Auto Accident/Hit-and–Run Driver
This case involves an auto accident which occurred when an underinsured driver ran a red light in Tyler and struck a young mother’s vehicle in the driver’s door in a T-bone type collision. The negligent driver fled the scene of the accident. The young mother was trapped in her car and had to wait for emergency personnel to remove her and transport her to the hospital. While she was waiting on the Fire Department to arrive the hit-and-run driver returned to the scene.
The victim was transported to East Texas Medical Center where she was evaluated for a closed head injury, a neck injury, a left shoulder sprain, and a low back injury. Although she was tested to rule out the possibility of a brain injury the doctors ultimately concluded that she had a mild concussion. Her cervical neck injury turned out to be a whiplash type injury which resolved over time. Her shoulder injury healed with physical therapy. Her low back injury consisted of two mild, broad-based disc protrusions at L4-5 and L5-1. These spinal injuries were asymptomatic.
The young mother followed up with her family doctor who referred her to a well-respected Tyler chiropractor, Dr. Allen Preddy. Dr. Preddy rendered chiropractic treatment and also referred her to Dr. Fred Kersh for evaluation, medications, and physical therapy.
The hit-and-run driver’s insurance company, Old American County Mutual Fire Insurance Company, tendered their $25,000.00 policy limits. The young mother was insured by State Farm and had purchased coverage which included personal injury protection benefits and underinsured motorist coverage. An underinsured motorist claim was initiated with State Farm. State Farm told the young mother she had already received more money than she deserved and offered her $0.00. State Farm stipulated that the young mother had incurred $11,146.46 in reasonable and necessary medical expenses, but continued to deny liability and refused to pay any underinsured motorist benefits.
As a Tyler Auto Accident Attorney I’ve found that sometimes an insurance company has to have a jury tell them to do the right thing. The case was tried in the County Court at Law in Smith County. At trial, the jury rendered a verdict against State Farm in the amount of $45,046.46.
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