Baltimore jury rules for victim’s family in accident case

Baltimore jury rules for victim’s family in accident case

Two years after a Baltimore car accident took the life of a 24-year-old woman, a jury has ruled that the victim’s family should receive $760,000 in compensation.

The woman was traveling through the intersection of 28th and North Calvert streets in Baltimore when her car collided with a SUV in June 2010. Her insurance company denied a claim filed by her family, apparently choosing to believe the contention of the SUV driver that he did not cause the accident.

When a witness stepped forward to state the man had run the red light and hit the woman’s car, sending her Honda Insight into a light pole, the man’s insurance company paid $25,000. Her family then sued, stating the man was underinsured and her insurance company should pay. Her policy covered uninsured motorists to a policy limit of $100,000.

In March 2011, the victim’s family sued her insurance company after it refused to pay, as well as the SUV driver. After no out-of-court settlement was reached with the insurer, the jury in Baltimore Circuit Court reached its verdict for the family.

Outraged that the parties had to go to court, the victim’s brother took to social-media and online sites to criticize his sister’s insurer, accusing the insurer of paying for the SUV driver’s defense. His rants spread across the world, with other policy holders responding online that they would cease to do business with the insurer.

The insurer eventually responded with its own online postings, offering condolences to the woman’s family but also defending how it conducted itself and correcting what it said were misstatements by the woman’s brother.

The victim paid her insurance policy in good faith that the insurer would follow through on the terms of its contract. When it didn’t, the victim’s family was well within its rights to pursue legal action against the company.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, Online post about refusal to pay fatal accident claim goes viral,” Lorraine Mirabella, Aug. 14, 2012

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