By: Joseph A. Smith
Insurance companies are always looking for a new tactic to try and avoid paying out on valid claims, but a recent argument raised by State Farm and Farm Bureau takes it to a new level in an ongoing case in Michigan.
In the case, a Michigan man, paralyzed from the waist down, was crossing the street on his motorized mobility scooter when he was hit by an SUV. The driver of the SUV was found at fault by the police, and the man brought a PIP (personal insurance protection) claim with his own insurance, State Farm, to recover the $2 million in medical expenses he has incurred as a result of the accident. But State Farm stopped paying and is now arguing that they should not have to pay for any damages resulting from the accident because the man did not have insurance on his scooter. On the same grounds, Farm Bureau is also arguing that that the man is therefore an uninsured driver and under Michigan law he should be responsible for any damages suffered by the SUV-driver who struck his scooter. The companies have taken these stances despite the fact that the man needs major surgery to help him survive the continuing damage caused by the accident.
Further defying commonsense, State Farm and Farm Bureau ignore that neither company offers a policy that would have covered the man and his scooter. In fact, it would be almost impossible for someone with a motorized scooter or similar vehicle to obtain auto insurance-like coverage, as it appears no insurance company offers this coverage. These tactics have observers questioning how quickly these strategies could spread to other states and whether this is a new way for insurance companies to potentially deny valid claims while further lining their pockets by creating and selling new coverage options for scooter users.
These kind of underhanded tactics and behaviors are far too common with insurance companies. While this may be a more extreme example, insurance companies will always put their bank accounts and bottom lines above compensating people for valid claims, even if the person making the claim is their own insured.
That is why it can be so important to seek experienced and effective legal counsel following an auto accident. The Washington DC car accident lawyers at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata, & Siegel, P.C., have years of experience going up against insurance companies for their unscrupulous practices. If you are in a bicycle accident or pedestrian accident and suffer injuries, please call the personal injury attorneys at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. We are always here to help.