A young driver with a new provisional license was driving at night toward a mini-market in Grants Pass. Coming the opposite direction was a motorcyclist, his headlight on, heading home. The young driver hesitated, then suddenly turned directly in front of the motorcycle, hitting him head on. The motorcyclist was thrown over the hood and into the car’s windshield. He was in pain and unable to move when he realized that something was wrong with his foot, which felt cold. His heel had become traumatically separated from his foot.
The motorcyclist suffered a low back vertebra fracture and a broken hand in addition to the avulsion and laceration of his heel. When he was discharged from the hospital, he was unable to walk. He initially required a wheelchair, but with treatment he progressed to a walking boot and cane, and continued to work hard toward as much recovery as he could accomplish.
The insurance company for the at-fault driver settled for the amount of the policy limits. The motorcyclist’s insurance company was not as forthcoming with underinsured motorist benefits. Resolution of the claim illustrated the old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. The hospital records presented a dry medical description of the injuries. It was only after the insurance adjuster saw close-up photos of the separated heel that the motorcyclist’s underinsured motorist claim was settled for those policy limits.