A growing concern within the practice of personal injury law is the insolvent defendant against whom enforcement of a settlement or civil trial award is often unlikely. Unlike guilty defendants in criminal cases, individuals found liable in civil cases are not generally sentenced to prison or other similar punishments but instead are made to pay damages to compensate the innocent party. Early in our history an individual held liable in a civil case would be responsible directly to compensate the innocent party. However, as many liable parties were unable to pay settlement or court-awarded amounts to the injured persons due to insolvency, liability insurance soon arose to assist in providing proper compensation to injured persons. Today many corporations and business entities carry liability insurance to compensate injured persons when a personal injury claim arises and also to protect executive officers and directors from being personally liable for these debts. Even in spite of this trend by most businesses to be covered under liability insurance policies, a larger question is: How much coverage is sufficient?
Highlighting this issue, earlier this week, a Memphis taxi cab company after reaching a $1 million personal injury settlement for a 2009 collision which left a man with life-changing injuries, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in lieu of paying the settlement upheld recently the Tennessee Supreme Court. Allegations were raised by the injured man that the taxi cab company had presented false documents to the court regarding whether they carried sufficient liability insurance coverage as during an attempt by his counsel to seize cabs owned by the company to satisfy the judicial award, the man found out that cab company’s self-insurance policy stated that the company only held approximately $3,200.00 in a bank account to cover insurance for 33 cabs. Moreover, to likely avoid a then-unfiled judicial lien to retrieve the cabs, the taxi cab company filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to being underinsured and with insufficient corporate funds to pay the $1 Million personal injury settlement. As a result, the injured man was unable to seize and liquidate any of the cabs and for now the cab company continues to operate until its bankruptcy is concluded.
Although an underinsured defendant can prove detrimental to a personal injury claim or case, purchasing the appropriate uninsured and underinsured policies through your insurance carrier may prevent diminished recovery if you are injured due to the negligence of another. An attorney will help you At Schiller Law we work diligently to discover all avenues to recovery to provide just compensation to injured persons. Please contact our experienced lawyers team at 888-578-3100 or indyinjured.com if you or a loved one are injured. We serve Indianapolis and all state of Indiana