HLG Recovers $450,000 Above Insurance Limits From At Fault Driver to Net $700,000

$450,000 Excess Contribution For Limited Insurance Coverage


On January 22, 2022, our client was driving down Cortez Road when an older driver crashed into the rear of his vehicle. The impact sent his car flying off the road. Emergency crews used the jaws of life to get our client out of his vehicle. He was then bayflighted to the hospital where a team of physicians performed open reduction internal fixation surgery in an attempt to safe his leg.

He was discharged from the hospital after several days in the intensive care unit. Unfortunately, about six months after the accident an infection took hold from the surgery and an amputation was required to safe his leg. 

Limited Coverage To Recover:

In this case, the at-fault driver only carried $250,000 in bodily injury coverage for their accident. Therefore, this was the maximum amount we were entitled to collect from the insurance coverage. Our clients medical bills obviously far exceeded this amount but fortunately he had a Michigan Insurance Policy that provided unlimited no-fault coverage for damages from the auto accident. 

He still had suffered traumatically however from the harms and losses of losing a leg. In most cases in Florida it is extremely difficult to recover any amount of money in excess of policy limits absent the insurance company acting in bad-faith to settle the claim. Here, there was no issue of bad-faith because the insurance company quickly wanted to pay the full $250,000 limits and admitted to liability. 

Our Expertise Helps Client Get Extra Compensation:

To be a good personal injury attorney you need to be prepared to investigate any and all potential other sources of coverage. We had no claim against Tesla because there was no evidence of any self-driving on the vehicle and furthermore the at-fault driver admitted to passing out in the vehicle. This was because the at-fault driver was very old and had a history of neurological problems.

The next step, was to look and see if the at fault driver had any personal assets that could be used to satisfy the judgment. This is extremely rare but we utilized background investigation to determine that the other driver in fact had substantial unprotected assets. Notably they had approximately 2 Million dollars worth of real estate. This included an investment property and a second-home that were not protected by the Florida Homestead protections.

At this point we requested financial affidavits from the at fault party. They denied our request and hired a private attorney. 

Settlement With Private Attorney:

The at fault party hired an Asset Protection attorney who specialized in protecting money from potential creditors. 

The at fault party and their counsel agreed to mediate with us in good faith. This was important because it saved our client potentially years of waiting for their case to be settled. Often a case takes a minimum of two years after the filing of a lawsuit to reach the point at which a jury can be selected and decide the case. Further, even if a judgment is collected, the other side can appeal a decision that will further delay any collections even more.

If that wasn’t enough, even after collection, the at fault party could declare bankruptcy and protect any assets as provided by Florida law. This can protect things like a homestead, 401k, or other retirement accounts. The collection process itself can take many more years.

Luckily for us, the other side knew that if they decided to battle us in Court, they would spend large amounts of costs in legal fees. Therefore, after multiple hours of intense negotiations we raised their initial offer at mediation of $50,000 to $450,000. Therefore, our client was able to recover the initial $250,000 from the insurance company plus $450,000 for a total of $700,000 in compensation.

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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

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