Cross & Smith LLC


Tuscaloosa Injury Claims: Identifying Responsible Parties

Jul 5, 2012 - Personal Injury by

Identifying all of the at-fault parties, and their associated insurance carriers, are among the most critical tasks of a Tuscaloosa personal injury lawyer.
Progressive Northern Insurance Co. v. Mohr, a case decided by the Delaware Supreme Court, involved a pedestrian accident victim. The victim recovered $15,000 from the insurance carrier of the vehicle involved in the accident. But he also sought to recover from Progressive Northern Insurance Company, which had a policy in place on a vehicle owned by the victim’s mother. The policy excluded coverage of Mohr as result of a pedestrian accident.

The question before the court was whether such an exclusion was permissible or whether an insurance company had to include pedestrian accidents in its personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. In this case, the Supreme Court decided Mohr could collect from the PIP policy in place on his mother’s vehicle. And that the exclusion conflicted with Delaware’s automobile insurance laws. Thus, in addition to the $15,000 collected from the at-fault driver’s insurance policy, the court ordered Progressive, which insured the victim’s mother, to pay an additional $85,000! The court ordered the $15,000 be subtracted from the $100,000 policy limit in place.

Progressive’s policy had offered insurance to Mohr’s mother and other immediate family members who were injured in a pedestrian accident only if the vehicle was not insured in Delaware.

The Superior Court had also denied Progressive’s motion for summary judgment. The court found to rule otherwise would “limit no-fault coverage beyond what the legislature envisioned.”

While Alabama law does not require PIP coverage, this case serves as an example of the importance of identifying all avenues of recovery.

Strict statute of limitations also apply to filing a personal injury claim in Alabama. Contacting an experienced personal injury law firm as soon as possible after a serious or fatal accident is always the best option.

Additional Resources

Alabama Personal Injury Expert Testimony and a Look at Newell Rubbermaid v. Raymond Corp., Alabama Injury Attorneys Blog, April 18,2012.

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