Recently, the Massachusetts Court of Appeals analyzed whether an automobile insurance company had engaged in unfair practices regarding a car accident victim’s claim for damages. The plaintiff in this case had been awarded a substantial jury verdict of $818,000 for his personal injury claim against the driver who rear-ended his vehicle. The insurer had offered to settle for $25,000 and $60,000, both rejected by the plaintiff. In the current lawsuit, the plaintiff had argued that the insurer violated Massachusetts law when handling his personal injury claim. In essence, the issue was whether the insurer had refused to pay the claim without conducting a reasonable investigation.
The facts of this case indicate that the plaintiff worked as a tow truck operator and had been assisting a vehicle stuck in a snow drift. While inside his tow truck, on the side of the road, another driver rear-ended his truck. He alleged that he was injured and brought a personal injury claim against the driver. The driver’s insurance company attempted to gather information from the plaintiff regarding his injuries, but apparently there remained doubt concerning his bodily injury claims.