A jury in Lake County has awarded $2.3 million in a Florida personal injury lawsuit filed by a woman whose car accident injuries occurred in two separate crashes: One in 2007 and another in 2014. West Palm Beach personal injury lawyers recognize that while it is unusual for such claims to take nearly 10 years to resolve, it’s not unheard of in a complex case where auto insurers fight tooth-and-nail. While successful settlement negotiation is often preferred, your attorney should not hesitate to press these claims to court if defendant’s settlement offers are too low.
According to a local news report of the injury case, the woman’s first Florida personal injury lawsuit was filed in 2010 (within the four-year statute of limitations for Florida injury lawsuits) after an uninsured driver crashed into her on State Road 50, resulting in damage to a disc in her vertebrae. At the time, plaintiff was living with her grandmother and was covered under her grandmother’s auto insurance policy (often such policies do cover resident relative drivers, though it’s important to check the exact language). That policy did provide protection for collisions involving uninsured motorists. The second crash occurred in 2013, which re-injured her back, requiring a spinal fusion surgery and installation of screws and other hardware. In the second crash, the insurer covering the at-fault driver only paid a small sum, leaving plaintiff again to compensation from her grandmother’s insurer for underinsured motorist coverage. The policy covered up to $300,000 in damages, but plaintiff’s medical bills alone were estimated at more than $550,000.
The insurer fought to discredit plaintiff’s claim for damages, arguing there was evidence of her doing things she would not be able to do were injuries as severe as she claimed, including kayaking, running, twisting and bending. Both sides in the Florida personal injury lawsuit hired expert witnesses to bolster their positions. In the end, jurors awarded compensation for past and future medical bills and past pain and suffering, as well as $1.3 million for future pain and suffering. Continue reading →