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Husband gets deserved settlement after the death of his wife in a single car crash

Jason was a successful accountant in his mid-30’s. His accounting practice was growing and he
had lots of clients. Mindy, his wife of 4 years, worked as a deputy clerk at the local courthouse.
She also worked part-time at Jason’s firm.


As part of the benefits package at Jason’s accounting firm, life/accidental death insurance
policies were provided to employees. Jason and Mindy each had these policies. In late 2019,
while on her way home from a clerk’s meeting from out of town, Mindy had a serious car wreck
and ultimately died from her injuries. Mindy’s car was the only one involved in the crash.
In the weeks following Mindy’s death, Jason filed a claim for accidental death benefits with his
insurance companies. The insurance company approved the claim within 30 days after his claim
was filed. However, just before benefits were paid to Jason, the insurance company decided to
further investigate the cause of Mindy’s death. After several months of delay, the insurance
company changed its position and denied benefits to Jason because it believed she had a medical
episode which caused her to pass out and lose control of her vehicle. The insurance company’s
opinion was that the wreck was caused by natural causes, therefore, the accidental death policy
benefits could not be paid.


In denying Jason’s claim, the insurance company used a medical record from Mindy’s doctor
dated several years before where she reported to her doctor that she believed she had passed out.
After running several tests, her doctor could not determine any medical issue with Mindy. The
insurance company used that one doctor visit and a deputy’s statement at the crash scene from
another driver that the car didn’t appear to brake or correct itself before crashing. Based upon
those two facts, the insurance company determined that Mindy suffered a medical condition that
cause her death.


Jason cooperated with the insurance company, provided all the records it requested and patiently
waited for a final decision. Even after the initial denial, Jason continued with his claim and
appealed the insurance company’s denial to another division. After his appeal was denied by the
insurance company which was several years after his initial claim, Jason hired us to handle his
case. A federal lawsuit was filed. Ultimately, the insurance settled the case and paid over 2/3 of
the total value of the accidental death policy.

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