Being involved in an Indiana car accident is a traumatic experience, and the road to recovery can be a long one. Initially, accident victims must deal with the physical and emotional injuries sustained in the crash. This can take months, if not longer. However, at some point, an Indiana car accident victim must also face the financial impact of the accident. Most often, this means filing a claim with an insurance company.
While the purpose of car insurance is to make sure that accident victims are compensated for their injuries, insurance companies are for-profit enterprises that rely on taking in more money in premiums than they pay out in claims. This incentivizes insurance companies to deny coverage when possible, and to offer low settlement offers in hopes of resolving a claim in as inexpensive a manner as possible.
A recent case illustrates the difficulties one accident victim had when trying to file a claim with her father’s insurance company.
The Facts of the Case
The plaintiff was involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist. After the accident, the plaintiff filed a personal injury case against the driver. However, since she did not carry insurance, she also named her father’s insurance company as a defendant, relying on that policy’s uninsured motorist provision.
When the plaintiff was asked where she lived and who lived with her, she provided her address and stated that she lived with her three children. She also stated that her father lived across the street. Later, however, she amended her answer to reflect the fact that her father lived with her at her address. She explained that she was confused and did not realize her mistake until after speaking with her father.
The insurance company denied coverage. The insurance company pointed to the policy language, which covered the insured and any “resident relatives.” Thus, relying on the plaintiff’s statement that she lived across the street from her father at the time of the accident, the insurance company took the position that the plaintiff was not a “resident relative” of her father, and therefore she was not covered.
The lower court initially resolved the conflicting testimony in the plaintiff’s favor. However, on appeal, the court reversed that decision and sent the case to a jury for resolution. The court explained that neither of the plaintiff’s statements could be assumed accurate by the court, and a jury should be empaneled to resolve the conflict.
Are You Dealing with a Difficult Insurance Company?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in an Indiana car accident, and you are dealing with a difficult insurance company, you should contact the law firm of Parr Richey Frandsen Patterson Kruse for legal assistance. We have decades of collective experience handling all types of Indiana car accident claims, and through this experience, we have a first-hand knowledge of how insurance companies think. We pride ourselves on our client-centered form of representation, and we put the needs of each individual client first. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation, call 888-532-7766 today.
Court Dismisses Victim’s Case Against Ski Resort Due to Signed Release Waiver, Indiana Injury Lawyer Blog, February 1, 2018
Court Strictly Interprets Recreational Use Statute, Rejecting Plaintiff’s Premises Liability Claim, Indiana Injury Lawyer Blog, February 20, 2018