Hydroplane Accident Caused Serious Injury On SR37

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Destiny Nichols sustained critical injuries after being struck by a Nissan X-Terra driven by Gavin Boles as reported in The Ledger.  Boles is 17 years old and hydroplaned during an intense rainstorm on SR37 near Radar Road in Bradley Junction, Florida on August 11, 2018.  Boles and his passenger did not suffer injuries as a result of the collision.

Insurance Benefits Are Supposed To Be Available When Loss Strikes

Any time a person sustained a serious injury, it is a loss that no amount of money can ever truly make up for.  However, when an accident such as this one strikes, the family of the injured needs to make the best moves possible to preserve as much as possible from a personal injury settlement.

This case is so bad that the insurance company for Boles is going to offer whatever limits they have.  A personal injury attorney on a case such as this one should advise the family about other sources of insurance or assets that may be collectible.  As a minor child, a parent or legal guardian must have agreed to be “jointly and severally” liable for any damages caused by the minor child as a condition of having a license under the age of majority.  This is Florida law (see section 322.09, Fla. Stat.)

When To Settle May Be Important

Assuming that Ms. Nichols is covered by health insurance, the date that a settlement is reached may be very important regarding what must be repaid to health insurance from the settlement itself.  Many people do not realize that many health insurance policies have a “right of subrogation” or “right of reimbursement” from any third party settlement.

A personal injury attorney can advise an injured person of how their settlement will impact subrogation or reimbursement rights under section 768.76, Fla. Stat.  While the type of policy involved may make a difference, the most important thing to know about subrogation/reimbursement rights is that the date of settlement cuts off the health insurance company’s right to collect money.  This means that they can normally only collect for payments that were already made on or prior to the date of settlement.

Further, the health insurance companies will not tell you that the date of your settlement has cut off their right of reimbursement.  The health insurance company’s reimbursement right is often pursued by an outsourced debt collection firm and it is up to you (or have an attorney who can properly advise) to know what they are actually entitled to collect and what they are not.

Underinsured Motorist Coverage And No-Fault Coverage

Many people question whether their own insurance company is responsible to make payments for an accident that wasn’t their fault.  There are several scenarios where that happens in Florida car accident cases.  As it relates to personal injury cases (as opposed to property damage claims), the first benefits paid will often be n0-fault or PIP benefits.

In addition, the person who caused the accident likely has inadequate insurance limits to fully compensate the injured person.  In these scenarios, UM benefits may be available from any “resident, relative household member’s” car insurance policy.  Whether you have such a claim or not is a question of Florida law under section 627.727, Fla. Stat.

Call An Attorney For Help With Your Case

If you need help with your Polk County car accident case, you should call a Polk County car accident attorney to discuss what you need to do for your case.  A consultation is free and you do not owe attorney fees unless money is recovered for you.  Schedule your free consultation today.

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