OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION:
The plaintiff, a 47 year-old woman, was celebrating her birthday with friends when she agreed to take a short ride as a passenger on a friend’s motorcycle. While the friend was riding straight on a road, an operator of a motor vehicle turned left in front of the motorcycle causing a collision. The force of the impact caused both the driver and the plaintiff to be thrown from the motorcycle. The plaintiff was seriously injured and was taken to a local trauma hospital for medical treatment.
The plaintiff required surgery to repair her leg fractures. Her surgeon used plates and screws to keep the fractures in alignment. The plaintiff was non weight-bearing for several months while her leg fractures healed.
The plaintiff filed a claim against the operator of the motor vehicle and the operator of the motorcycle for failing to do more to prevent the accident. The insurer for the motorcycle operator initially denied the claim and relied on a state police accident reconstruction report that found the motor vehicle operator responsible for the crash.
Counsel for the plaintiff retained an accident reconstruction expert who reviewed the information relied on by the Massachusetts state police and the state police report. Specifically, the state police did not believe that the motorcycle operator was speeding at the time of the crash. The plaintiff’s expert was ready to testify, however, that the data obtained at the crash cite concluded that the motorcycle operator was speeding and had he not been speeding he would have avoided the collision because he would not have traveled to the point of impact at the same time as the vehicle. Based on the expert’s report, the insurer for the motorcycle operator agreed to pay the maximum available to the plaintiff for the collision.
The plaintiff next sought coverage under the motor vehicle operator’s policy. The motor vehicle operator’s insurer was an out-of-state policy and thus the claimants had to either agree on a division of the policy or arbitrate the claim. Unfortunately, the policy was insufficient to fully compensate either claimant. Fortunately, however, the parties were able to agree to a division and avoid the added time and expense associated with an arbitration.
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