Top personal injury lawyers in Orlando are applauding a recent Florida Supreme Court ruling. In a victory for trial lawyers, the court sided with a plaintiff in a car accident lawsuit who said Geico inadequately represented a customer.
The case stems from a car accident nearly 12 years ago in which a Geico insured driver was faulted for hitting a man riding a motorcycle in Palm Beach County. The accident killed the motorcyclist and led to a personal injury lawsuit alleging wrongful death. A traffic judge found that the driver ignored a flashing red stop signal and drove his Hummer into the victim’s motorcycle.
In view of the circumstances, Geico offered the family of the man killed in the accident a $100,000 settlement, which was the extent of his insurance coverage. The man’s widow turned down the offer and sued the driver. A jury awarded the family $8.5 million. Now, the driver was responsible for paying. But the driver’s lawyer sued the Geico, contending that the company had not properly represented him. Specifically, the lawyer charged that the insurance company representative had not responded to questions from the accident victim’s family regarding the driver’s financial situation.
Personal Injury Lawyers Fight for Car Accident Victims
The victim’s lawyer says that had they known that the driver had no way to pay more than the $100,000 accident insurance coverage, they would have settled for that amount. But without that information, their lawsuit wound up putting the driver personally on the hook for the $8.5 million settlement. Hence, the driver’s lawyer’s lawsuit saying that Geico, not the driver should be liable.
With this decision, Florida’s top court agreed. Saying that Geico had acted in bad faith, it shifted responsibility for the $8.5 million settlement to the insurers.
4:35 PM on The Florida Channel: Supreme Court Oral Agruments (from November 1) Suzanne Harvey v. Geico, General Insurance Company (SC17-85) https://t.co/lh6BaeAka6
— The FLORIDA Channel (@floridachannel) November 21, 2017
Top Personal Injury Lawyers in Orlando Like Decision
The court’s decision is a victory for personal injury lawyers. The Florida Justice Association, representing the political interests of Florida trial lawyers, filed a brief in support of the driver. On the other hand, insurance industry groups vehemently argued that Geico had not acted in bad faith.
Personal injury lawyers, of course, work to recover losses for accident victims. In fact, in many personal injury lawsuits, car accident attorneys must fight to make insurers pay what they owe.
The car accident attorneys at Martinez Manglardi, PA have been fighting for Central Florida injury victims for more than 30 years. Call 407-846-2240 for a free case evaluation at one of our convenient Central Florida locations.