9 Mar. 2018

Attorney James Haggerty Helps His Client Win Nearly $800K in UIM Claim

Posted By Haggerty, Goldberg, Schleifer & Kupersmith, P.C.

On November 30, 2017, an arbitrator awarded the plaintiff in the case of Page v. CNA Insurance $797,400 for injuries he suffered after he was rear-ended while driving his employer’s vehicle.

Dion Page sued his employer’s insurance company, Valley Forge Insurance Co., an affiliate of CNA Insurance Co., to recover underinsured motorist benefits. According to Page’s arbitration memo, Page was in his employer’s vehicle that had stopped on a road in Bucks County. Although the vehicle that Page was in had its hazard lights on, a vehicle driven by Daniel McCulloch rear-ended Page’s vehicle, which caused disabling injuries to Page’s neck and knee.

According to Page, McCulloch told him he was texting, which is why he had not seen Page’s vehicle right before the accident.

McCulloch’s insurance policy had a $50,000 liability coverage limit, which was tendered by the insurer. CNA had provided a $1 million liability limit for Page’s employer, so he sought underinsurance coverage.

Page’s memo says that because of the accident, he suffered injuries to several discs in his neck, knee and shoulder sprains, a rotator cuff tear, and aggravated a cervical degenerative disc disease. Page had to go through a cervical discectomy with fusion, which was followed up with physical therapy. He then had to undergo a hemi-laminectomy and a complete facetectomy.

Page was 43 at the time of the accident and worked as a laborer. He was unable to return to work after the accident and was later deemed to be disabled by the Social Security Administration. Since he was stopped in a no-parking zone at the time of the accident, Page’s dispute with CNA focused on economic damages and comparative negligence.

Page’s vocational rehabilitation expert, Jasen Walker, argued that Page had an earning capacity ranging from $28,000 to $38,000. Walker also claimed that Page sustained a net economic loss of more than $670,000.

However, CNA’s attorney disputed the claims made by Walker, saying “He had never made a whole lot of money in the first place… the future wage loss claim was predicated on numbers that were not reflected on the plaintiff’s tax returns.”

Ultimately, arbitrator Joseph F. Ricchiuti awarded Page $797,000. The award amount was later modified to $747,400 in order to account for the prior $50,000 insurance settlement.

Speaking about the victory, Page’s attorney James Haggerty, of Haggerty, Goldberg, Schleifer & Kupersmith, said that “the arbitrator did a good job in evaluating the claims and making a fair award, which compensated the plaintiff for his injuries.” However, Mr. Haggerty suggested that he is also considering a bad faith action since the defendant did not make any offers until very late in the litigation.

Have you been in an accident that resulted in severe injuries? Contact our Philadelphia team of personal injury attorneys to set up a free consultation today.

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