Crash victim left with nearly $1M in bills after at-fault driver's insurance doesn't cover damage

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Friday, February 10, 2023
Humble mother left with nearly $1M in medical bills after crash
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Kimberly Orr-Gordwin's attorney said the at-fault driver's insurance only had the minimum amount, which could only cover $60,000 worth of damages.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- A single mother from Humble is struggling to afford bills after her family was hit and injured in an accident.

The impact of an accident in northeast Harris County continues to hurt the Humble family. "The car was so bad that none of us should have made it," Kimberly Orr-Gordwin said.

Orr-Gordwin was with her children when the crash report showed another driver was speeding and ran a red light. "Our car rolled five times," Orr-Gordwin recalled.

Orr-Gordwin and her children were rushed to the hospital. Some of the injuries included a broken neck, back, bones, and ligament damage.

"Anything like this can happen at any point in time," Orr-Gordwin said. "You never know when something is going to happen."

The accident happened three months ago. Since then, medical bills keep adding up. "The medical expenses are close to a million dollars," Orr-Gordwin said.

The accident report shows the at-fault driver had insurance. Orr-Gordwin's attorney said it was only enough to cover $60,000 because the at-fault driver had the minimum amount.

This means Orr-Gordwin could be on the hook for the rest. This a situation attorney Steve Shellist hears too often.

"Grab your policy right now as soon as you finish watching this, look at it, and make sure you have something called uninsured motorist coverage or underinsured motorist coverage," Shellist explained.

Shellist said underinsured coverage would cover costs if the at-fault driver's policy doesn't cover enough.

You could take the driver to court, but it could take a few years, Shellist said.

"I can't stress it enough," Shellist said. "Look at your policy. Make sure you got it, and don't wait a day because you don't know when you're going to be in a crash."

Shellist recommends at least $100,000 in the underinsured policy portion. Orr-Gordwin said she had the coverage, but more was needed. The school bus driver hasn't been able to return to work. To help with bills, her daughter started a sweet treat business.

"I truly appreciate her," Orr-Gordwin said. "She is the most giving, sweetest daughter ever."

It's a source of income she never thought would be needed until the impact that continues to alter their lives.

"I'm scared to get back behind the wheel of a car," Orr-Gordwin said. The family also set-up a GoFundMe page to help with expenses.

Their attorney, Carolyn Okorafor from Co & Co Attorneys at law, sent ABC13 a statement:

"Texas insurance law does not fully support victims like my clients whose car accident resulted in severe bodily injuries." "My client's claim is an example, reflecting the dire need for Texas insurance laws to change." Current Texas Laws Require that the following limits should cover a vehicle: Bodily injury for any one person: $30,000.00 Bodily injury for any one accident: $60,000.00 Property damages for any one accident: $25,000.00 Let's take the minimum policy limit and apply it to an accident where victims, such as my clients, have suffered injuries of over half a million dollars. We have a grave issue: My clients have sustained permanent injuries that have severely impacted them now and for the rest of their lives, causing substantial financial hardship. These claims show that Texas must change its policy so at-fault drivers can be held accountable for their actions, primarily actions causing catastrophic outcomes for the victims. I firmly believe that Texas should amend its insurance laws where at-fault drivers will face mandatory legislation enforcing an increase to their policy limits, particularly after multiple accidents. Cases such as my clients push me to spread awareness of the deficiencies in the current Texas insurance law. Things need to change."

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