In May of 2013, the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky decided a case that involved a Kentucky traumatic brain injury car accident and a motion to dismiss. (See Evans v. Cincinnati Insurance Group, 2013 WL 2149848 (W.D. Ky. 2013)). The plaintiff was injured on July 21, 2010 in a serious car accident where he sustained a traumatic brain injury. The plaintiff was a passenger in a car that was struck by another car. At issue was the underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) which had policy limits of $250k/500k. The plaintiff hired a Kentucky traumatic brain injury car accident lawyer and filed suit on July 20, 2012. The lawsuit sought damages based on the defendant based on negligence. Id. On the same day, the plaintiff filed another lawsuit seeking payment of UIM benefits under a contract theory. Id. Plaintiff had to file her complaint against the defendant to preserve the statue of limitations for recovery of the UIM benefits since he had only 2 years per the policy. Id.
The defendant’s Kentucky traumatic brain injury car accident lawyer filed a motion to dismiss asserting that the plaintiff’s suit exposes it to the risk of inconsistent judgments, and plaintiff’s claims against it are not ripe. Id. Plaintiff’s Kentucky traumatic brain injury car accident lawyer argued that the defendant had failed to state any sound legal basis to support its motion. “Federal courts sitting in diversity in Kentucky apply the res judicata standard of Kentucky. (cites omitted). Under Kentucky law, res judicata only applies if the three following factors are met: 1) identity of the parties, 2) identity of the causes of action, and 3) resolution of the action on its merits.” (cites omitted).
In the case at hand there has been no prior judgment on the merits and the parties in the action are not identical. Also one court involves a negligence action while the other a contract matter. Id. So, the law against splitting causes of action in inapplicable in this matter. The two suits though maybe similar in that the involve the same Kentucky car accident and maybe the same named plaintiff, have nothing else to do with each other. There is no risk of inconsistent judgments and the defendant traumatic brain injury car accident lawyer has not set forth any applicable legal theory to support its argument. Further, as the court stated, in Kentucky, a “UIM claim ripens at the time of the accident.” (cites omitted). “Noting that with both uninsured and underinsured motorist claims, such coverage “is first party coverage, which means that it is a contractual obligation directly to the insured which must be honored even if the tortfeasor cannot be identified.”” (cites omitted).
If you have been the subject of a Kentucky Traumatic Brain Injury Car Accident Case, please call and speak to a Kentucky traumatic brain injury car accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Andrew Alitowski, P.A. at 888-ASK-ANDREW (888-275-2637) or contact us. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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