We can all accept that accidents will happen, and we do our very best to avoid them. Unfortunately, though, we don’t always have control of what happens, and that’s when accidents can be the most tragic.
What do you do when you’re out for a drive and you get into a motor-vehicle accident that is clearly not your fault? You may assume that insurance will kick in and cover your medical expenses and property damage; however, it often happens that the at-fault driver is either underinsured or uninsured. What then?
Mr. C, a high-school senior, was driving on a rural highway in Arizona when he was hit. The other driver fell asleep at the wheel, careened across traffic, and collided with Mr. C’s vehicle head on, directly in front of the passenger area of the car, at a speed of approximately 55 mph.
Fortunately, there was no doubt that other driver was 100% at fault for falling asleep.
What the Law Says
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates an annual 100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue, when a driver feels sleepy or actually falls asleep. That number translates to nearly 1,550 deaths and 71,000 injuries, not to mention more than $12 billion in property damage. Keep in mind that these numbers are statistics, since it’s challenging to identify sleepy drivers.
While Arizona does not currently have any laws regarding drowsy driving, as driving while fatigued is termed, it is clear that falling asleep at the wheel and being the cause of a motor-vehicle accident is pretty cut and dried when it comes to fault.
How Silkman Law Firm Helped
Mr. C was severely injured in this accident, accruing hospital bills in excess of $450,000. Automotive insurance only provided $65,000 of coverage—both at-fault liability and underinsured. In addition, the at-fault driver had no personal assets over which to sue.
Mr. C and his family carried AHCCS, Arizona’s Medicaid agency, which paid all of his medical bills but also had a lien in the case to reimbursed more than $80,000.
All of this meant that there wasn’t enough insurance to go around. The automotive insurance would need to go to AHCCS to cover medical bills, leaving Mr. C owing an additional $15,000.
Silkman Law Firm negotiated with AHCCS for nearly eight months on this case, finally settling on an $8,000 payment instead of the initial $80,000. That meant that of the $65,000 in automotive insurance, Mr. C was able to keep a majority of it for himself.
Trust Your Professional Phoenix Personal Injury Attorney
Even when a situation seems to be simple, there are always nuances and complexities.
We have the knowledge and experience to ensure that you’ll receive a fair settlement.