|Date||2013, February 28|
The deceased driver was driving home from work in rural Missouri. His vehicle was found upside down in a ditch. Based upon a physical inspection of the accident scene and skid marks the plaintiff contended that the driver braked and swerved to avoid another vehicle which was cresting the hill over the center line.
The Liberty Mutual Insurance policy is mandated by state law to include “uninsured motorist coverage.” That policy included a definition of “hit and run” that required actual physical contact with the other vehicle, which did not occur in this case. Plaintiff argued that the Liberty Mutual definition of “hit and run” was in direct contradiction to Missouri statute RSMo. 379.203.1, which provides that uninsured coverage “exists whether or not physical contact was made.”
An additional legal issue involved the stacking – or combining – of multiple car insurance policies. Missouri law allows for the stacking of uninsured motorist coverage. Since there were two vehicles listed on the policy, plaintiff was able to stack the coverages and make a claim for $100,000.
This case exemplifies why experienced insurance coverage counsel is needed. By the Liberty Mutual definition, no claim was possible. Because our firm works on a daily basis on insurance coverage disputes, we were able to recover $100,000 for the widow.
Past results afford no guarantee of future results and every case is different and must be judged on its own merits.