$100,000 Personal Injury Attorneys Dell & Schaefer Settled Wrongful Death Action for Policy Limits

Our client, a 48-year-old father of one minor child, was in the process of being robbed on the side of NW 27th Avenue in Miami, Florida when, in an attempt to escape the robbery, he ran across the street and was hit by a vehicle travelling down the road. The stunned owner and driver of the vehicle actually jumped out of her car, allowing it to continue travelling down the road with our client on the hood. The vehicle eventually collided with a barricade post on the side of the road. The driver of the vehicle was cited for careless driving. Our client was pronounced dead at the scene. There was some question as to whether the death was caused by the initial impact of the car on our client or the eventual collision with the barricade post.

The medical examiner’s report listed the causes of death as blunt head injuries, blunt chest injuries, blunt abdominal injuries and blunt injuries of extremities. The defendant’s insurance company, The Hartford Insurance Company, argued that those injuries could have been caused by either the initial impact of the car on our client or the eventual collision with the barricade post.

Not being able to prove which impact caused the injuries and consequent death, the Hartford reasoned, we would be unable to satisfy our burden in Court. On behalf of the surviving minor child, we brought a wrongful death claim against the driver of the vehicle.

We were able to successfully argue that the driver was at fault for the death because she had jumped out of her moving vehicle, allowing it to continue along the road and eventually crash into the barricade post.

We were also able to successfully argue that our client’s death was more likely than not caused by the second collision of the vehicle with the barricade post. Upon colliding with the barricade post, the client’s body was actually thrown off of the hood of the car. We argued that the client’s being thrown off the hood of the car was more likely to have caused the blunt head, chest, abdominal and extremities injuries than was the initial impact with the car.

In the end, the case was resolved with The Hartford Insurance Company for the defendant’s policy limits of $100,000. Several weeks after the settlement, members of The Hartford attempted to deny the settlement, arguing that they had previously been engaging only in settlement negotiations, as opposed to finalizing a true settlement agreement.

We subsequently sent a letter to the insurance company threatening to pursue a claim for bad faith if it did not comply with the terms of the settlement. Within days, we had received a release and a check for the $100,000 policy limits.

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