Traffic Collision; Auto versus Auto; Four Way Stop SIgn; Squad Car Surveillance; Underinsured Motorist, Policy Limit Settlement
Two occupants of a mid-sized sedan are struck broadside by a large pickup truck in a four way intersection regulated by stop signs, sustaining significant neck and back injuries requiring courses of medical treatments consisting of: pain medication, physical therapy, chiropractic care, and epidural steroid injections, with forecasted future needs for surgery. The collision was recorded by a nearby Laguna Beach Police Department patrol vehicle camera; the responding police officer observed the collision.
Robert McMahon was retained to seek compensation for the injured vehicle occupants. The at-fault party's insurance carrier settled at an early stage for its policy limits. Assets of the at-fault party were investigated prior to settlement and the at-fault driver was determined not to be acting within the course and scope of employment.
An "underinsured motorist claim" was asserted on behalf of the occupants. The insurance carrier initially resisted settlement of the claims and the matter proceeded to binding arbitration, pursuant to the terms of the automobile insurance contract and California statute. The arbitrator awarded the available policy limits to each of the injured parties and the claims paid.