In a unanimous decision, the Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled that auto insurance policies in Tennessee are not required to provide coverage for mental injuries or emotional distress when the insured party has suffered no physical harm. The Court clarified this component of insurance coverage in light of a 2006 accident in which an 18-year-old boy was struck and fatally injured by a car while riding his mini-bike near his Tennessee home. While the family’s insurance company compensated the family for the boy’s wrongful death, the carrier contended that the parents’ emotional distress did not constitute “bodily injury,” and would therefore not be covered under the policy. If you have lost a loved one in a Tennessee car accident, enlisting the help of a qualified wrongful death attorney in Tennessee is critical to receiving the compensation you are entitled to. Contact our knowledgeable wrongful death lawyers at Michael D. Ponce & Associates today for legal help.
Insurance Company Denies Emotional Distress Claim
In the aftermath of the fatal Tennessee car accident, the family of the victim filed claims for wrongful death and infliction of emotional distress against the negligent driver. The parents also pursued compensation for wrongful death and emotional distress from their own insurance company under the uninsured motorist provision of their insurance policy. While the driver settled with the family on both counts, the insurance company offered reimbursement only for the boy’s wrongful death, refusing to pay any damages for the family’s emotional injuries. According to the insurer, the “mental injury” or emotional distress of the victim’s parents did not constitute “bodily injury” as defined in the policy. While the trial court agreed with the parents and ruled in favor of coverage for their emotional distress, the Court of Appeals reversed the ruling.
Wrongful Death Attorneys for Fair and Timely Compensation
Just last month, the TN Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeals decision, ruling that the Tennessee statute requiring insurance companies to provide compensation for “bodily injury to a person and sickness, disease or death that results from it” does not obligate insurance carriers to cover the emotional distress of a victim’s family members. So, despite the fact that the parents and younger brother of the 18-year-old killed in the Tennessee car accident saw his “mangled body” as they rushed to the scene, and subsequently “suffered grief, fright, shock, depression, loss of sleep and other problems,” their emotional distress will not be covered by their insurance company. If you are grieving the loss of a loved one killed in a Tennessee car accident, contact our qualified wrongful death attorneys at Michael D. Ponce & Associated as soon as possible. With the help of our experienced wrongful death lawyers, you can protect your legal rights and seek fair and timely reimbursement for your losses.
Our Wrongful Death Lawyers Are Here for You
If you recently lost a loved one due to another person’s or party’s negligence, the last thing you want to…
As a Non-Tennessee resident, I selected Ponce Law after reading the reviews. You guys were spot on. This firm has some of the nicest, knowledgeable and easiest lawyers and staff to work with. I was amazed and very pleased with their diligence and work ethic! Even if I was worried about something and called for advice, they were quick to respond and answered my questions. I will highly recommend this firm.
Terrence Harris 3 months ago
Ponce Law Firm, has been the best experience for both of my children. Attorney helped me through all the process in a very timely profesional way. The Staff has been by far the best! I highly recommend this law firm.
Ailed Martinez 3 months ago
I called ponce law after my motorcycle crash. I worked with Brian and Cheyenne and they were phenomenal to work with, very responsive, and always kept me updated with the status of my case. Thank you Cheyenne and Brian highly recommend the Ponce team!
ezekiel Johnson 3 months ago
Always very professional. When we first called we had no idea if we even had a case, they told us we did. And even though the resolution took a little bit longer than expected, the wait was worth it. They get results and I really appreciated that they consistently gave me updates on the status of my case without me even asking. Thank you Ponce Law!
Karla Drumm 4 weeks ago
Ponce law was amazing! All of the attorneys and paralegals were extraordinary and very competent! And a special shout out to Monserrat for always keeping me updated and in the loop!!!
Paul Little 3 months ago
My experience with Ponce law has been very positive! The paralegal team I had was very helpful through my case and I’m very happy with the outcome they were able to give me.
GROUND ZERO CONTENT 7 months ago
HEAR IT STRAIGHT FROM OUR CLIENTS
My son was on a school bus… The school bus was hit… He was taken by ambulance to Vanderbilt. A friend of mine, here in town, owns a hair salon. And she had recommended him. So I actually sent Mr. Ponce a message on Facebook. He said he would love to help! And you know, asked me for some more details. And I’ll give them to him. Some things were sent electronically. That I could just go online and do. And it would be done with! Even the times that I have come into the office. I’m not stuck sitting out in the waiting room forever. I’m brought straight back. And within a minute or two… We were already started!
The day of my accident, I was riding my scooter and then all sudden… The car just popped out of that other oncoming traffic. As far as trying to find a lawyer… It seemed like we could do it on our own… But it still seemed so iffy! I asked a friend what he thought, they’d mentioned Michael Ponce. And then when it was mentioned… It wasn’t with like… any hesitation. You should call Ponce Law because they will exceed your expectations.
Out of nowhere… Come a car and she hit us head-on. I thought for a moment that my wife was going to die, you know… But we’re all good! I just needed to find somebody that would have our back… I chose Michael because he’s going to be upfront with ya, he will definitely have your back!