The Other Driver was Cited for the Accident. How Can a Lawyer Help Me?

Video Transcription:

Pretty common question from some people who believe that, "Hey listen, the other person's at fault. "What's there to be, what's the big issue? "I think I can probably settle this on my own." Wanna tell you a story that may make you think again.

So this particular situation involved a cyclist who was badly injured in a car crash. So they were driving their car. They weren't on their bike and then had a clear liability crash involving the other driver who was clearly cited and was at fault, okay? Some people would look at that and say, "Well, maybe I'll just take care of this myself." What we found was that the driver did not have their own policy, okay? So they did not have an independent policy. The first level of insurance we found was that the other driver was driving a vehicle owned by her father. So you know, in Florida, if you own a car and it's involved in a crash, even though if you're not in it, you are strictly liable for the operation of that car. It's why parents need to be careful about putting a child, for instance, on the title to a vehicle or actually having them as a listed insured on your driver when you own it.

So in this situation, the father of the car was strictly liable. So we inquired and found insurance on the father, but the father had a relatively small policy. Our client had had surgery. We needed every bit of insurance that we could find. So interestingly enough, so we looked at crash report. What we found was that the driver, you know, the driver's obviously at fault, but we have, but no independent policy, and we got a policy through her dad. When we looked at the crash report, the driver's listing an address which is not her father's. So we started doing some background checking, Facebook and doing our own sources of finding out where the driver lived, and determined that it looked like she lived with someone that she could be connected to by as a relative. We suspected it was her uncle, but we couldn't verify that she actually still lived there because many times, people give inaccurate information in terms of where their current address is. So the question would've been on the day of the crash, was she residing with a family member who might have insurance that would insure her as well?

So in doing our background investigation, we'd led to the uncle. We sent a financial affidavit to the driver just to confirm that she had no other coverage and to confirm her current address, okay, a big important piece. Then we sent a coverage affidavit to her uncle, who was residing at that address, asking for insurance information, and lo and behold, he had a policy in which the driver, his niece, was a named insured on his own policy. It's like this is the land of milk and honey. This is what we're looking for. It's why you have a lawyer to get involved in the case, particularly where the coverage information isn't straightforward, and as it turned out, the policy that the driver had was, or that the uncle had, was five times larger than the policy that the father had. So as a result, in our situation, we were able to find this policy. Our client needed every penny of both of these policies, and we were successful in getting the case settled for the maximum insurance available.

I've got a little demo that sorta explains the situation. So you have the, course, the driver is always responsible, but the question is whether the driver has enough insurance. Her father was strictly liable over here under, as the owner of the car, and the driver lived with her uncle who's a family member. She's a resident relative of his household and a named insured on his policy, even though she was not driving his car at the time of the crash, okay? So as a result of that, we combined these policies and got a much better result for our client than he would've had, and I would say that virtually no person without a lawyer would ever have been able to put that together without some very significant understanding of how insurance worked and how to find out and go through the steps to find and discover the insurance, which is what we do as lawyers, the first thing we do with every case.

So you know, if the, I think this is a classic example of how a lawyer does help. I hope you found this story helpful. You know, if you find what we do helpful, share it with a cycling friend. We're giving you an offer this week to get one of our free insurance reviews. You know, if you fill this out, request it, we'll send it to you, if you fill it out, I'll call you and talk about your insurance coverage. We can either write on here or I call you, but generally, I'll call and just talk about it with you and let you know where I think you're weak and where I think you're really well covered and make suggestions 'cause I'll talk to you about what your driving pattern is and if you ride a bike and all those things which would affect how much insurance we think you should have on your car.

So I'm Jim Dodson, the Florida Bike Guy. I hope you found this helpful. If you did, refer it to a or share it with a friend who's a cycling buddy or a friend, and I'll see you next time. We look forward to seeing you.

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Jim Dodson
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A Florida injury lawyer, family man and avid cyclist who clients have trusted for over 25 years.