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Posts Tagged "collision"

Nationwide’s Bad Faith May Cost It $18M, On $25K Original Claim

Posted by on Jul 29, 2014 in Motor vehicle accidents, Uncategorized

Nationwide’s Bad Faith May Cost It $18M, On $25K Original Claim

How many people would have the stamina to stay after an insurance company for almost 18 years in an effort to make the company treat them fairly? I have to admit that I was extremely impressed with the determinations shown by Daniel and Sherri Berg of Reading, Pennsylvania, and their $18 million lawsuit against Nationwide Insurance that was recently tried to verdict up in Pennsylvania.  The insurancejournal.com reported that the $18 million bad faith judgment against Nationwide is likely the largest damage award in Pennsylvania history involving an insurance companies wrongful conduct. The dispute started back in 1996 when Sherry Berg was involved in a car accident involving her Jeep.  She took her Jeep to a local repair shop where the initial mechanic recommended that the Berg’s Jeep be considered a total loss.  Unbeknownst to the Bergs, Nationwide rejected this initial appraisal, and asked the mechanic to issue a new appraisal recommending repairs,  allowing Nationwide to save about half the cost of a total loss.  Not knowing anything different, the Bergs approved the repairs.  Of course, the Bergs did not realize that this meant that they were driving a vehicle that was likely very unsafe and not crashworthy had the Bergs been involved in another crash.  The Bergs testified that their vehicle never seem right after the repairs. Nobody would have been the wiser except that an employee of the car dealership secretly called the Bergs several months later and related to them what happened with their vehicle. The Bergs consequently asked Nationwide to do the right thing, consider their vehicle a total loss, and pay them money for the total loss.  Nationwide refused, and a lawsuit ensued. Well, almost 20 years later, the Bergs have secured an $18 million punitive damages award against Nationwide Insurance.  In his ruling, the trial judge noted that Nationwide spent approximately $3 million in attorneys’ fees just to defend its actions on a claim that could have been resolved for $25,000 or less 18 years before.  The judge found that Nationwide and its handling of the Berg’s collision claim demonstrated a reckless indifference to its customer. As much as we would all like to think so, insurance companies don’t always have our best interests in mind — and especially our own insurance companies that we pay valuable premiums to every month.  Unfortunately, as a Winter Park personal injury attorney who deals with insurance companies and insurance issues all of the time, I am fortunately see this all the time.  In Florida, if an insurance company does not attempt to resolve claims in good faith, the company can be made to pay damages plus the claimants attorneys’ fees and court costs. If you have any questions regarding an insurance company’s handling of an automobile accident claim, or if you think an insurance company failed to deal with you in good faith, call Winter Park...

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Green Light At Intersection? Still A Good Idea To Pay Close Attention

Posted by on Nov 21, 2013 in Motor vehicle accidents

Green Light At Intersection?  Still A Good Idea To Pay Close Attention

I recently came across a sad story in the Orlando Sentinel about a high school teacher who tragically lost her life in a car wreck last week at a busy intersection in Winter Haven. Apparently, Shirelle Baldwin was traveling in her Toyota Camry with a student from her school.  She was traveling north on Highway 17 in Winter Haven, and was preparing to make a left turn on to westbound Highway 92. When the traffic light turned from red to green, she began moving into the intersection.  At that point, a pickup truck traveling eastbound on U.S. 92 ran a red light and crashed into the driver’s side of Ms. Baldwin’s Camry.  Ms. Baldwin was tragically killed. Our hearts go out to the Baldwin family.  The sudden loss of a family member in a car accident is obviously devastating to any family. This tragedy is an excellent example of why it is so important for drivers to keep a close lookout whenever they approach, enter, and cross through an intersection.  Even if every driver does this, it obviously won’t stop every accident from happening.  However, it might just give a driver a split-second to take some kind of evasive action that might turn a fatal collision into something a lot less severe. If you have any questions about an intersection collision or car accident anywhere in Florida, call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407-254-4901, or download a FREE copy of Kim’s book, Asleep At The Wheel:  13 Mistakes The Insurance Company Desperately Hope You’ll Make After a Florida Car Accident, by clicking...

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Sneeze Seems Like Feeble Excuse In Flagler Wrongful Death Bicycle Crash

Posted by on Mar 25, 2013 in Motor vehicle accidents

Sneeze Seems Like Feeble Excuse In Flagler Wrongful Death Bicycle Crash

As a lawyer who has handled Florida car accident cases for nearly 20 years, it is easy to think, “I’ve seen it all.” However, every time that I think I’ve heard of every possible excuse for why a driver has caused a car accident, an explanation comes along that surprises me. The latest excuse comes from a story on ClickOrlando.com and involves a Flagler County accident where a bicyclist was tragically killed after being hit by a car. Apparently Frederick Martinez was riding in his bike eastbound – in the bicycle lane – on Highway 100, near Old Kings Road. As Mr. Martinez rode his bike, a van driving in the same direction apparently veered into the bicycle lane and hit him. Mr. Martinez was pronounced dead at the scene. The attached photo shows that Highway 100 has a wide shoulder/bike lane, and more than enough room for a bicyclist to expect safe riding. Apparently, the driver of the van attributed his causing the wrongful death of Mr. Martinez to a sneeze. Although I do not have any statistics on how often drivers sneeze while operating their vehicles, it occurs to me that sneezes happen thousands and thousands of times each day without causing accidents. It also occurs to me that if the van driver had been giving Mr. Martinez the three feet of safe passing distance that is required of cars overtaking bicycles under Florida law, he might have had enough time to sneeze, recover, and still avoid causing the wrongful death of Mr. Martinez. I don’t know who the van driver is, or anything about him, but this sneeze explanation rings hollow to me. Our hearts go out to Mr. Martinez’ family, and we hope that the van driver accepts responsibility for the tragedy he has caused. If you have questions following a Florida automobile or bicycle accident, call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at...

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