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Above and Beyond Available Insurance Limits

Mazow|McCullough, PC Obtains Insurance Settlement Above and Beyond Available Insurance Limits

Mazow|McCullough, PC recently obtained a settlement from a Massachusetts Insurance Company beyond the available insurance limits.  Despite the insurer’s claims that it would only cover $20,000.00 of bodily injury insurance, Robert Mazow, Esq. was able to secure a settlement of $40,000.00.

On December 21, 2007, the client was operating her motor vehicle with due care on Route 1 in Chelsea, Massachusetts when she was struck by a motor vehicle operated by A.T.  The vehicle Mr. T was operating had been rented by J.P.  Mr. T. was operating a motor vehicle under the influence of intoxicating liquors and was driving without a valid driver’s license.

Suit was filed against both Mr. T. and Mr. P.  The lawsuit alleged that Mr. T. was operating negligently and that J.P. negligently entrusted the rental vehicle to Mr. T.

Mr. P’s Massachusetts insurance company claimed that Mr. P. did not give permission to Mr. T. to operate the rental car.  Claiming no-permissive use, the insurer reduced the available optional motor vehicle coverage from $100,000.00 to $20,000.00.

Discovery revealed that Mr. T. had been drinking intoxicating liquors at an establishment in Boston on December 21, 2007 and proceeded to drive a vehicle the wrong way on Route 1 North in Chelsea, Massachusetts.  Mr. T. crashed the vehicle into the client’s vehicle which was traveling in the appropriate direction on Route 1.  The client was removed from her vehicle with the “Jaws of Life” and was transported by ambulance to Massachusetts General Hospital for emergency treatment.

Mr. T. admitted to sufficient facts and was found guilty of all of the criminal charges except for Leaving the Scene of an Accident.  He was found responsible for the civil violation of Wrong Way Operation on a Highway.

Discovery revealed that Mr. P. was both independently and vicariously liable for the damages sustained by the client.  Mr. P. was independently liable for the client’s injuries due to the fact that he negligently entrusted the rental vehicle to Mr. T. when he knew or reasonably should have known that Mr. T. was unfit to drive.  Mr. T. and Mr. P. are brothers-in-law and, at the time the vehicle was rented as well as the date of the collision, lived at the same house in Saugus, Massachusetts.  Mr. T. had been at “Club 33” in Boston and was asked by Mr. P. to drive the rental vehicle to their home.  The roads were covered with snow which was falling and accumulating.  Mr. T. had been at “Club 33” for about two to three hours.  According to Mr. T., Mr. P. could attest to his condition when he left “Club 33”.  Mr. T. claimed in his answers to interrogatories that he drank only one beer, however, he informed the State Police that he drank two beers and one “Red Bull.”

Additionally, Mr. P. was vicariously liable for Mr. T’s negligence.  Discovery also revealed that at the time of the accident Mr. T was in the course of doing a single errand for Mr. P.  Under a theory of respondeat superior, Mr. P., in asking Mr. T. to perform an errand for him in his rental car, is vicariously liable for Mr. T’s tortuous conduct.

As a result of the negligence of both Mr. T. and Mr. P., the client sustained serious personal injuries.  From the collision scene, she was taken by ambulance to the Massachusetts General Hospital emergency room.  CT scans were taken of her chest and cervical spine.  She sustained trauma to her mouth and fractured a tooth.  She injured her head, back, abdomen, chest and neck and had severe headaches.  A chest x-ray revealed a pulmonary contusion and she suffered from asthma exacerbation.  She had severe pain in her sternum, right clavicle, neck and knee.

Mazow|McCullough, PC was able to secure $20,000.00 from the rental car and negotiated a settlement with Mr. P’s insurance company for an additional $40,000.00.  This was $20,000.00 more than the compulsory insurance coverage the insurer claimed was available.

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This client was kind enough to send a thank you card. Click here to see a copy. It reads:

“Thank you for your commitment and relentless efforts in finding a fair resolution to my case. I truly appreciate your honesty and will not hesitate to recommend you to any friends, family, or colleagues who may be in need of your services. You’re the best Rob! You kindness and that of your staff will never be forgotten.”

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