Typically, if you are involved in a car accident, you would think that you would be compensated for your injuries regardless of whether the other driver is underinsured or has no insurance at all. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. In the case of State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company v. Jakubowicz, there was a car insurance policy that was deemed to be ambiguous. The policy in this case required that a UIM claim must be brought within three years of the accident and also require that the insured must fully comply with all provisions of the policy before they can bring up their lawsuit. One particular provision in the policy dictates that State Farm will only pay if the underinsured motorist’s insurance has been exhausted.
State Farm tried to move for summary judgment because of their own policy. The trial court had denied their motion for summary judgment and the Indiana Supreme Court affirmed their ruling. The Indiana Supreme Court held that the insurance policy was ambiguous because the provision required an insured to bring suit within three years had directly conflicted with the insurance policy’s exhaustion requirement. Because of this, the policy must be construed in favor of the insured. This insurance policy could have just stated that a lawsuit must be brought within three years. It could have also called for an exhaustion of policy limits prior to filing a UIM claim without a time limitation. Instead of being clear and concise, the policy contained a limitation period as well as other restrictions and this makes the policy ambiguous.
If you or a loved one have been affected by lack of compensation from an insurance company, contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Hurst Limontes, LLC. We have decades of combined experience fighting for our clients in any number of personal injury claims. Call 317-636-0808 or email us for a FREE and confidential consultation.