Attorney Matthew Shafner Collects From Multiple Insurance Policies To Recover $310,000 for Client in Automobile Collision Case


Attorney Matthew Shafner of Suisman Shapiro Attorneys at Law recently resolved an automobile collision case involving four interesting layers of different insurance coverage. Two underage boys were drinking at a local bar. Shortly after leaving the establishment, the driver, in his grandmother's car, ran off the road and struck a tree, seriously injuring the passenger. The driver had a .17 blood alcohol content, almost 2½ times the legal limit of .08.

Attorney Shafner first addressed the primary insurance company for the owner of the car (the driver's grandmother), and collected the full $100,000 of coverage. He then collected $100,000 from the driver's family's insurance company, the secondary policy; where the primary coverage is insufficient to cover the damages suffered. Next, he collected a net settlement of $50,000 of underinsured coverage from the passenger's family's insurance company.

Finally, Attorney Shafner turned to the bar itself. Under Connecticut's Dram Shop Act, someone who has been injured by an intoxicated individual may sue the establishment that served the alcoholic beverages. The term dram shop traditionally referred to a shop where spirits were sold by the dram, a small unit of liquid approximately the size of a thimbleful. After prolonged litigation, including a deposition of the bar owner, this case settled for an additional $60,000.

Ultimately, by looking at four different auto insurance policies, Attorney Shafner recovered a total of $310,000 for his client's injuries.