Harris Law Group Obtains 1.55$ Million Settlement

Accident In Sarasota Florida

Dollars Recovered: $1,550,000

Time Spent: Less Than One Year


On a normal sunny Florida afternoon, our client was driving a Harley Davidson motorcycle south on US. 301, when an ALFA Romeo 4c sports car pulled out in front of him. The impact sent our client flying several yards over the front left area of the vehicle. His helmet flew off before his head made contact with the road’s asphalt. He suffered severe and life threatening injuries including but not limited to, a coma, open book pelvic fracture, and a fractured wrist.



To prove this case we needed to establish the necessary elements for a negligence action under Florida Chapter 768. That requires (1) Duty (2) Breach (3) Causation and (4) Damages.

(1) Duty 

All drivers in Florida must adhere and obey all traffic laws and generally drive as a reasonable person would under like circumstances. Here, the other driver owed our client this general duty simply by driving his automobile in the state of Florida. Furthermore, in this case, when turning left at an intersection Florida Statute 316.121, makes it a noncriminal traffic infraction to “approach an intersection and fail to yield the right-of-way to a vehicle which has entered the intersection from a different highway.” Thus we were able to show a general duty to our client. 

(2) Breach 

A breach is a failure to meet a general duty. Here, the other driver pulled out into our client’s lane after he had already entered the intersection. He had a duty to yield under statute 316.121 to our client but did not do so. We had video images from a nearby traffic camera to prove this and were able to blow up the images to clearly show a lane violation. By failing to not meet the requirements of statute 316.121, we could show a jury the necessary evidence to show a breach.

(3) Causation 

Causation means that the other driver needs to be the But/For cause of the accident. Under Florida Civil Jury Instructions 402.6 negligence “is a legal cause of loss injury or damage if it directly and in a natural and continuous sequence produces or contributes substantially to producing such loss injury or damage, so that it can reasonably be said that, but for the negligence, the loss injury or damage would not have occurred.”
Here, we argued that but/for the other drive violating the statute and failing to yield the right of way to our client, our client would not have suffered damages. 
Thus, we were able to show causation but had to contend with a strong potential defense from the other side.

Causation Defense – Comparative Fault

Florida is a comparative fault state and therefore any recovery that a plaintiff makes in a personal injury case is reduced by the percentage of fault they are held responsible for. In many personal injury cases, the defense seeks to place blame on the plaintiff for causing part of the accident.
The defense in this case was going to use this defense at trial as a means of denying responsibility for causing the accident in the first place. 

Here, several eye-witnesses and our own reconstructive experts, estimated that our client was driving approximately 70-75 miles per hour when he made contact with the sports car that pulled into his lane. The speed limit on that section of 301, was 40 miles per hour.

Therefore, a jury could find that our client was significantly at fault for causing this accident and could reduce his compensation by whatever percentage of fault they attributed to his actions.


(4) Damages

In this case our client had serious and life changing medical damages. Damages are usually measured in relation to the amount of medical bills owed and the pain and suffering of the victim. Here, our client had a week long hospital stay that resulted in significant medical costs and a life threatening open book pelvic fracture surgery with open reduction internal fixation.



We utilized our experience in evaluating personal injury claims to come up with a specific dollar amount that would represent fair compensation for our client based upon a myriad of legal factors as discussed above. We had to be objective in our assessment of the case because you never know what type of jury you will get at trial. They may really like you and award lots of damages or they could have inherent bias against your claim and award nothing.

In the end we got the $1.55 million and our client would not have to spend another 2-3 years time to wait for his case to get in front of a jury. Further, we would not have to risk a jury holding our client responsible for the accident and giving him $0 because there was a significant chance that a jury would apportion a huge percentage of the fault of the accident to him and reduce his damages by that percentage of fault.

Kyle Harris

Kyle Harris


Tom Harris, Florida Injury Attorney, has over 39 years of experience, including 17 years of defending insurance companies before reinventing his law practice to represent injured people as a personal injury attorney.

Kyle Harris is a Florida licensed attorney who joined the family practice after starting his career as a licensed attorney in California

Ⓒ 2021 Harris Law Group
All Rights Are Reserved