Injured driver seeks extra money in suit

Kelly Holleran May 14, 2010, 7:35am

A woman who claims she sustained injuries after a driver struck her vehicle has filed suit against her insurance company and the driver, alleging she needs extra money to be compensated for her damages.

Margaret Boone claims the accident occurred after she drove her vehicle at the intersection of North Street and Old Freeburg Road in Freeburg on Aug. 11, 2008.

According to Boone's complaint filed April 27 in St. Clair County Circuit Court, defendant Angela Absher-Hooten, unlawfully drove her vehicle through the intersection and struck Boone.

Because of the accident, Boone suffered injuries, lost income, suffered permanent disability and incurred medical expenses, the suit states.

Absher-Hooten caused the accident by negligently driving too fast through a construction zone, by losing control of her vehicle, by failing to observe Boone's vehicle and by failing to yield the right-of-way to Boone, the complaint says.

At the time of the accident, Absher-Hooten did not have automobile liability or insurance coverage sufficient to pay for Boone's injuries, the complaint says. Boone had insurance through defendant Liberty Mutual Group, which she contacted on Sept. 24, 2008, to demand arbitration of her claim, she alleges.

Despite multiple attempts and demands for arbitration, Liberty Mutual Group still has not paid Boone for damages she incurred in the collision, according to her complaint. Instead, the insurance company has demanded medical authorizations from Boone and has announced a belated plan to conduct an independent evaluation of her claim, the suit states.

"Defendant's actions in the handling of Plaintiff's claim are vexatious and intended to unreasonably delay resolution of Plaintiff's claim and will result in additional, unnecessary cost to Plaintiff," the complaint says.

In her three-count complaint, Boone seeks a judgment finding that Liberty Mutual Group unreasonably delayed her claim. She is also seeking an unspecified judgment, damages of more than $50,000, $100,000 in policy limits of uninsured motorist coverage pursuant to the terms of her contract, losses incurred in excess of the policy limits, attorney's fees, pre-judgment interest and other relief the court deems just.

She will be represented by Rhonda D. Fiss of Belleville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-204.

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