30th May 2017
Assume for a moment there is a auto accident with two vehicles. The mother of a family is driving a car and negligently drove into another vehicle driven by the father. The son, a passenger in Mom’s car, makes a legal claim for witnessing the wrongful death of his father. A wrongful death claim is also filed. Is there one or two claims? It is important because insurance policies have a per claim limit and a per accident limit which is higher. Let’s say there is a per claim limit of $100,000 and a per-accident limit of $300,000. If this is two claims, each could max out at $100,000 with $200,000. If there is only one claim, they must share $100,000. The court looked at this very issue and decided the case by looking at the fine print in the insurance policy.
These issues become very complex and turn on the details of the language in each insurance policy. The court ruled that since the son’s injuries came from the physical death of his father, there was only one physical injury and therefore only one claim based on the definition of bodily injury in the policy.
Every case is different, and there are different definitions in each insurance policy. It takes a trained lawyer to make this analysis. When there are two possible answers, the insurance will pick the answer that denies your claim. Call us if you injured in an accident. We will help by giving you a clear legal opinion, so you will know your rights.