$200,000 Verdict in Bedford -- Maximum Uninsured Coverage to Driver With Multiple Sclerosis Awarded Against His Own Insurer, State Farm Insurance Company (Reduced to $100,000 Policy Limits)
A man with progressive multiple sclerosis was hit from behind by a vehicle traveling over 45 mph. The driver of that vehicle was uninsured. Luckily, the plaintiff (injured person) had purchased Uninsured Motorists Coverage with State Farm Insurance Company to protect him in case he had been struck by a driver without insurance. When he made a claim for payment of medical bills and pain and suffering, State Farm denied his claim. He then hired Attorney Jeff Shaw.
State Farm Insurance Company refused to pay any monies for compensatory damages such as pain and suffering, arguing that it was impossible to tell whether his condition was worsened by the collision or not.
Attorney Jeff Shaw was able to introduce into evidence a videotape of the man after the wreck attempting to get from a chair to his kitchen refrigerator to open a can of soda which took over 8 minutes to accomplish. The jury later said this evidence swayed their decision.
Another vital piece of evidence was that the injured man always traveled personally to his State Farm Co. insurance agent to pay his monthly premiums. Thus, the insurance agent saw the difficulty the man had in getting out of his vehicle and walking to the door to pay the premiums. The company knew the man was in less-than-perfect physical health when it accepted his money -- Attorney Jeff Shaw argued it wasn't fair for State Farm to come into a court of law and argue he shouldn't be compensated when hit by an uninsured motorist because he was not in good health before the collision.
The jury disagreed and awarded over $100,000 in compensatory damages over a 2-day trial.
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