A possible $300,000 plus increase to damages a Plaintiff could recover in an Underinsured Motorist Action. A landmark Federal Court decision permits our client, to introduce into evidence medical bills paid by her auto carrier and her health insurer which Progressive argued should be precluded because it would allow Plaintiff a double recovery.
For years, underinsured motorist carriers have used this language in their policies, “we will pay damages…which an insured is entitled to recover from the owner or operator of an underinsured motor vehicle because of bodily injury” against their insured’s injured in auto wrecks in another state. Our client, who was from Pennsylvania, was injured in a Delaware wreck. Delaware law allows Plaintiff’s to recover medical bills paid because, as a public policy, Delaware does not want to give the person who caused the wreck the benefit of reducing damages by what the Plaintiff may have received from other sources.
Pennsylvania law employs the opposite public policy, wishing to prevent a Plaintiff from double recovery.
Judge Darnell Jones of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania decided that Progressive’s contract language required them to allow our client to recover medical bills paid because she would have been able to recover those against the Delaware driver who caused the Delaware wreck if he was not underinsured.