Plaintiff Passenger v. Driver

The Plaintiff and Defendant were two friends traveling to a ski house after Christmas in 2010. The Plaintiff’s parents owned the car, but the Defendant, her friend, was operating the vehicle on Route 14 in Royalton, Vermont at the time of the accident. She lost control of the car on an icy road, crossed into the oncoming lane, and was broadsided on the passenger side by a pickup truck traveling in the other direction.

The plaintiff suffered serious, but non-life threatening injuries on impact and was unconscious at the accident scene. The injuries included fractures to her pelvis, ribs, scapula, clavicle, vertebrae and there were contusions to several internal organs.  She was hospitalized for over one month and bound to a wheelchair for almost six months.

The Boston, Massachusetts personal injury attorney, Keith L. Miller, was able to obtain a settlement with the primary insurer on the vehicle, prior to commencement of suit, for the liability limits of $250,000.00, but payment was not forthcoming due to the Defendant’s refusal to assent to the payment. An action was then filed against the driver in Middlesex Superior Court, which the insurer for the driver’s own vehicle defended. The case finally settled with her carrier paying their limits of $250,000, and the excess liability insurer for both parties paying the balance of $175,000 as the result of private mediation of the dispute.

The significant dollars paid in this case were in part based on a claim of emotional distress suffered by the Plaintiff, in essence a claim of post-traumatic stress and depression as the result of the significant and difficult recovery the Plaintiff encountered.