$200K Settlement Road Rage Driver Forced Motorcycle Into Freeway Barrier
DISCLAIMER: The results are specific to the facts and legal circumstances of each of the clients’ cases and should not be used to form an expectation that the same results could be obtained for other clients in similar matters without reference to the specific factual and legal circumstances of each client’s case.
Riding home after a beautiful sun filled ride, our client’s day ended in horror for him and his passenger. As Bryan was riding westbound on the SR 512 freeway in Puyallup, Washington a car suddenly and aggressively appeared next to him. He tried to get away from the car, but it unexpectedly swerved into Bryan’s bike. The impact sent Bryan and his passenger crashing into the cable barriers in the middle of the freeway.
Crashing into cable barriers at over 60 mph as you can imagine results in very bad things happening. The cable barrier grabbed the motorcycle and Bryan and his passenger were sent flying from the bike. Bryan landed in the grass median about 150 feet from his bike. He suffered severe injuries.
Bryan’s injuries included a broken back, broken wrist, broken ankle, and broken ribs. Multiple surgeries at Tacoma General Hospital were required to fix all the broken bones. The spine fractures required fusion of four of his spine vertebrae to stabilize his spine so he was paralyzed from the waist down. Bryan spent 18 days in the hospital, followed by 5 weeks at an in-patient rehabilitation center (very similar to a nursing home, no fun!!).
The medical bills added up to over $400,000. There was no way Bryan would be able to pay these bills on his own. Luckily, he had good health insurance that paid nearly all his medical bills.
Working was impossible for the better part of a year. The amount of Bryan’s lost wages was also high. Living a year without your normal income is stressful and for most people it can end in homelessness. Again, Bryan was lucky to have the resources to endure this long period of unemployment.
Bryan’s injuries eventually healed, but not to the 100% level he had before the motorcycle accident. Bryan has been left with difficulty walking, bending, and doing activities that require too much physical exertion.
He did buy a bike again and has returned to riding. Riding motorcycles is his main passion in life and he simply refused to give it up. Unfortunately, Bryan can’t ride as often or a long as he did before. His surgically repaired back gets painful on long rides and he often has to cut them shorter than he’d like. Bryan has been forced to adapt to a new normal that he wishes was not there.
The reality of many severe motorcycle accidents like this is there often is not enough auto insurance or motorcycle insurance to cover the full value of an injured person’s claims.
Max was able to get Bryan all the insurance policy limits available in the amount of $200,000. The at-fault car only had $100,000 in liability coverage. Bryan had motorcycle insurance with $100,000 in underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage.
The biggest benefit Bryan got from having Max on his side was getting his health insurance to waive reimbursement for the medical bills it paid. This was the only way to make sure Bryan received any money from the settlement. Without an attorney fighting for Bryan, the health insurance company would have taken all $200,000 leaving Bryan with nothing.
Bryan’s case highlights why MaxPower Law recommends motorcycle riders buy motorcycle insurance despite it not being required in Washington. Buy as much Underinsured Motorist (UIM) insurance as possible. In a perfect world, every motorcycle rider would have at least $500,000 in UIM coverage. Bryan’s case was likely worth over $2,000,000 million had there been adequate insurance available.
Check out Bryan’s blog www.hiwayflyer.com. Here’s a link to Bryan’s blog article about the motorcycle accident in his own words.