Ali Habeil sustained serious injuries while riding a motorcycle in Lakeland, Florida on March 9, 2017. This motorcycle accident happened at approximately 5:30 p.m. on the southbound side of US98 at Marcum Road when Ginger Myre made an improper U-turn directly in Habeil’s path. Habeil was taken to Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center. Myre was also taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
Legal Responsibility In Florida For Motorcycle Accidents
Under Florida law, Myre had a legal obligation to wait until she had sufficient time and space to make a U-turn. U-turns are permitted at intersections with a solid green light, however, in doing so the driver making the turn must yield to all oncoming traffic just a vehicle making a left hand turn under like circumstances. Myre is likely to be held legally responsible for this accident by a jury should this case go that far.
As a result, Myre’s automobile liability insurance company should offer its policy limits to Habeil.
Accepting A Settlement For Someone Who Is Injured
At the moment, Habeil may not have the legal capacity to accept a settlement. If he has signed a durable power of attorney, then his “attorney-in-fact” may settle his claim for insurance policy limits. However, if he has not done so before his injury and he does not have legal capacity (and will not have legal capacity for quite some time), then a guardianship may be appropriate in order to settle his claim, particularly before liens and medical expenses pile up.
Benefit Of Settling Sooner Rather Than Later
One of the interesting twists of Florida law is that our “collateral source” rule (section 768.76, Fla. Stat.) states that a provider of collateral sources (aka health insurance) does not have a right of subrogation or reimbursement for payments made after the date of settlement or judgment. Therefore, accepting policy limits sooner rather than later can put more money into the pockets of the injured person (which is the goal of a personal injury attorney).
If you wait until the health insurance company has paid several hundred thousand or over a million dollars in medical bills, then you have to negotiate with the health insurance company, if you can.
This fact raises another interesting twist in the law-certain health insurance sources are not required by law to negotiate and they do not under the legal authority of US Airways v. McCutcheon. For applicable cases, the health insurance company’s right of reimbursement trumps all other claims regardless of whether the injured person is adequately compensated.
To Find Out More, Talk To A Lakeland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Lakeland motorcycle accident, you should contact a Lakeland motorcycle accident attorney for professional legal advice on your case. You may need the help of an experienced attorney to help with not only getting the insurance company’s policy limits but also minimizing the amount that you or your loved one must re-pay out of any settlement. Having an attorney on your side can make all the difference. Schedule a free appointment today for your Lakeland motorcycle accident case.
— The Ledger (@theledger) March 10, 2017