I would like to know if it's too late to request an investigation or to pursue legal action on the below scenario I posted on Facebook regarding my elderly neighbor. This all occurred in June of 2012.
I had a conversation with my neighbor a few days ago and the more I think about it, the more pi$$ed I get. Around June of last year, his wife was nearly killed in a car accident. She lived because she was fortunate enough to be behind the wheel of a Cadillac SRX. All airbags deployed and car “said” to be totaled. The insurance company representing the other driver offered a settlement to avoid lawsuits. It was an absurd pittance of what they should have received to cover all the medical costs but I’m sure they weren’t aware they could be legally represented. His wife now just sits on the couch and watches TV. She’s suffering from memory loss and he said she’s worsening each day. On top of all this, his very own insurance company cut him a 7,500.00 check for a pristine loaded Cadillac. Book value is 23,500 and that is a conservative estimate. He is now driving a new 4 cylinder Hyundai. The ultimate kicker is that the officer at the scene advised that there must be at least 9 collisions / fatalities at a dangerous intersection in order for a light to be installed. This whole thing reeks to high heaven. This guy is pushing 80 and has had several strokes. His wife is now unable to manage day to day due to the accident and I have a sneaky suspicion that Caddie is back on the road too. Insurance company win win win.
2 Answers from Attorneys
It is not too late to investigate whether the insurers acted in bad faith and/or whether the intersection was negligently designed. Only the vehicle owner and injured party(ies) or their guardian or attorney-in-fact have legal standing to act on their behalf. They should consult with a qualified Florida automobile accident attorney right away.
If your neighbors signed released their claim against the other driver in exchange for a settlement payment, then it is unlikely that they can re-open that claim. There may be a claim against the other insurance company or their own insurance company over their claims handling practices. There may also be a claim against the municipality or county because of the intersection design. There are a lot of complicated issues, and your neighbors should consult as soon as possible with an attorney with experience in this type of complex claim. In particular, they should look for an attorney who is board certified in civil trial law, as are the lawyer in our firm. We offer a free initial consultation and would be happy to discuss the situation with them.