rich warm smell of cookies or bread baking in the oven.  Those losses also have safety risks: a person who cannot smell may not know that the gas has been left on, or that food has spoiled and can make them sick.

We successfully prosecuted a case against the negligent driver, and collected his $100,000 policy limits from his insurance company. However, the woman’s losses were significantly greater than this amount. Her family had purchased a substantial amount of underinsured motorist coverage, and we asked their insurance company to cover the additional losses. The insurance company refused.

We then prosecuted a case against the family’s insurance company for the underinsured motorist benefits promised under their auto insurance policy. During the litigation, the insurance company asked for a judicial settlement conference, and the case settled.

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