Below are 2013 settlements and verdicts against Erie Insurance. We think jury awards and settlement data in specific cases helps both attorneys and victims in their quest to get a handle on what a specific case is worth. It is also useful to show these verdicts to claim adjusters to make sure they are educated as to how other similar cases have fared. That said, keep these awards in perspective. We are not including every verdict we have had or we that have uncovered involving Erie. Instead, these are essentially cherry-picked cases where the plaintiff wins.
One thing you will notice here: Erie does not try a lot of cases, at least not in Maryland.Maryland Settlements and Verdicts Involving Erie Insurance
- 2012: $135,000 Settlement. Plaintiff was traveling northbound on Kays Mill Road in Baltimore County. He stops at a stop sign but is rear-ended by the Defendant. Plaintiff underwent a C5-6 cervical spine fusion. The big issue in the case was the fact that the client was disabled with prior similar injuries and had three recent traffic accidents. Also, there is only $1,200 in property damage to plaintiff's vehicle. Still, Erie sought fit to settle the case for $135,000. Our law firm handled this case.
- 2012, Maryland: $36,500 Verdict. Plaintiff and his passenger are approaching the intersection at Raphael Road and Mt. Vista Drive when defendant driver speeds through a stop sign and runs into them. Both the plaintiff and his passenger receive injuries and sue the defendant driver and the car’s owner. Later, the plaintiff’s insurance carrier, Erie is sued for breach of contract when they fail to honor plaintiff’s underinsured claim. Plaintiff contends that defendant driver was negligent by failing to drive at a safe speed and for ignoring the stop sign and right of way. Defendants claim that plaintiff may have contributed to the crash by illegally heading through the intersection. The case is transferred from a Baltimore City Circuit Court to a Baltimore County court, and a jury awards a verdict against the driver and Erie, granting $36,500 in total damages.
- 2012: $35,000 Settlement. Plaintiff is driving down New Design Road in Frederick. The defendant runs a stop sign and broadsides him. The plaintiff's car has little damage, but his doctor told us before we filed suit - and before his deposition - that his disc injuries were related to the car crash. At the doctor's deposition, he flips in pretty much Perry Mason fashion and refuses to testify that the accident caused the plaintiff's injuries. The case settled shortly after that for obviously a lot less than we would have liked (our firm handled the case).
- 2011: Auto Accident Settlement of $300,000. A young woman is driving through Hagerstown when she is cut off by another woman. She was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma and diagnosed with spinal cord injuries. Erie tendered the policy limits in the case of $300,000. Our law firm handled the case. The woman had hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical liens but, thankfully, we negotiated these liens to pennies on the dollar and the plaintiff got a good recovery (although she would have got a great deal more if the policy had been larger than $300,000).
- 2011: $18,911 Verdict. Plaintiff is a twenty-year-old babysitter who is involved in a car accident. She is traveling through the intersection when she becomes the victim of a chain reaction. The first defendant, insured by Erie, suddenly runs into the plaintiff after being stuck himself by a second defendant. Because of the impact, plaintiff suffers cervical and shoulder soft tissue injuries, as well as mild closed head trauma. The babysitter sues both drivers, claiming that the first failed to yield the right of way and that the second made an illegal left turn. The defendants point the blame at each other. A Prince George’s County jury awards an 18,911 verdict against the first defendant.
2011: $39,629 Verdict. Two tractor trailers are traveling on the interstate when one makes an illegal and unsafe lane change in front of the other. The plaintiff rams into the back of defendant’s truck and sustains $40k worth of property damage. Erie, plaintiff’s carrier, pays the accident claim and joins the lawsuit against the defendants, seeking reimbursement. Plaintiff claims Twin Star was vicariously liable for its driver’s actions. The defendants fail to show for trial and receive a default verdict against them. A Baltimore County bench trial awards $39,626.
- 2011: $50,000 Arbitration Award to each Plaintiff. Plaintiff and his passenger are traveling on Route 450 in Annapolis. A phantom driver swerves into their lane and forces them to make a sudden speed change. Because of the lowered speed, the defendant loses control of his car and strikes the back of the plaintiff’s vehicle. Plaintiff driver suffers a torn rotator cuff that requires surgery. His passenger tears her right knee and needs surgery and physical therapy to recover. Because of the phantom vehicle, plaintiffs also sued their carrier, Erie Insurance, claiming that they were entitled to UM/UIM benefits. Defendant denies liability alleging that the plaintiffs had pulled into his lane directly in front of his vehicle. Additionally, they claim that the impact could not have caused the injuries claimed and they note that over 50% of the damage costs come from physical therapy. Nonetheless, an Arbitrator in Prince George’s County grants $50,000 to each of the plaintiffs.
- 2010: $75,000 Settlement. Our client is on her way to work, driving down University Boulevard near its intersection with Baltimore Avenue, in Prince George’s County. A few seconds after Plaintiff makes a complete stop in traffic, the defendant rear-ends Plaintiff. A few seconds after the initial impact, the third car in line struck the rear of the second car, pushing him into the plaintiff. She suffered a back injury that Erie contended was not related to the accident. Erie further argued that the accident was not their insured's fault because the plaintiff "stopped short." Still, they settled the case for $75,000 a few days before trial. The plaintiff, who had moved out-of-state, wanted to get the case resolved. Our law firm handled this case.
- 2007: $750,000 Settlement: Defendant made a left-hand turn in from of our client at a relatively low speed, but it causes a 25-year-old woman to suffer a herniated disc at L4-L5. Although her surgery is largely successful, she will never be quite the same. The case was made more complicated by the fact that the defendant was a sweet woman who was dying. The case settled at mediation for $750,000. The initial offer to resolve the case out-of-court was $50,000. Our firm handled this case.
- 2012, Pennsylvania: $396,280 Settlement. Sixteen-year-old plaintiff is riding through a light-controlled intersection when he is broadsided by an Erie insured defendant driver. The young boy sustains facial, pelvic, thumb and femur fractures-- all requiring surgery; tears to the bladder and rectum, and lacerations to the face and scrotum, leaving him with a permanent disfigurement. Plaintiff argues that he entered the intersection on a green light and that the defendant was negligent in failing to yield the right of way. The driver claims that a strong sun glare caused him to believe that the red light was actually green. In Lancaster County, Erie Insurance Company agrees to pay a $396,280 settlement to the injured plaintiff.
- 2012, Virginia: $487,867 Verdict. The defendant is driving next to plaintiff on a highway when he slowly starts drifting into the adjoining lane. The defendant runs into the side of the plaintiff, then overcorrects and slams into the plaintiff again. Both vehicles spin out of control and end up on top of each other in a ditch. Plaintiff suffers extensive back injuries and is permanently disabled from working. He acknowledges a prior back injury and operation twenty years ago but states that he had not had any further complaints. Plaintiff additionally sues his carrier, Erie Insurance Company, to recover UM/UIM benefits. Defendant contests the severity of the victim’s injuries and argues the future lost wage claim was too speculative. A Spotsylvania County judge finds for the plaintiff and awards $487,867.
- 2012, Pennsylvania: $32,000 Settlement. An eight and nine-year-old are riding in the back of their parent’s car when they are struck by an Erie insured driver. The accident causes several injuries including thoracic strains, myofascitis, and emotional fears of driving in cars. The plaintiffs claim that the defendant failed to keep a proper lookout and keep a safe difference between vehicles. The defendant denies liability but settles for $32,000 in Bucks County.
- 2011, Virginia: $275,000 Settlement. A seventeen-year-old is killed in a single vehicle crash when a car went off the road and overturned. The victim was a passenger in his friend’s vehicle. Defendant claims that the plaintiff was goofing off and grabbing the steering wheel. Plaintiff counters there were no fingerprints on the steering wheel and that skid marks on the scene indicated a gradual turn, not a sharp right turn. Plaintiff also sues his carrier, Erie, for UM/UIM benefits. During the trial, evidence of the deceased grabbing the steering wheel was ruled inadmissible. A Brunswick County jury originally returned a defense verdict, but an examination revealed that the banned evidence had made it to the jury’s deliberation anyway. A judge set aside the verdict, and later ruled as a matter of law that Erie was liable for the crash.
As we have said, Erie can be difficult to deal with in tort cases if you are looking for the money a jury would give you at trial. If you have been injured in a car crash, call us at 800-553-8082 or get a free accident claim evaluation.More Information on Dealing with Erie for Settlement or at Trial
- Learn more about how to deal with Erie to get the best settlement possible.