Raphaelson and Levine recovered $300,000 – the full available insurance policy limits – for a bicyclist “doored” in Upper Manhattan. The bicyclist was traveling northbound when the rear door of a parked vehicle opened suddenly in front, causing an unavoidable collision that sent the bicyclist flying from the bike to the roadway.
The bicyclist sustained serious and severe injuries including facial fractures and a traumatic brain injury. The vehicle that struck the bicyclist carried the minimum available bodily injury insurance coverage of $25,000. After obtaining this amount from the defendant’s insurance company, the bicycle accident attorneys at Raphaelson and Levine pursued the bicyclists' supplementary under-insured motorist (“SUM”) coverage, under the bicyclists' own auto insurance policy, which carried policy limits of $300,000.
For the bicyclist, we were able to obtain an additional $275,000 through the under-insured policy because the $300,000 policy limit was subject to set-off from the $25,000 already received from the defendant’s insurance.
This case involved several challenging legal principles. First, as the client had no memory or recall of the incident we had relied upon our detailed and comprehensive investigation to solidify that the vehicle was at fault. Second, our client was not wearing a helmet which created a causation argument on behalf of the Defendants. We provided a detailed and comprehensive medical analysis and established that the injuries would have occurred EVEN with a helmet.
This case underscores the need for SUM coverage. This coverage, which costs typically under $100 per year, was a lifesaver for our client. Without this coverage, he would have been relegated to a maximum of $25,000.00 which would have been woefully inadequate in providing for his future needs. To learn more about SUM coverage call Raphaelson and Levine, at 212-268-3222.