Many attorneys would have said "there's not enough coverage", but recently one attorney "dug deep" to discover a way to vastly increase the insurance coverage available to his client. And the way he did it means great news for the plaintiff’s bar! The Supreme Court of Virginia ruled earlier this week that “stacking”, or combining, the Uninsured Motorist/Under-Insured Motorist coverage in a policy is allowed.
In the case at issue a young girl was badly injured in a car wreck but both the car she was riding in (a friends) and the car at fault were underinsured. Her father’s policy covered three other vehicles for a total of $850k for bodily injuries (split $300k, $300k, and $250k).
The insurance company argued that they had included provisions disallowing “stacking” meaning that the most they could offer in coverage was $300k for one vehicle.
The Court held that the insurance company had not appropriately excluded stacking and that the plaintiff was entitled to the full value of the policy.
With the SCVa’s ruling it opens up a window of litigation for plaintiff’s until the insurance companies are able to modify their policies to properly disallow “stacking.” This case could prove to be quite important as attorneys will now be scrutinizing “stacking” clauses much closer to make sure they are up to snuff. Of course, if you consult with an experienced personal injury attorney before you even buy your plan, you probably wouldn't need to rely on a "litigation window" to be successful in your claim.