Two points came to mind after reading the April 8th verdict in the Murray v. Progressive Specialty Insurance case. One, being that soft tissue damage while difficult to initially detect can lead to long term complications and how one handles the treatment can effect compensation, and secondly, after signing up for car insurance can one recall our their insurance policy limits? Both of these issues played out during a two-day trial that resulted in the jury deliberating for two hours before unanimously awarding the plaintiff a $133,000 award. The accident occurred when plaintiff Garry Murray, aged 57, was rear-ended at the intersection of Cheltenham Avenue and 7 Oaks Drive. According to court documents Murray had suffered soft-tissue damage to his back, neck, and shoulder. Because injuries after a car crash are not always clearly visible, it is always advisable to be seen by a medical professional following a car crash. Soft tissue injuries are very common in car crashes as the body tends to be thrown around and jerked in unnatural positions leading to tears, inflammation, and chronic pain. It is not uncommon for pain from soft tissue to set in after the initial event. Murray who had car insurance through Progressive Specialty Insurance Co., carried the policy for underinsured motorist benefits, but after his claim was denied Murray sued seeking recovery under the policy.
Progressive disputed the injuries noting that the initial police report only documented minor damage to Murray’s vehicle and that no injuries to the plaintiff were recorded, nor did the plaintiff undergo any emergency treatment following the car accident. Under reporting can play a role in the success of your case. As documentation from the initial police report, hospital visits, and ongoing treatment can all help establish the causal effects of the initial car accident, without documentation representation while not impossible can be far more difficult with unknown outcomes. Unlike deep lacerations, traumatic brain injury, and broken bones, soft tissue damage by many is viewed as a less severe form of injury. However for the thousands of Americans who suffer from chronic pain and limiting range of motion soft tissue damage is a serious injury. Depending on the level of damage, soft tissue injuries can require physical therapy, trips to a chiropractor, time off from work, as well as time to heal and recover. Murray required physical therapy after being rear-ended and was also recommended by his osteopath to receive facet injections to his injured shoulder. The jury ended up awarding Murray a substantial award of $133,000 but was later reduced to the $50,000 insurance policy limit.
Continue reading →