Derek Johnson was a 35 year-old independent trucker. He bought some insurance through the same agent who sold him his trucking insurance, including Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) coverage. This insurance would provide a one-time lump-sum payment of $100,000 if he suffered an accidental injury or death as outlined in the policy.
Derek was not sure he needed this insurance, but it was inexpensive compared to some of the other insurance his agent promoted; he thought it would protect him financially if he suffered a serious injury. He did not think he would ever need it, but people told Derek to be insured, just in case.
The unexpected did happen to Derek, while he was water-skiing behind his own boat. He had permitted his friend to operate the boat, knowing that he did not have a boating licence. Still, as a skilled water-skier, Derek assumed that everything would be okay.
On one fateful run, Derek went down into the water. When his friend circled back to retrieve him, he accidentally went right over Derek. The propeller got Derek’s right leg, causing serious injury.
His friends quickly got Derek out of the lake and called an ambulance so that he could receive emergency medical care as soon as possible. His right leg required extensive surgery, and despite the surgeon’s best efforts, the leg would never be the same. Indeed, Derek would have difficulty walking or doing many of his usual activities. In particular, he would not be able to work as a truck driver without great difficulty.
Derek submitted a claim through his AD&D policy on the basis of total loss of use of his right leg. If his claim was approved, then the policy would pay the $100,000 lump sum. He would need that money to get through a period of retraining for another career, since trucking now seemed to be out of the question.
Derek also looked into making a claim through his boat insurance and his homeowner insurance. Both were declined on the basis that Derek was responsible for his own injuries; he could not sue himself under his homeowner policy. He even looked into making a claim against his friend who had operated the boat. His friend was unlicensed and uninsured, so that seemed hopeless.
Derek began to feel that the whole situation was hopeless until someone told him that Share Laywers might be able to help.
He consulted with Share Lawyers, and while they felt that the personal injury case did not have much chance, they did indicate that the claim for AD&D could be worth pursuing. The policy did have a provision for benefi ts for total loss of use of a leg.
The insurance company had denied Derek’s claim. While they acknowledged that he had suffered a serious injury, they did not believe that the injury resulted in “total loss of use”.
Share Lawyers pursued the matter on Derek’s behalf, filing a claim with the courts. After extensive gathering of medical and occupational evidence, Share Lawyers persuaded the insurer to pay out the benefit.
While Derek did not recover 100% of his claim, after legal costs, he recovered a substantial amount. It enabled him to pursue re-training and start putting his life back together. Derek said, “I am so glad that I kept hope, that I made that call, and let Share Lawyers handle it for me. I got the money and a new start.”
*Names have been fictionalized to protect the privacy of our clients.