A well-known Kentucky attorney now knows that better than most, as he sustained severe injuries and indeed almost died last year when he was involved in a bicycle accident caused when a 20-year-old motorist struck him from behind as the cyclist was stopped in preparation for a turn.
The driver had insurance and that insurer agreed to pay plaintiff up to policy limits in exchange for a release of liability. The problem is the payout limit doesn’t come close to covering plaintiff’s damages. The good news is the attorney was covered under three other uninsured/ underinsured motorist coverage policies that grant a combined $4.5 million coverage. The bad news is those insurance companies have denied his claim.
Because he’s vying for underinsured motorist coverage, he can’t accept the offer from the driver’s insurance company without approval from his insurers. But because they aren’t paying at the moment, he’s getting nothing in the meantime and he has no choice but to file a lawsuit, which names not only the insurance companies involved but the at-fault driver.
An attorney for the victim told reporters his client “never wanted to sue the boy,” but he’s entitled to compensation for his injuries, which included a broken neck and the need for numerous ongoing surgeries.
In addition to claiming entitlement to underinsured motorist coverage, plaintiff is asserting bad faith on the part of his three insurance carriers for refusing to pay the claims. If he is successful in those claims, he could ultimately receive triple damages, which would total $13.5 million.
It’s worth noting that even though plaintiff is an accomplished attorney in his own right, well-known in the Louisville, Kentucky area as the “hard-hitter,” he is not representing himself. He has hired a personal injury lawyer from another law firm. That should serve as an important example to anyone who ever considers representing themselves in an injury lawsuit.
In Isaacs v. Sentinel Insurance Co. et al., plaintiff seeks:
- $500,00 from an underinsured motorist policy;
- $1 million under an umbrella insurance policy;
- $3 million from an additional underinsured motorist coverage.
He further claims that coverage would have been provided by these entities had his insurance agent performed her duties as expected, and that she failed to maintain coverage at the limits he was expecting.
The bicycle accident from which this all stemmed happened as the driver was returning home from work. He was not charged with any criminal offense. He wasn’t speeding and he hadn’t been drinking. Still, this speaks to a larger problem with motorists and cyclists sharing the road: Drivers too often are on the lookout for those on bicycles. Florida is one of the worst places for this. Of the 743 bicyclists killed nationally in 2013, three died in Kentucky while 133 were killed in Florida, according to the NHTSA.
The 50-year-old victim in this case spent weeks in the hospital recovering from his injuries. When he was struck, he was thrown back onto the windshield and then tossed onto the pavement. The driver told police he hadn’t seen the cyclist due to sun glare.
If you have been injured in an accident, contact the Hollander Law Firm at (888) 751-7770 for a free and confidential consultation. There is no fee unless we win.
‘The Hammer’ Darryl Isaacs seeks $4.5M in bike accident, January 2016, By Andrew Wolfson, IndyStar
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