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Laux v. Nationwide Insurance Company / Allied Insurance

Case Conclusion Date: 10.23.2008

Practice Area: Car Accidents

Outcome: $106k and $163k

Description: At the beginning of a long awaited family trip to Idaho in September of 2006, a Nationwide insured and her mother were the victims of a high-speed, hit-and-run collision. Thus, the reason they were forced to file an uninsured motorist claim with their insurance company, Nationwide Insurance Company of America / Allied Insurance Company. Despite Nationwide Insurance Company's representation, Nationwide clearly was not "On Their Side." Based upon their experience, it was their opinion that the advertising slogan of "Nationwide on Your Side" may be an effective marketing campaign with no substance when a valid claim is attempted to be resolved by those who pay premiums to Nationwide Insurance Company. Just a few miles from the Phoenix, Arizona (Sky Harbor) airport, a vehicle traveling approximately 90-95 miles per hour smashed into the back of their vehicle, and fled the scene of the collision. As a direct and proximate result of this collision, their vehicle suffered over $10,000.00 in property damage and both were injured. Because this family trip had been planned for several months and was extremely important for their entire family, they attempted to continue on with the family trip as planned. Shortly after arriving in Idaho, because the pain became so severe, they sought treatment at an Idaho Urgent Care facility. At that time, Nationwide's insured's main problem was noted as neck and low back pain. Her mother suffered from pain in her neck, back, and right shoulder. The Urgent Care doctor prescribed anti-inflammatory and pain medication for both and instructed them to follow up with their primary care physician when they returned home to Arizona. Both followed up with their primary care physician at the Mayo Clinic and Hospital. Her injured mother suffered from severe low back pain for over two years and tried multiple rehabilitative efforts including therapy, modalities, manual techniques, exercise instruction, and PSIS / iliolumbar ligament / SI joint injections. These injections only helped for about four days. To this day, she continues to suffer from severe low back pain which at times radiates down her right side. She incurred approximately $6,000 in medical expenses because of treatment related to this incident. Prior to this collision, she was an extremely healthy, active, and independent 82-year old mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Sadly, she not only lost her health and activity, but her independence. She regularly volunteered at a local elementary school and assisted one of the first grade teachers. This volunteer work was incredibly important to not only her, but also to all the children. Following the collision, She tried to assist with her first-grade class but was unable to do so because of the severe back pain. Nationwide's insured suffered from cervical pain, pain in the mid to low thoracic area, and increasing pain and instability to her left knee. She had extensive treatment including prescription medication, physical therapy, and two surgeries on her left knee. She incurred approximately $38,000.00 in medical expenses because of the treatment related to this incident. Nationwide Insurance Company assigned adjuster Courtney Martin to handle the uninsured motorist claim. Nationwide refused to consider the injuries to Nationwide's insured's knee as part of the claim. Nationwide also refused to explain the factual or legal basis for its position and during the claim, Ms. Martin misrepresented conversations she had with Nationwide's insureds. On November 28, 2007, Nationwide offered $8,190.00 and $6,194.00 respectively to settle the personal injury claims.

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