Hollywood Florida auto accident attorney recovers additional settlement
Georgia Woman Injured in Car Accident in Florida
It’s painful enough to be in an auto accident. But imagine being in an accident in a different state involving an underinsured motorist, and then hiring an attorney who doesn’t understand the different laws. That’s what happened to our client. Fortunately for her, she found her way to Dell & Schaefer.
Our client, a 35-year-old woman from Georgia with an auto insurance policy written in that state, decided to move to Florida. As she was driving to Miami, she got into an accident on Interstate 95 near Vero Beach, Florida. The accident caused minor injuries resulting in chiropractic care. Our client originally hired another law firm to represent her for her injuries.
Our Client’s Prior Attorney Did Not Understand Georgia Laws Relating to Underinsured Motorist Benefits
Our client’s prior attorney was unaware of the Georgia laws regarding underinsured motorist benefits. Fortunately for her, she fired that attorney. Had she not done so, her prior counsel would have sent back a signed release that would have destroyed her ability to file an underinsured motorist claim.
Under Georgia law, when a person causes an accident and damages exceed the policy limits, insurance companies never have to waive subrogation of their claim. This means that if a victim’s own insurance company has to pay benefits because the person at fault did not have enough insurance coverage, then the victim’s insurance company can file a lawsuit against the at fault party to recover their money.
The way that a Georgia insurance company can do this is through what is known as a Limited Liability Release. A Limited Liability Release would prohibit the victim from ever suing the at fault party again in exchange for the settlement money. This is much different than the Florida law. Our client’s prior attorney had her sign a Full Release, not a Limited Liability Release. The Full Release, which is standard in Florida, would have released the at fault party of all liability, including that of her underinsured motorist carrier.
Our Client Fires Her Prior Attorney and Hires Attorneys Dell & Schaefer
After repeated efforts to contact her attorney and numerous unreturned voicemails, the client decided to fire her attorney and hire our law firm to represent her. Her prior attorney had resolved the original claim for $25,000 — the maximum under the at fault party’s insurance policy. Pursuant to her Georgia policy, our client had $50,000 in underinsured motorist benefits. Underinsured motorist benefits allow a victim to file a claim for additional money for her injuries after the maximum benefits are paid out by the at fault party. Before the prior attorney could file the underinsured motorist claim and after the insurance paid out the bodily injury coverage limits, our firm took over representation. This proved to be a very wise decision by our client.
Attorneys Dell & Schaefer Client Now Able to File Additional Claim Over and Above $25,000 Already Recovered
When our firm took over the case, we noticed that the client had already signed the Full Release but, fortunately, the prior attorney had not sent it back yet to the insurance company. Our firm quickly destroyed the Full Release and had our client sign a Limited Liability Release, which preserved her insurance company’s right to seek subrogation. In addition, our client was also able to file a claim for additional benefits under her underinsured motorist coverage over and above the $25,000 she had already recovered from the at fault party. When our client found out that her prior attorney had almost ruined her ability to file an underinsured motorist claim, she was absolutely thrilled that she made the decision to switch to Attorneys Dell and Schaefer.
Call us for a free consultation. There is no fee unless we recover money for you.