Our client Peter Campbell was involved in a motor vehicle crash. He was one of multiple passengers in the vehicle, a 2008 Acura sedan, and was seated in the back seat. Ron Simpson, the person driving the vehicle our client was in, negligently pulled out into an intersection, even though he had a stop sign, into the path of an oncoming vehicle. The second vehicle struck the driver’s side of the vehicle in which our client was a passenger, causing extensive damage to the vehicle. The driver of the other vehicle, Andrew Jones, was speeding, so the crash caused extensive damage to both vehicles, and serious injuries to the occupants of both vehicles. Our client Mr. Campbell sustained serious injuries, including fractures of his collar bone, ribs, pelvis, and sacrum, and a punctured liver. He was transported by med-flight helicopter from the crash scene to a hospital in Boston, where he underwent surgery and was admitted for over a week. Mr. Campbell’s medical bills alone were in excess of $100,000.
It was clear that our client, along with the other passengers, had a valid injury claim against both drivers – Mr. Simpson, who was driving the car our client was in, and Mr. Jones, the driver of the other car. By diligent investigation, we were able to find several insurance policies that were available to contribute to the compensation that our client deserved, including the policies for the owner of the vehicle our client was in, and Mr. Jones.
Then things got complicated. Mr. Simpson, the driver of the car our driver was in, did not have an insurance policy of his own. One quirk of Massachusetts insurance law is that if someone who does not have insurance of their own is driving a car that he or she does not own, then that person is entitled to insurance coverage under the policies owned by family members who live in the same household as the driver. We discovered that Mr. Simpson lived with his father, his brother, and his sister, and all three of them had auto insurance policies. So we then pursued claims against these three policies.
The insurers for Mr. Simpson’s brother and sister agreed to a settlement of our client’s claims, but the insurer for the father refused to pay. Instead, it claimed that Mr. Simpson did not in fact live at the family home, and we were forced to file a lawsuit against the father’s insurance company in order to force it to pay its $100,000 policy limit.
We then undertook an extensive investigation to find evidence that Mr. Simpson did in fact live in the family home with his father, mother and sister. We found extensive documentary evidence, including records from the Registry of Motor Vehicles, census records, and records of unrelated criminal proceedings against Mr. Simpson, all showing that he lived in the family home. We took the depositions of various witnesses, who all confirmed that Mr. Simpson spent the majority of his time living in the family home. We even uncovered a sworn statement that Mr. Simpson had given to his father’s insurance company, stating that he lived in the family home.
Despite all of this evidence, the father’s insurance company refused to pay anything, so we took the case to trial. The trial was heard by a judge sitting without a jury. After hearing all the evidence, the judge issued a scathing decision in our favor against the father’s insurance company. The judge was extremely critical of insurance company’s handling of the claim. Its investigation was “sloth-like” and its position was “ludicrous”. The judge said that the insurance company was relying on “hearsay and speculation” to support its pre-determined position that Mr. Simpson did not live in the family home, turning a “blind eye to clear, documented evidence.”
Once the judge issued this ruling, the father’s insurance company paid the full $100,000 available under its policy, bringing the total that we recovered for our client to $192,500. We were able to recover this amount by hard work and perseverance, and because of our willingness to take a case to trial.
In order to protect the privacy of the injured person and witnesses, all names have been changed. Any resemblance to names of real persons, past or present, is merely coincidental and not intended.