Abels & Annes

Accident attorneys pursuing underinsured motorist claim

Injury lawyers from Abels & Annes have reached a $20,000 insurance policy limits settlement with a defendant’s insurance carrier, and we are now pursuing a greater amount with an underinsured motorist claim.

This type of case happens very frequently in the State of Illinois. Sometimes a negligent driver carries auto insurance as required by law, but unfortunately $20,000 (Illinois minimum coverage) is not enough to fairly compensate an accident victim for his or her damages.

After recovering a defendant’s insurance policy limits, our office next explores an underinsured motorist claim. If our client carries a larger insurance policy, we will pursue funds under said insurance policy.

In the case below, we will be going after our clients own $100,000 policy.

This claim arises out of an automobile collision which took place in February, 2012. Our client operated her motor vehicle with her headlights on, the roadway was lit by street lights, the road was straight and flat and visibility was good.

She operated her motor vehicle southbound on Wolf Road, in North Lake, Illinois, approaching its intersection with Fullerton. The defendant operated his motor vehicle northbound on Wolf Road approaching its intersection with Fullerton. Both the north and south bound lanes of Wolf Road had a green light. My client was traveling at approximately 35 miles per hour.

The other driver failed to exercise due caution and proceeded to make a left turn in front of my client’s motor vehicle to go westbound on Fullerton when it was not safe to do so. The plaintiff applied her brakes but was unable to stop her motor vehicle and a collision occurred. At the time of the collision the client was wearing her safety belt and had both hands on the steering wheel. Upon impact she was thrown about in her seat belt and her airbag deployed striking her in the face and torso. The force of the impact of the collision injured her.

Both of the automobiles were towed from the scene of the occurrence.

The at fault driver failed to yield the right of way when making a left turn, failed to keep a proper lookout, failed to stop for oncoming traffic, failed to exercise due caution when making a left turn, and failed to exercise due care for the safety of those in the area.

Following the collision the plaintiff had a swollen lip with abrasion, right arm bruising and minor discomfort in her abdomen along the pelvis. She was transported to the Gottlieb Memorial Hospital Emergency Department via ambulance where she complained of headache, swelling and pain in her arm and lip. A CT scan was taken of her head to evaluate for trauma and x-rays were taken of her right arm and pelvis. She was prescribed Vicodin for pain and instructed to stay home from work the following day and seek follow-up care with a physician.

Over the next week our client noticed her symptoms worsened rather than improved and in February, 2012, she sought treatment with the doctor she was referred to. She complained of neck pain, headaches and left shoulder pain. A history was taken, she was examined, and diagnostic tests were performed. She was diagnosed with cervical strain, thoracic strain and left shoulder entrapment. She was given prescriptions for Naproxen and Flexeril and instructed to begin a course of physical therapy.

The plaintiff began physical therapy in February. Her most prominent complaint was of pain in her left shoulder. While she was undergoing physical therapy, she continued to follow up with her physician. At the end of February an MRI of the left shoulder was ordered due to her continued complaints of pain.

The scan showed a left shoulder partial supraspinatus tear and left shoulder strain and she was then sent for orthopedic evaluation.

In April, she saw an orthopedic surgeon for evaluation. A history was taken, she was examined, and diagnostic tests were performed. She complained of sharp and aching pain in her left shoulder which radiated down her arm. She was advised to continue physical therapy and return in four weeks for evaluation.

She underwent 33 physical therapy sessions. In May, 2012 it was determined that she has reached maximum medical recovery and she was discharged from care and given a plan of home physical therapy.

Medical expenses incurred by our client for treatment of the injuries she suffered as a result of the negligence of the defendant were over $18,000.

Despite the treatment she has undergone, she continues to suffer from intermittent pain and discomfort in her left shoulder. This pain has greatly affected her life. As a result of her injuries she is unable to engage in many activities she enjoyed prior to the collision, and those activities she can engage in cause her pain and she cannot participate as she did prior to the collision.

Her pain is aggravated by heavy lifting, repetitious activities, and sleeping positions. Any activities that involves turning, twisting, or bending at the shoulder area can be difficult and painful. Furthermore simple activities such as household chores, shopping and a wide variety of activities of daily living are limited and painful.

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, it is best to start working with an accident lawyer as soon as possible. The earlier on in the case you have counsel, the easier it will be for that lawyer to protect your rights. There can be many significant obstacles in accident claims, and a plaintiff not represented by an attorney often damages his or her own case.

If you have been hurt in a collision, call our office for a free consultation. Call 855-LAW-CHICAGO.