Head-on Collision in Florida Keys Settles for $260,000 Policy Limits

One holiday evening, Perry B. was out at a popular restaurant in the Florida Keys. The driver of his car crested a drawbridge so far into the other lane that they crashed head-on into a large pickup truck coming the opposite direction. Mr. B broke every rib, broke his occiput, and broke his neck in two spots. Furthermore, both of his lungs collapsed and had to be reinflated. He was flown to Ryder Trauma Center in Miami.

Mr. B hired Dennis Phillips to pursue claims against both drivers. The insurer for the driver of his car tendered its Bodily Injury limits but balked at providing UM coverage for his six-figure medical bills. Both his driver’s UM carrier and the Bodily Injury carrier for the pickup’s driver claimed that the 20 year old driver of the pickup had done nothing wrong early that morning.

Mr. Phillips repeatedly questioned the adjusters about how fast they claim the pickup was traveling at the time of the collision atop the crest of the drawbridge that rainy night, and both staunchly committed themselves to the position that the 20 year old was going 45 miles per hour: not an MPH faster, not an MPH slower. The police crash report said 45 MPH, the general speed limit on Overseas Highway is 45 mph, and the 20 year old repeatedly told the adjusters that he was going 45 mph.

Mr. Phillips then produced photographs of the scene showing that the conditions were wet and rainy, which the adjusters from all sides had to concede. He then produced photographs showing the special speed limit sign that appeared on this metal-grated draw bridge that limits speeds to 20 mph when the conditions are wet and rainy. Both carriers promptly paid thereafter.

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