Posted by Sansone / Lauber Trial Lawyers on December 13, 2016SHARE IT
Personal injury lawsuit against Ameriprise Insurance. Injury claim for payment of Missouri under-insured motorist (UIM coverage) benefits. A driver with low insurance coverage caused a car accident with our client. Ameriprise Insurance refused to pay benefits under its policy for injuries suffered by Chris, our client. This is an important issue, especially since over 29.7 million drivers don’t have car insurance or not enough. Source: Insurance Research Council.
Ameriprise Insurance finally paid the full policy limits of insurance 5 days before trial. Case settled for a total of $250,000.00. Policy Limits.
Rules Violated by Ameriprise Insruance:
If an insurance company sells a customer under-insured motorist insurance coverage and that customer is hurt by a UIM driver, the insurance company is responsible for the consequences caused by the UIM driver.
Auto insurance companies must keep their promise that is to provide 100% for the consequences caused by a UIM driver.
Story of What Defendant Did:
Ameriprise Insurance sells an auto insurance policy to Chris and his family. Ameriprise Insurance charges Chris money for underinsured motorist coverage up to $250,000. Ameriprise promises to pay Chris for any harms and losses he or his family suffer as the result of a car crash with an uninsured or underinsured motorist.
Ameriprise insurance describes UM/ UIM insurance on its website as:
- “It’s a worst-case scenario. You were injured in an accident and discover the other driver doesn’t have enough car insurance.”
- “If you have underinsured motorist coverage and the costs related to your injuries …… are more than the other driver’s insurance will cover, it may help you fill the gap”
- “underinsured motorist coverage help ensure you are not left alone to manage costs from an accident for which you are not at fault.”
Ameriprise Insurance’s Missouri underinsured insurance policy promises: “We will pay compensatory damages which an insured person is legally entitled to recover from the owner or operator of an uninsured motor vehicle or underinsured motor vehicle because of bodily injury caused by an accident.”
Ameriprise charges Chris $1,526.00 a year for the insurance. Chris pays Ameriprise for the insurance as promised.
In December 2014, Sarah R. drives a Chevy Cavalier on highway 109 in Eureka, Missouri. Sarah drives at highway speed and approaches a red light with several cars stopped at it. The light turns green, just as the cars begin to move Sarah smashes into the back of a large pickup truck. Sarah causes the rear end car accident. The pickup truck bumper is smashed in, the body is crumpled, and the frame is bent.
The driver of the pickup truck is severely hurt. The driver of the pickup truck is our client Chris. Sarah has $50,000 in auto insurance coverage with Shelter Insurance. Shelter promises to pay up to $50,000 on behalf of Sarah if she hurts someone in a car accident. Shelter pays the full $50,000 to Chris, as promised to cover their customer, Sarah.
The injuries and consequences Chris suffers are much greater than $50,000. Therefore, Chris was hurt by an Underinsured motorist and Ameriprise Insurance must pay “to fill the gap” just as they promised. Ameriprise refuses to pay Chris for the consequences he suffered. Ameriprise broke its promise.
Injuries Justifying Policy Limits of $250,000.00:
An MRI reveals an anterior labral tear in Chris’ left hip. It was determined that Chris needs surgery to repair his hip. Chris has surgery and is out of work during recovery for 4-5 months. Chris continues to suffer problems related to his head, neck, back and left shoulder. A doctor testified that Chris’ injuries and treatment are all related to the Eureka, Missouri car accident.
Chris is off work after the crash and during his recovery from hip surgery. He loses wages, additionally, after returning to work as a contractor, he is significantly limited at work. Several witnesses testified to this.
The defendant, though it’s expert medical doctor, admits the hip injury is from the car accident. Despite this fact, Ameriprise Insurance claims all other problems must be from something else and probably from his job as a carpenter. The insurance company was very insincere, as they admit the car accident was strong enough to tear the tendons and muscles from Chris’ hip and require surgical reattachment, but not strong enough to cause injuries to his neck, back, knee and shoulder.
Basically, the insurance company made baseless defenses to test the will of our client. Our injury lawyers insisted from the very beginning of the case, we would never settle this case for a penny less than insurance policy limits. The insurance company tried to convince us to settle for less. Our injury attorneys continued to point out the ridiculous defenses and the strength of Chris’ case.
Ameriprise Insurance finally admitted just before trial that they had no choice but to pay the amount of their insurance policy.