What Happens if a Jury Awards Me More Than The Other Driver’s Policy Limits In a Car Accident Lawsuit?

Most motor vehicle accident victims do not know going into a lawsuit that often the most important factor in most motor vehicle accident lawsuits is the negligent motorist’s policy limits.  This is why a motorist injured in a motor vehicle accident may be forced to accept less than the full amount of his or her damages if the other driver is underinsured.  Therefore, it is imperative that Florida car accident victims hire an aggressive attorney who will not only pursue the negligent driver’s insurer, but also the negligent driver, for the victim’s injuries.  An aggressive attorney can recover something from the negligent driver, even if not the full amount awarded.

 

A Concrete Example of How Insurance Policy Limits Can Dictate a Lawsuit’s Outcome

 

Imagine a driver is driving home on the Florida Turnpike in Palm Beach County and is plowed into from behind by a driver who is texting and not paying attention.  If the negligent driver has an auto policy with a limit of $100,000, for instance, the insurer is on the hook for $100,000.  This is true if the case goes to a trial and the jury returns a verdict against the driver and his or her insurer for $1,000,000.  Of that $1,000,000, the the driver would be on the hook for the remaining $900,000.  Given that very few people have assets of that amount, many attorneys will not even bother to attempt to collect anything from the driver and will simply be content with pursuing the negligent driver’s insurer for whatever insurance money is available. Nonetheless, it often is possible (although sometimes difficult) to also obtain additional compensation from the negligent driver him or herself.

 

What Can My Lawyers Do if the Jury Awards Me More than the Other Driver’s Policy Limits in Damages?

 

A jury verdict, and the resulting judgment against the negligent driver, is just a piece of paper.  Although the injured person might have a judgment stating that the motorist owes you $900,000, it is up to your attorneys to collect dollar amount of that $900,000 they can from that driver.  This will usually be less than a dollar for dollar recovery because both Florida state law as well as federal law provide protections for certain assets from collection to satisfy a judgment obtained in a lawsuit, like a home jointly owned with a spouse, any retirement accounts, or a portion of the negligent motorist’s paycheck. However, it is a process that takes meticulous research in locating the negligent motorist’s assets and then using legal remedies to recover whatever money an attorney can for his or her injured client.

 

Contact Lytal Reiter if You Have Been Involved in a Motor Vehicle Accident in Florida

 

At Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, our auto accident attorneys have extensive experience litigating on behalf of auto accident victims.  Since our firm was founded in 1985, a large percentage of the cases our firm handles involve auto accidents.  Although some attorneys will simply take whatever the negligent motorist’s insurance policy limits are, we will fight to get every cent for our clients that we can, including pursuing the negligent driver.  If you or your loved ones have been involved in a motor vehicle accident in Florida, contact the West Palm Beach auto accident attorneys at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Motorcycle Accident Kills Two in Central Florida

A recent motorcycle accident in the Villages in Citrus County in Central Florida serves as a reminder of the dangers of operating a motorcycle in a state in which many drivers are elderly and may not have the reaction time of a younger driver.  According to a report regarding the accident from the Villages News, the motorcycle turned into the path of a 72 year old motorist who was unable to stop her car in time to avoid colliding with the motorcycle.  Both the motorcycle’s operator and his passenger, who were both wearing helmets at the time of the crash, were ejected from the motorcycle and were killed in the collision.  The elderly driver was attempting to make a left turn at the time the motorcycle crossed in front of her vehicle.

 

Florida Law Governing the Operation of Motorcycles

 

Under Florida law, Florida motorcyclists are required to obey the same traffic laws as other drivers.  These include observing all posted speed limits, stopping at stop signs and red lights, and obeying all other local and state traffic safety laws and ordinances.  Motorcyclists also are not permitted to travel more than two bikes across in a single lane, cannot pass an automobile in the same lane that the car is traveling in and cannot drive between lanes of traffic.

 

Florida Laws Regulating Motor Vehicle Drivers When Motorcycles Are Present

 

            Under Florida law, there also are laws that apply to car drivers when motorcycles are present on the road.  This is due to the unique dangers of motorcycle accidents for the motorcyclists and their passengers.  When another vehicle collides with a motorcycle, the motorcyclist takes the full impact of the collision unlike a passenger in a vehicle. The impact typically throws the rider from the motorcycle causing even more injury from the impact with the road or other immovable objects.  Therefore, there are very specific laws that apply to motor vehicle operators to ensure the safety of motorcyclists and their passengers.  For instance, Florida Statute Section 316.209 specifically provides that “All motorcycles are entitled to full use of a lane and no motor vehicle shall be driven in such manner as to deprive any motorcycle of the full use of a lane.”  Accordingly, if a car’s driver is attempting to travel in the same lane as a motorcycle, then the driver would be violating Florida law.  The same would be true if the driver of the motor vehicle attempted to (or did) cut off a motorcycle.

 

Contact The Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys of Lytal Reiter Smith Ivey & Fronrath if You Have Been Involved in an Accident Involving a Motorcycle in Florida

 

If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident in Florida, contact the experienced car and motorcycle accident attorneys at the law firm of Lytal Reiter Smith Ivey & Fronrath, P.A. today.  We have achieved great success in representing clients in collisions caused by motorists who were not taking proper precautions as required by Florida law when motorcyclists were present during our firm’s attorneys’ 250 combined years practicing law.  Contact us today at (561) 655-1990 for a free consultation regarding your situation.

 

 

Former Star Pitcher Roy Halladay Killed in Plane Crash in the Gulf of Mexico

Former star Major League Baseball pitcher Roy Halladay, who was 40 years old and a two-time Cy Young award winner, recently was killed when his plane crashed in the Gulf of Mexico on November 7th.  Halladay was an eight-time MLB All Star who spent twelve seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays followed by four seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies.  According to a report from the Chicago Tribune, Halladay’s plane went down near noon off the coast of Pasco County, Florida.  Halladay was the only one in the plane at the time it went down, according to a news briefing about the crash given shortly afterwards by the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.  The sheriff’s office marine unit responded immediately to a call regarding the downed plane and discovered Halladay’s body in shallow water near some mangroves.  No survivors were found from the crash.

 

Previous News Regarding Halladay and His Flying

 

Halladay, whose MLB contract had prevented him from flying, had been a pilot and a plane enthusiast for some time since his recent retirement from professional baseball.  ICON aircraft, the manufacturer of the plane Halladay was flying when he was killed, had posted a video with Halladay trying out a new plane.  The video showed Halladay taking delivery of a new ICON A5, a two-seat “light-sport aircraft” that can land on water.  In the video, Halladay confirmed the terms of his baseball contract prevented him from having a pilot’s license while playing, and that his wife was originally against the idea of him getting the aircraft.  Halladay also had recently been in the news for his daring acrobatics in the air.  According to another report, this one from celebrity media outlet TMZ, videos have recently surfaced that show Halladay performing aerial maneuvers over the water in his plane only two weeks before the crash.  One video even appears to show Halladay attempting a water landing. The bystander who took the video posted on TMZ actually told the New York Daily News he originally started recording Halladay’s aerial maneuvers because Halladay’s plane was going so close to the water at such a high rate of speed that he thought it was going to crash.  In response to the TMZ report, Halladay’s family issued a statement saying he was not a reckless flyer.

 

Contact Lytal Reiter if You Are Injured in an Aviation Accident

 

Although no one besides former Phillies star pitcher Roy Halladay was injured or killed in the pitcher’s recent plane crash off the West Coast of Florida, aviation accidents often result in tragedies in which passengers in the plane are either killed or injured due to either the pilot’s negligence or the failure of malfunctioning of the plane’s control systems.  If you or a loved one have been injured in an aviation accident, an experienced West Palm Beach accident attorney at the law firm of Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath may be able to help with your claim. We help aviation accident victims recover money for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and future medical care. Please call an experienced and caring West Palm Beach aviation accident attorney from the law offices of Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath today and schedule a free consultation.

 

 

Update on the FIU Pedestrian Bridge: Multiple Federal Agencies and Miami-Dade Police Department Are Pursuing Criminal Investigations

Update on the FIU Pedestrian Bridge:

 According to a report from Florida Politics, a lawyer for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) informed a Tallassee judge in a recent court proceeding that potential criminal charges could end up being filed as a result of the collapse of a bridge on March 15th at the campus of Florida International University (FIU) in Miami.  Read more

Train Accident Kills Woman in Broward County

In a recent train accident in Broward County, a 35 year old woman was killed by a Brightline train that was performing test runs.  According to a report from the South Florida Business Journal, no other injuries were reported and there were not any passengers onboard the train according to a spokeswoman from Brightline.  An investigation into the woman’s death is now underway by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office.

 

Brightline is a passenger railroad project being developed by Miami-based company All Aboard Florida.  Brightline is scheduled to begin high-speed passenger rail service between Miami and West Palm Beach by the end of the year, with full service to Orlando International Airport planned in several years.  The high-speed trains have been doing test runs along a stretch of Florida East Coast railway track in Palm Beach County since January 2017.

 

This is not the first Brightline fatality since test runs began in January of this year. In July, a woman was hit and killed by a Brightline train in Boca Raton.  However, this July accident was believed by Boca Raton Police to be a suicide according to a police spokesperson quoted in a report from the Orlando Sun-Sentinel.

 

The Catastrophic Nature of Railroad Accidents

 

Railroad accidents are not common, but when they occur they often involve serious injuries or fatalities. Trains are extremely large, heavy vehicles that travel at high speeds and can cause catastrophic injuries or fatalities in a crash.  This is particularly true when the crash involves a pedestrian or someone who is not in a vehicle, as was the case in the two recent Brightline train fatalities.  However, even when a car is involved, which at least offers some protection against the destructive force of a train, victims of a railroad accident often suffer horrific injuries or death.  When Florida railroad accidents occur, the devastating injuries can often result in life-altering conditions that radically change the victim and the victim’s family forever.  In addition to the physical pain and emotional suffering, Florida railroad accidents victims and their families face enormous medical costs, physical therapy, property damage, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, funeral costs, and other economic losses.

 

Contact Lytal Reiter if You Have Been Injured in a Florida Railroad Accident

 

At Lytal Reiter, our experienced personal injury attorneys have over thirty years of experience representing individuals who have been injured in railroad accidents since our firm’s founding in 1985.  Trains travel at high speeds and are therefore difficult to stop quickly. When an accident occurs, it is usually unavoidable and can cause serious injuries or death. The litigation team at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath is dedicated to investigating your case thoroughly and winning you the maximum compensation you deserve. Call our West Palm Beach offices at 561-655-1990 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation regarding your situation.