Auto Accident Personal Injury Case


Hearse driver shatters knee in auto accident- $890,000 Settlement

Our client was a part time hearse driver who was badly injured when a pickup pulled out of a Philip Morris parking lot in front of him, causing the hearse driver to “t-bone” the pickup.  Fault was straightforward as the pickup driver admitted to the police, on body-cam footage, that he pulled out into the hearse driver’s right-of-way. The pickup driver had $300,000 of Auto Liability Coverage provided by Alfa Insurance and the hearse driver had a $1,000,000 of Under-Insured Motorist Insurance Coverage provided by Nationwide Insurance.

Our client was taken to Chippenham Medical Center from the scene. His tibial plateau was shattered and required major knee reconstruction. He also broke his right heal and suffered several fractures of his right foot. His medical bills totaled $276,000.  Our client’s treating orthopedic found that although the hearse driver would have likely needed a knee replacement in the absence of the auto accident, that the crash increased the likelihood that he would need additional knee revision surgery over the course of his lifetime. Additionally, as a result of the auto accident, the hearse driver was rated with a 38% permanent impairment of his right lower extremity. Medical Rehabilitation Resource Consultants calculated the driver’s future damages at $330,000.

At the time of the crash, our client was partially disabled and was drawing Social Security Disability benefits.  As a result, he did not make a claim for lost wages.  This also meant that the driver was covered by Medicare.  Having Medicare helped our client tremendously by decreasing the cost of his medical bills. On the flip side, it made things a bit more complicated by forcing us to create a Medicare set-aside for his future care. 

Within several months of the Crash, we worked to settle the case with the pickup driver for his policy limits of $300,000.  Once our client stabilized and his future damages were calculable, we made a demand on the Under-Insured Motorist policy for the remaining policy limits of $700,000.  Ultimately, we negotiated a settlement with Nationwide for an additional $590,000 before suit was filed.

Type of action: Personal Injury

Injuries alleged:  Shattered tibial plateau and required a reconstruction of his right knee.  Also broken right heal, and fractures to his 4th and 5th metatarsals in his right foot.

Date resolved: April 10, 2020.

Special damages: $606,000

Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Charles H. Cuthbert, Jr. and Richard M. Cuthbert

Insurance carriers: Alfa $300,000 and Nationwide with $1,000,000 of UIM.