In 2014, our truck driver client “Danny” was involved in a collision which caused personal injuries and collision damage to another driver and her vehicle. At that time, he reported the accident to the lessee company to which he had leased the vehicle for commercial hauling purposes. Unfortunately, without counsel, Danny was unable to confirm coverage for the accident, although he was being charged for insurance consistently. He also had his own “bobtail” coverage for his tractor so long as it was not pulling a trailer (and therefore not available as coverage for this particular accident). Danny’s troubles were exacerbated by the fact that he is an immigrant with limited English communication skills.
As a result, the collision damage was charged to Danny personally, and he made a number of installment payments to the insurer of the damaged vehicle.
Fast forward to 2016, when the injured party filed a lawsuit against Danny and others. Danny consulted our law firm for the purpose of filing an Answer to the complaint since no insurance company was accepting responsibility to defend and indemnify Danny. We filed the Answer for him, and learned from the plaintiff’s attorney that the personal injuries were limited. We then kept up constant communications with both insurance companies, letting them know of the limited nature of the claim, and threatening to sue them for compensatory and punitive damages if they did not step up and cover Danny. Ultimately, one of the insurance companies did accept responsibility and paid a settlement to the plaintiff to resolve the personal injury lawsuit.
In the course of this matter, we learned that although it was charging Danny for the insurance, the lessee failed to add Danny’s truck to its insurance policy, which was why that insurance company had refused coverage. However, with some pressure from this office, that insurance company did the right thing and provided the coverage that Danny had paid for.
It remained for us to seek payment from that insurance company for the collision damage owed to the plaintiff’s insurance company. I am pleased to report that the check is in the mail.
Insurance coverage matters can be sticky. Having aggressive and knowledgeable counsel in your corner is your best bet to resolving the claim.