Coma victim has no insurance after hit and run in CI

| 20/09/2013

(CNS): A 27-year-old American woman who was struck by a vehicle in a hit and run incident along North Church Street, George Town, in July remains in a coma in the United States and her former local employers are not footing the insurance bill. People in her home district of Kane county in Illinois are organising a fundraiser to pay for the specialist care she has been receiving at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago since mid-August. Becky Nelson, who was working as a kindergarten teacher while here in Cayman, was hit as she walked along the road close to Cash Wiz and Dolce Vita. Police arrested one man following the incident after a Dodge Caravan was later discovered in West Bay with front windshield damages but he has not been charged.

According to the press in Kane county, Nelson’s family believed that her workplace in the Cayman Islands was supposed to be covering her health insurance, but wasn’t for a reason that remain unclear, and as a result, they have been forced to organise a fundraiser to try and cover the costs.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    But if she was insured on the date the accident happened then her insurance should coverher injuries regardless of whether her employer subsequently stopped paying the premiums.

    Plus the vehicle that hit her should have been insured for 3rd parties (at a minimum) and that insurance should also be available to her. If it wasn't then she has a claim against the vehicle owner.

    If I was her family I'd be instructing lawyers to hold someone accountable.


  2. Anonymous says:

    There is a comprehensive news report on the accident and her condition at the following address: Seems like it was a Columbian national who is living here that was driving the van and a policeman actually saw the accident happen and attended the scene immediately. Meanwhile, another witness followed the van until it parked and then reported the licence plate number and location to the authorities. According to the article, the driver's insurance company did agree to at least $1 million in coverage for her medical expenses. It would appear from one of her friends' Facebook page that she is now awake and undergoing rehab: Hope she recovers well and that this is all resolved in her favour. Shame on the driver for leaving her to die by the side of the road, which is what may well have happened if someone had not seen the accident as it happened.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The man was charged and is awaiting trial.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Seems this newspaper has more info and the driver's insurance is paying.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I am embarrassed that our authorities have once again dropped the ball and Becky's family are left with the consequences.

    I think it is bad enough that Becky's family have endured the pain and suffering  caused by this senseless incident. Now they find out that they have no support from the insurance company or justice from the law makers. Is this lawlessness really the image we want for our country. 

    I would like to think that  most of the public are outraged  with the lack of enforcement and the subsequent turn of events in Becky's case. I would like to apologies to her family and assure them that they have the support of many in Cayman. Please  let's show the support of the Cayman community by donating to her fundraiser which will help her family with the medical costs. See 13:31 for web address.

  6. Anonymously says:

    She is entitled to insurance by her employer and the cost of her medical bills should be the responsibility of the driver of the car.  I would sue everyone involved in a US court if I had to get justice.


    • Anonymous says:

      Can't sue in a US Court, no jurisdiction. As the accident happened here the family would need to seek legal advice on island.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Terrible PR for this island. I hope government quickly steps in and investigate this problem right away! Those headlines, that will be broadcasted as “Cayman Islands school not paying for teacher’s life support” will be another nail in the coffin for us. But Yeah, that is exactly how this story will be blared across the world! Just another black eye on our failing systems, with education being the most serious one of them!

  8. Anonymous says:

    So there is no fault to be apportioned to anyone in this story then?…..No ones problem?

    Employer?….not me guv 

    Police?….not me guv

    Car insurer? …not me guv

    Driver?….not me guv

    Hospital? ….not me guv

    USA?…..not me guv

    Health Insurer?….not me guv

    Road Authority?….not me guv

    This is indicative of a failing society on these fair Isles……



  9. Slowpoke says:

    I will say it one more time and promise to never say it again, "universal coverage – singlepayer".

    But no, some stupid law, that is totally unenforceable, providing profits to insurance companies, was going to be much cheaper and effective.  Sometimes the magic hand of the free market, is not so magical.

  10. Anonymous says:

    this is so much BS.  Not very long ago a woman, from the Phillipines I believe was in a similar situation.  Hit by someone near hurleys, driver never charged, and shipped off by the caring people here to hondouras to die.  God Is Watching, and working, and he works with 100% eficiency!

  11. Anonymous says:

    one of the reasons why i´ve left the Island!! If you get hit by a car you gonna die because of the medical bill if you can´t afford premium care!! Cross my fingers for her!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Not just that, but nobody, of a certain stature and money, will ever get charged.

      Like the guy that was killed on West Bay Road a few years ago opposite Royal Palms, only been on Island a couple of hours, the young guy driving his big American whatever …… was he charged with anything?

      How about the Police guy that was walking his two dogs…..that guy was let free!

      How about ……………

      How many others.



      • Anonymous says:

        In my recent memory. The body count with no consequences was about 6!

    • Anonymous says:

      you left the island because of what would happen if you got hit bya car?

      • Anonymous says:

        Someday you'll see the wisdom in that move. 

      • Anonymous says:

        yes medical care is one of the reasons why i have left the island….i didn´t like the fact of multi-tier health care….average salary=standard care which basicaly covers nothing….good salary=premium care for those who can afford it!! Since Cayman i am thankful for such a good social insurance system we have here in Europe.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Even though she should have had a minimal level of cover under her employer provided medical insurance, the minimum is not enough to cover such a catastrophic medical claim.

    But more importantly, the at fault driver should  have had liability iinsurance as required under law. Those limits tend to be MUCH higher and that is the policy that should be paying for her medical care anyway.  

    • Anonymous says:

      First you assume fault, which may not be a fair assumption.  Second, since the driver has not been identified how can there be an insurance claim?

      • Anonymous says:

        The vehicle involved has been identified.  My insurance attaches to my vehicle regardless of who is driving it.  That seems to be the general rule in Cayman unless the vehicle owner opts for a specific exclusion.  

        The credibility of a driver who has left the scene of an accident with serious injury is, to say the least, in doubt. Leaving the scene of such an accident is a criminal act in many jurisdictions.

      • Anonymous says:

        So you think it is equally probable this hit and run was the pedestrian's fault?  Is that because she was an expat?

  13. Anonymous says:

    She had actually resigned from the preschool because they weren't providing health insurance.  The accident happened just after her resignation, while she planned on moving home.  The school should definatley be held responsible, but this is Cayman, and no one is ever held responsible for their actions….

    • Anonymous says:

      If she resigned from the job how do you arrive at the conclusion that the school should be held responsible 19:33? She resigned, she was no longer their employee. Period. I object to your casting such aspersions … "but this is Cayman, and no one is ever held responsible for their actions….".  How dare you!

      • Anonymous says:

        1)Why wasn't she offered medical insurance by the pre school? 2) Did you tell her that before she was hired ? 

        3) Its the law. Why didn't she have medical insurance? It would have lasted till the end of the month.

        4) This should be the reason that you fine or close the company down. 

        5) What happen to the driver the insurance would still cover the medical??

        6) Why isn't this case in court??

      • Anonymous says:

        Idiot, the law requires employers to keep insurance in place for 3 months post employment in such circumstances.

      • Anonymous says:


      • Anonymous says:

        Not quite "period"….first it ends the beginning of month following cessation AND the person leaving and not otherwise employed must be given opportunity to stay on medical for three months following cessation of employment (at cost of employee)…unlikely she was given this option if initial post of not providing insurance (which is against the law) is true.

      • Anonymous says:

        Are you aware that as per the law, an employer must provide insurance for an employee for 1 month after they leave employment? Do you also know that as per the law an insurance company must keep you on the employers insurance for 3 months after leaving the employment (the employee pays the full insurance)  if the employee so requests?

        However, I have read that the employer was not providing her with Health Insurance which is why she resigned. The Preschool should be liable for her expenses. I would like to know the name of the Preschool as no-one should want to enroll their children in a school that not only disobeys the laws of the Country but also has little or no moral values and respect for human welfare and life!

    • Anonymous says:

      We need to know the name of the pre-school. I would not liek to think I was sending my children to a school which is not paying their employees medical insurance. Please publish the name of the school so we parents can be aware. Thank you

  14. Anonymous says:

    CNS could you pass on details of how I can contribute to the fundraiser. 

    I think it is moraly wrong that her employers did not provide the health insurance . It is also against the law and i hope the enforcing bodies look into the case. 

    Why has the driver not been charged? Another example of poor policing that reflects bad on the Island. 

  15. Seriously? says:

    Who is the employer?


    Seriously, we need to know.

  16. Anonymous says:

    They should do an online push – a petition to get answers as to why this man isn't being held accountable and at the same time take donations to cover her medical expenses!  Our culture promotes drinking and driving – we should all feel compelled to take some sort of responsibility when tragedy occurs. 

  17. Anonymous says:

    Why has the driver not been arrested and charged?

    • Anonymous says:

      AND why has the employer not been arrested and charged! AND they are certainly liable to pay every cent that would have been available for medical care had the insurance been in place! 

      Your Excellency, welcome to the most lawless place under the Union Jack.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is a very unfortunate and sad situation indeed – but to answer you question, uuummm maybe he was not the actual driver who hit and injured this lady. 

      • Anonymous says:

        And….why can't the police find out if he is the one who did it.  We don't need CSI for this do we?

      • Anonymous says:

        her DNA(blood and hair) was found on his car 

      • Anonymous says:

        Some countries have vehicle insurance where the owner of the vehicle is

        liable no matter who was driving his vehicle.  His insurance would have to cover

        the cost when his vehicle was in an accident. There wouldn't be any of this ''you

        can't do anything to me I wasn't driving the vehicle''.  In this case it would have

        helped this woman.  Does Cayman not have some kind of public liability insurance

        that people can get on their vehicles.? It should be mandatory.

    • Anonymous says:

      Even if the driver is charged depending on what company that the vehicle is insured with this poor woman might not get coverage. I am a victim of similar circumstances.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I doubt the insurance would cover this type of off-island expense.

    • Anonymous says:

      She was a teacher, that means a certain school isn't paying insurance???? 

    • Anonymous says:

      If the driver was insured usually they would have some sort of cover payable to the victim, it shouldn't be left to her to claim on her own medical insurance (even if she had any) for an at fault accident. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Um.. Did you even read the Headline here? English not your first language maybe?

        • Anonymous says:

          The headline says SHE has no insurance, my point which escapes you is that it shouldn't matter that she doesn't have her own insurance, the person in the car who hit her should have insurance and that insurance should be paying.  If you have failed to understand anything written here ask a grown up to explain it to you..

    • Anonymous says:

      What a cop out statement

  19. Anonymous says:

    It would be barbaric for the world's richest nation to provide medical care to those that are not working to maintain that economy.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is one of only 8 countries that still does not have mandatory paid maternity leave.  (Along with Papua New Guinea, Nauru, Tonga, Western Samoa, Palau, Liberia and Suriname).  Underneath the shiny exterior is a rather basic and barbaric interior.

      • Anonymous says:

        If you're not an American, don't you worry about it. Worry that you live in a place where someone can hit you with no consequences. Where an employer can break the law an not face any consequences. 

        • Anonymous says:

          I agree.  If you are American you will be too busy worrying about getting shot by high powered guns.

      • Anonymous says:

        Better check the Labour Law!

        • Anonymous says:

          The list was of countries.  Tiny provinces that choose to be backwards in terms of women's rights out of greed were not on the list.

      • Anonymous says:

        What place are you talking about? You are not some ignorant expat shooting off his/her mouth that hasn't read the Labour Law, are you?  

    • Anonymous says:

      World's richest nation?  I wonder where that is?!  Certainly not the Cayman Islands. First, we are not a 'nation' and we are in the habit of making guest workers who come here rich, allow them to cuss us to death, stab us in the back and all sorts of horrible things while we become poorer and poorer. So, please tell us where the richest nation is!

      • Anonymous says:

        Anon. 19:12 Please READ before you comment. This would save embarassment for yourself and other Caymanians. WHEN you reread you will (hopefully) realize that the 'worlds richest nation' that they were referring to was the USA. And while the health care system is the US is sad for uninsured persons, ours is not that much better. Businesses in Cayman are not held accountable for not following the Health Insurance Law and this needs to be fixed. In a case such as this where someone is severely injured and their employer did not have insurance for them as required under the Law, the Company should be liable for their Medical expenses and the owner should be sentenced to jail time. Only then will this practise stop. This is people's lives not just a business expense! Very, very sad!

    • Anonymous says:

      You are so right! The world's richest nation, America. Although she is their citizen and was most likely paying tax on her earnings here she is now without any form of insurance cover in that country simply because she left to work elsewhere. It is unlikely that the minimum insurance coverage required here would be enough to pay the astronomical medical costs charged in the country.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Prosecute & sue the hit & run driver.

    West Bay again…

    So why are her employer's insurers not paying? Were the premiums not paid?…

    • Anonymous says:

      This here is another classic example of how employers eploit their ex-pat hires. They obviously weren't paying health insurance for her and I don't doubt she is or was aware of this yet she likely did not report anything. I'm Caymanian and I do believe and have seen many cases where ex-pat workers are taken advantage of by companies that hire them. Foreign workers are MUCH MORE LIKELY to keep their mouthes shut about any mis-treatment hence one of the reasons they are the preferred nationalities for employement here. I hope the lady get's better some way some how. It's an American this time so we will for sure here more about this.

      • Anonymous says:

        They should sue the Health Insurance Commission.  Aren't they doing their job yet?  Come on guys! The Premier seriously needs to look at disbanding the unit because they do nothing it seems and employers are constantly exploiting employees in this way, Caymanians and expats alike. It is a crying shame!

        • Anonymous says:

          Of course they should sue the HIC. They fail in their obligations daily and are hardly lobbying for enforcement. Damn them all.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Now remind me why the man arrested has not been charged and why her employer seems to not have insurance for her?  Don't we have laws in place for these offences or is it that we have no enforcement and conviction?……I see anarchy in the not too distant future. 

  22. Anonymous says:

    Now remind me why Americans consider "socialised medicine" to be so wrong?

    • Anonymous says:

      We like group insurance. American employers actually provide it for their employees, even the foreign ones.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well great if a) the insurance covers your needs and b) you have a job.  PS Have you looked at American healthcare spending as a % of GDP?  Not a very cost effective system at all.

      • Anonymous says:

        There is 36 industrialized countries in the world, and only ONE of those countires does not provide social health care. Guess who, yes the good old U.S of A, yet spend more of its GPD on heatlh care(19%)  than Australia, Germany, and France combined!!!! Something is wrong with the system.'

        My heart goes out the the victim, and her family. The last thing they should be worring about is how to pay for the medical bills.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not all do and if you lose your job and get cancer, even if you get another job the pre-existing condition is usually not covered.  Non-rich Americans supporting Republicans are idiots.

    • Anonymous says:

      I would imagine it is for the same reason that we Caymians do.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, much like cayman, the US has a kind of unofficial socialized medicine.

      I know someone that had a baby there, with complications.  The hospital wiped more tha 50K off the books because they had no money.

      • Anonymous says:

        Most personal bankruptcies in the US involve unpaid medical bills.