Horrible Car Crash With Horrific Injuries

Car accident broken legs medical insurance chicago lawyer

Jay is a young man with a good job as a train conductor, he works out with weights, lives a clean life, and still lives with his mom. At 21, he is in the prime of his life with decades still ahead of him. But if you took a closer look at his body, you couldn’t help but notice the severe scarring on his right leg where surgery was performed to repair his leg, which was injured in a car crash in January of 2015. Look closer and you might see the remnants of the scars on his face, as well as those on his right leg. How he got hurt so severely is the story we will tell below.

Driving With a Friend

Jay was driving his car with his friend’s girlfriend. He has known her since they were children, and they are close. Without warning, as he approached an intersection, a woman driving the opposite way turned left in front of him. He had no chance to stop or avoid the contact. Afterwards, the Honda Civic he was driving was unrecognizable as a car. It is the kind of picture most people see and assume everyone involved died.

The Injuries and Aftermath

Jay and his friend Veronica were both seriously injured. But both survived and are doing well. The car was extremely safe, and the air bags deployed. They had youth on their side. They were lucky.

Jay’s injuries were catastrophic. He fractured his right tibia and fibula, both bones in the shin. Broken like matchsticks snapped completely in half. I have been an injury attorney for over 26 years and I have never seen fractures so “obvious” and severe. He also fractured his nose and orbital bone. He had surgery on the leg, where they installed a rod and multiple metal plates and screws to hold the bones in place. He also suffered facial fractures, which required surgery to repair. Unfortunately, the metal plate they installed in his face to hold the cheekbone in place, began irritating him by impinging into his mouth. So more surgery was necessary to remove the plate.

Despite these unbelievable injuries, he kept a positive attitude, worked hard in physical therapy, and returned to work within 7 months. This is a standing job that also requires walking up and down the train cars collecting tickets. He has no discernable limp. His healing is nothing short of miraculous.

The Recovery and the Case

Jay’s case is the best “advertisement” ever for why YOU should have the highest insurance limits possible.

The lady who hit him had the (at that time) Illinois state minimum limits of liability. $20,000 per person per incident, and a maximum of $40,000 per incident. Jay’s medical bills alone exceeded $100,000!

Our office worked tirelessly to discover other sources of recovery. First, we recovered the maximum policy limits from the at-fault driver’s carrier. Then, we started digging through both Jay’s and Veronica’s family insurance. Jay had a family policy with limits of $50,000/$100,000. This meant there would only be an additional $30,000 available (50,000 less the 20,000 recovered from the at-fault driver). So we kept questioning and looking under stones until we discovered an insurance policy for Jay’s brother, who also lived in the house. This was a $50,000 policy.

The law in Illinois is clear that one cannot “stack” insurance policies. In other words, the only way the brother’s policy was available was if it had limits higher than $50,000. Somehow, however, I was able to convince the brother’s carrier to tender its policy limits.

This led to a protracted legal battle with the mother’s carrier, who now argued that since their policy was also $50,000, it should not have to pay anything. After much legal research and negotiation, it was convinced that it should pay the $30,000 owed.

That’s right, the most money available to Jay was $100,000. That was all we could get him. We reduced our fees, worked hard to reduce his medical bills and liens, and were able to recover a fair settlement that compensated him for his injuries, while ensuring all his bills were paid.

The Takeaway

If there had been larger amounts of insurance available, this case would have been worth multiple times what he recovered. That is why you should always carry the highest liability and Underinsured Motorist limits available. Just in case some person turns in front of you and fractures your legs and face.

Contact Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Stephen Hoffman

If you've been in an accident and have questions, contact Chicago personal injury attorney Stephen L. Hoffman for a free consultation at (773) 944-9737. Stephen has nearly 30 years of legal experience and has collected millions of dollars for his clients. He has been named a SuperLawyer, has a 10.0 rating on Avvo, and is BBB A+ accredited.

Stephen handles personal injury and workers' compensation claims on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay anything upfront and he only gets paid if you do. Don’t wait another day, contact Stephen now.

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