Attorneys Scott Murray and Keith Hedrick recently resolved two (2) claims, which amounted to a six (6) figure total settlement for their client M.R., a minor. Unfortunately, M.R. was the victim of two (2) separate car accidents which occurred less than one (1) year apart.
In the first crash, a tortfeasor (negligent driver) violated the right-of-way of the vehicle that M.R. was traveling in when the tortfeasor failed to yield to oncoming traffic. Following the first crash, M.R. was taken via ambulance to the Emergency Room and followed up with conservative treatment of Physical Therapy and medication. Following successful treatment, M.R. was once again participating in her school’s athletic programs and was pain-free. Subsequent to M.R’s recovery, attorney’s Murray and Hedrick secured a fair settlement on behalf of M.R. for her injuries related to the first crash.
Only eight (8) months after the initial crash, M.R. was again injured in a crash when the vehicle that she was in was rear-ended at a major intersection. M.R. was once again transported via ambulance to the Emergency Room and began to experience numbness / paralysis in her lower body. After a few days of being admitted in the hospital, M.R. was thankfully able to regain the feeling in her lower body. She again treated conservatively with medication and Physical Therapy and made close to a full recovery.
Given the seriousness of the second crash, attorney’s Murray and Hedrick refused to negotiate below the six (6) figure, applicable policy limits on the second crash. Thankfully, the insurance carrier realized its exposure, as a result of everything that M.R. had been through and attorneys Murray and Hedrick successfully obtained a policy limits settlement to fairly compensate M.R. for her injuries related to the second crash.
Importantly, in Florida, minor settlements where the net amount to the minor is in excess of $15,000, must be reviewed by a Guardian-Ad-Litem (GAL) and are subject to Court approval – this is to ensure that any and all settlement on behalf of a minor, that are over $15,000, are made in the best interest of the minor. After reviewing the file of M.R., the Guardian-Ad-Litem (GALL) recommended that the settlement monies be transferred to an annuity to benefit M.R. following her 18th birthday, as well as additional monies to be set aside to cover expenses of activities that she is currently involved. The Court reviewed the recommendation and approved the settlement on behalf of M.R.
Thankfully, M.R. has made a nice recovery and will appropriately use her annuity payments to help cover the cost of a college education in the future.