Car Crash Victim Gets Both Insurance And Disability Payments

A woman who became disabled after a car accident can be compensated for her lost wages under her auto insurance policy, even though she’s also receiving Social Security disability benefits, according to a federal judge in Pennsylvania. Francine Smith became totally disabled after a car crash with another driver. The other driver had a $100,000 insurance policy, but that wasn’t enough to fully compensate Francine for her loss. Fortunately, Francine had an “underinsured motorist” benefit in her own auto insurance policy with Progressive, which kicked in to help cover the difference. Meanwhile, Francine applied for Social Security disability benefits and began receiving $1,174 each month. Progressive claimed that it should be able to deduct the $1,174 per month from the amount it was paying Francine for lost wages under the policy. It said that Francine was being compensated for that amount twice. And it pointed to a state law that said people shouldn’t be allowed to collect double for the same harm. But the state law was never meant to apply to Social Security disability benefits, the court ruled. Therefore, Francine could collect the full amount. Of course, the law varies from state to state, and only an attorney can determine the full amount of compensation to which you’re entitled in your specific circumstances.


About John Fagan

John is a Jacksonville native who grew up on the First Coast. He graduated from Bishop Kenny High School in 1975 and went to college at Florida State University where he completed a 4-year program in 3 years. John graduated from the Florida State University College of Business in 1978 and went straight into Florida State University College of Law. While in law school, John earned a position on the prestigious Law Review Board serving as its Business Editor. As a law student, John studied in the Oxford program. He also interned with the Florida Legislature working in the Florida House of Representatives Criminal Justice Committee. John was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1981. John began his legal career as a law school intern in the State Attorney's Office in Jacksonville in 1981. After his internship, legendary State Attorney Ed Austin hired John as a full-time Assistant State Attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit (Clay, Duval, and Nassau Counties). As a prosecutor, John tried jury and non-jury trial on charges ranging from DUI to Murder. In 1983, John moved from the State Attorney's Office to begin his career in private practice. He has practiced law for 30 years on the First Coast. For the last 20 years, John and his family have made Clay County their home. John limits his practice to personal injury and disability cases. While there are many fine attorneys in Clay County, John is one of only a few Clay County attorneys who limit their practice to personal injury and disability cases. John takes pride in helping clients resolve injury claims in ways that avoid the stress, uncertainty, and the expense of unnecessary litigation. Professional Activities John is the past President of the Clay County Bar Association and has served on the Board of the Clay County Bar Association from 2009-2013. He is an active member of the Florida Bar, and the Federal Bar of the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida. He is also a member of the American Association of Justice, the Florida Association of Justice, the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives, and the National Organization of Veterans' Advocates. Service to the Community John is involved in the Clay County Community serving as a member and Director of the Rotary Club of Orange Park, of the Clay County Bar Association, and the Putnam County Bar Association.
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