Jogger Struck by Pickup Gets Runaround ($130,000)

A 26 year old school teacher was struck by a pickup while jogging. Witnesses and police investigation placed all fault on the pickup, which was undisputed. Injuries to the jogger included multiple left foot fractures, significant contusion to the left eye, and abrasions to the elbows and knees. The fractures in the foot required surgery with two plates and numerous pins and screws. The surgery could not be completed for almost two full weeks following the injury due to the severity of swelling. Medical bills totaled approximately $43,500. His lost wages were limited to only $1,650. He was required to keep his foot elevated for the first four months of his recovery. Besides being allowed to return to work as a school teacher, where he was able to sit with his foot elevated, he was restricted from all activities other than driving to work for those four months. The next two months he was allowed to cook and do dishes, as well as do other driving, as long as none of it was for longer than 30 minutes at a time with a 30 minute break. He got married five months after his injury – while still wearing a walking boot. Eventually, he healed well with little residual evidence of injury but for the surgical scars.

Prior to retaining Denise Fullerton’s services, this educated plaintiff was being misled by insurance companies. His own insurer failed to inform him of Primary Homemaker Essential Service benefits, for which Denise was able to recover the maximum remaining $19,250 in benefits under his policy. The BI liability adjuster told him they were only required to pay $30,000 of their $50,000 policy for the at-fault pickup truck driver, wrongly claiming a discount for the $20,000 in PIP medical benefits he would get from his own insurer. Denise was able to quickly set this straight and obtain the full $50,000 policy. Neither insurer had let him know of his right to obtain Under Insured Motorist (UIM) benefits, which Denise was able to recover for him in the amount of $40,000. Additionally, because Denise was able to obtain the PIP medical policy payment directly, she was able to work with the providers and insurers to utilize only $8,000 to resolve the entirety of the plaintiff’s past medical expenses, in addition to securing protection of future coverage for ongoing treatment under the plaintiff’s health insurance plan.

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