Progressive insurance reached a settlement in a fatal car accident involving the death of Kaitlynn Fisher. It took a jury verdict and her brothers blog post that created a public outcry and still Progessive wordsmiths their position of fighting the claim.
The Facts of Kaitlynn Fisher's Claim Against Progressive
Kaitlynn Fisher was killed in a fatal auto wreck caused by Ronald Hope running a red light. The insurance he has was not enough to cover the losses and damages and so a claim was also made against Ms Fisher's own insurance policy for underinsured motorist coverage.
Underinsured motorist coverage depending on the state pays damages the one suffers as a result of a car crash the are uncompensated because the negligent party did not have enough insurance to pay for all of the damages. In order to collect from Progressive or any other underinsured motorist carrier you normally have to get the negligent person's insurance to offer their liability policy limits. The insured then needs to tell it's own insurance company that they have an offer of policy limits and would like to release the at fault party and proceed with a claim for underinsured coverage. The insurance company can refuse to allow a release and force you to sue the person that caused the injury or death as well as your own insurance company. In this case that was Progressive.
In Kaitlynn Fisher's case Mr Hope's insurance paid off, but suit still had to be filed against him and Progressive. A trial was held and Progressive's lawyers tried to argue that Kaitlynn was at fault so Progressive would not have to pay anything. There was only one eye witness who put blame on Hope and the jury rendered a verdict in favor of Kaitlynn's estate.
Progressives attempt to pass of responsibility on its own insured made her brother quite upset. The infuriated Matt Fischer, Kaitlynn's brother, he wrote a succint article about the case titled My sister Paid Progressive Insurance to Defend Her killer in court. Progressive responded that it did not defend her killer. Mathew wrote another blog post describing what exactly happened in court . This clearly showed that Progressive did try to pin the blame for the accident on its own insured.
There was a ground swell of "this stinks Progressive" from the public which was surprising to me since many less enlighted brain washed by insurance propoganda think that anyone trying to make a claim is a fraud. but Mathew Fischer's posts elegant in their simplicity and clarity turned the tide of public opinion.
Progresive's Response After Settlement Is Still a Spin Job
Progressive released a statement after they settled. The statement called the liability (who ran the red light) a disputed issue and therefore they said that this issue had to be decided in Court. But they still did not admit they tried to blame their own insured Kaitlynn or defended the other driver. Here is what they said,
"As a defendant in this case, Progressive participated in the trial procedures on our own behalf while Nationwide represented the other driver."
My God, if you read Mathews article their participation was a full defense for the driver that killed Kaitlynn. And why. Because Progressive do not want to have to pay their underinsured motorist coverage.
Progressive's Acts Are No Different Than What Your Insurance Will Do
If you have another insurance company do not for one minute think they would have done anything different. Your personal injury insurance settlement is dependant on force and power. Insurance companies are in business to take in premiums and pay you as little as possible. Why do you think they tell you not to hire a lawyer. Because now you are a real threat to them.
by Anthony Castelli Cincinnati personal injury Attorney. He works to help seriously injured people heal financially and emotionally by taking on big insurance seeking the best possible settlement for his clients.
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