Auto Accident

2006 Auto Accident (Passenger) – St. Charles County


Attorney: Eric A. Ruttencutter and Robert H. Pedroli Jr.

Type of Claim: Minor client/passenger in vehicle involved in one car accident. Driver and passenger were under 21 years old and alcohol consumption was involved. Driver only had $50,000.00 in insurance with American Family. Client’s family had additional uninsured motorist coverage. On the night of the accident, defendant driver claimed another vehicle forced her from the road by crossing the center line, later she refused to testify based upon the 5th Amendment, on the grounds of self-incrimination.

Client’ family had American family claimed the $400,000.00 uninsured motorist coverage did not apply because the client’s family removed clients as a permitted driver under their policies prior to accident, and because it claimed there was no other vehicle(which could not be identified) which caused the accident. Therefore, only the Driver’s $50,000.00 policy applied. Attorney claimed that under policy interpretation rules of law, the policy was ambigious on the amount of coverage and we took the position that all members of the family unit are covered equally in this situation, and the exclusion did not apply because the minor was not driving any vehicle at the time of the accident.

Damages: Loss of use of one eye

Settlement: $277,000.00, against American Family policies, after discovery was conducted.