It’s every car buyer’s worst nightmare – being involved in a car wreck in your new car before it’s added to your insurance policy. That’s exactly what happened to our Portland, Oregon client. He had purchased a new vehicle and had owned it for three days when he was injured in an accident before he had added it to his insurance coverage. After receiving treatment for his injuries, he added the car to his insurance policy the evening of the accident and was told that he would have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage for reasonable and necessary medical benefits up to $25,000.
He continued to receive treatment for the injury he had suffered in the auto accident. Six months later, when his treatment was complete, he had $7,000 in medical expenses. When he submitted the claim to his insurance company, they denied it. Their reason, of course, centered on the fact that the accident had happened before the newly purchased vehicle was added to his policy. This was counter to the information our client had gotten on the phone, but he couldn’t get the insurance company to budge, so he called an experienced auto accident attorney.
After I took the case, I attempted to negotiate with the insurance company but was unable to get them to make a fair offer for our client. Because we do everything possible to get our clients’ claims paid, I took the next reasonable step and filed a lawsuit to recover our client’s medical expenses and attorney fees. The lawsuit forced the insurance company to deal with our client’s claim, and they agreed to arbitration – arbitration being a alternate method of resolving legal disputes without the lengthy, costly process of a full trial. Just like a trial, clients need an experienced attorney to represent them in arbitration.
After arbitration, the insurance company agreed to pay all his medical bills and attorney fees. Our client was very pleased with the result and satisfied with his choice to have a Personal Injury Attorney help him fight his case.