Millions of people are injured every year in vehicles that sustain zero or minimal property damage. That means there is little or no “visible” damage to the vehicle. A common trend by insurance companies is to dispute or undermine injuries sustained in these low impact collisions. As a result, most accident victims are usually marginally compensated or receive no reimbursement for medical bills, care services or lost wages resulting from these injuries. Read more
Blogs By K Ryan
Unless electro-mechanical engineers design a “whiplash” proof vehicle soon, the role of the chiropractor in the personal injury litigation process may be static for some time. Despite the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) focus on mitigating whiplash and related injuries, the number of cases continue to rise. In fact, studies have shown whiplash to be the most common injury sustained from an auto accident. Residual pain associated with this type of injury also rank as the top reason people head to the chiropractor after being checked out at a hospital following a car wreck. Read more
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.
Walk around the downtown of any city and you will see pedestrians glued to their smartphones. However, even as smart phones have improved our ability to connect, they have also made walking more hazardous for both pedestrians and motorists alike. Distracted pedestrians are increasingly causing accidents. The phenomenon has become so common that some cities are now fighting the problem through fining pedestrians for the use of smartphones while walking.
Honolulu Becomes First Major U.S. City to Ban Texting and Walking
According to a recent New York Times report, Honolulu recently became the first major U.S. city to extend the ban to pedestrians in July. Under that law, any pedestrian crossing a street while “viewing” a cellphone can be fined between $15 and $35. The Times article further notes that a 2015 study in the Journal of Safety Studies found that, between 2000 and 2007, fewer than 400 pedestrians were injured in the U.S. each year due to accidents caused by pedestrians distracted by their phones. However, after the introduction of Apple’s original iPhone in 2007 kicked off the smartphone revolution, an estimated 1,300 pedestrians were injured in 2012 while absorbed in their cell phones.
Pedestrian Duties When Interacting with Motor Vehicles under Florida Law
Pedestrians, just like drivers, have duties under Florida law. For instance, pedestrians have a general duty under Florida law to exercise reasonable caution when crossing roads or interacting with cars and other motor vehicles. In addition, under Florida Statutes Section 316.130, pedestrians have specified laws they must obey. First, pedestrians must obey all laws applicable to non-vehicles. For example, a pedestrian is required to obey any traffic device specifically applicable to the pedestrian unless otherwise directed by a police officer. Pedestrians are also required to obey all traffic control signals at intersections. Therefore, a pedestrian crossing against the light is violating the law in Florida.
Contact Lytal Reiter if You Are Involved in An Accident with a Pedestrian Who is Ignoring His or Her Duties Under Florida Law
There are traffic laws in Florida that apply to pedestrians just like there are laws that apply to motorists. If a pedestrian is not following these laws requiring because the pedestrian is glued to his or her smartphone, the pedestrian may be at fault if he or she causes an accident in which a motorist is injured. If you have been injured in Florida due to the carelessness of a pedestrian glued to his or her smartphone, then contact the experienced personal injury attorneys of Lytal Reiter Smith Ivey & Fronrath today at (561) 655-1990 for a free consultation regarding your legal rights. Our experienced personal injury attorneys have represented clients who have been seriously injured in many different scenarios, including pedestrian-caused accidents.