On Aug. 31, 2005, a 71-year-old retired Miami man was killed in a head-on collision on Krome Avenue. On Sept. 6, 2007, a Miami-Dade County jury returned a verdict awarding the decedent's widow in excess of $2.6 million for her loss. Although the award will not bring her husband back, it did achieve a small measure of justice.
The experienced Miami car accident attorneys at Greenberg Urbano & Stone handled the legal action. The actual trial, handled by partner and car accident attorney, Stewart G. Greenberg, lasted three days. During the case, Stewart had to prove who was at fault in causing the accident, using physical evidence and testimony from the investigating Florida highway patrol officer to determine where on the roadway the impact occurred. The defense called an expert traffic reconstruction witness, who, under cross-examination had to admit that it was more likely than not that the impact had occurred in the decedent's lane of traffic. This supported the fact that our client's husband was in the proper lane and the defendant driver was passing on the wrong side of the two-lane road at the time of the crash.
The award, mostly for pain and suffering damages for the widow, is considered to be an extremely high award for a gentleman of the age of the decedent. This is based on the fact that a damages award in a personal injury case is based upon lost wages, estimated foreseeable future earnings, medical costs and anticipated treatment needs going forward, and pain and suffering. When looking at the facts of this case, the deceased gentleman was retired; therefore, the future earnings would have been limited to income from retirement accounts and similar income generating accounts. The victim was killed in the crash, so there were no ongoing anticipated medical costs, and the victim's death occurred quickly, so the medical bills arising out of the accident were not substantial. What a verdict in this amount indicates is that the actions of the driver were particularly shocking and the resulting impact on the widow was devastating — the award reflected this fact.
The jury, comprised of three men and three women, deliberated for two hours before unanimously making the award.
"Justice was served by this verdict," said Stewart G. Greenberg. Now the family has some closure. The jury's award shows the value that the jurors placed upon the 46-year marriage and the significant loss by the widow of her husband. Stewart believes that the jury completely understood the case and the significant loss by the widow, which included her being on medication for depression and a sleep disorder as a result of losing her husband.
What made the case particularly interesting was the fact that the at-fault driver only had $10,000 in liability coverage. When the policy was not tendered in a timely manner, a lawsuit was filed. After the large verdict, a second action for bad faith was instituted. A very significant settlement was ultimately reached.
As you can probably tell from the discussion of this case, Stewart G. Greenberg, as well as all of the attorneys at Greenberg Stone & Urbano are personally committed to getting the justice and resolution that our clients deserve. We believe that we are as good as we are in representing the interests of our clients because of the compassion and empathy with which we approach every case. It is very important to find an attorney whom you can trust to advocate on your behalf. Whether that is our law firm or another lawyer, you should consider:
How comfortable are you with the attorney?
This is the person who will be speaking for you, telling your story and portraying your devastating loss. If you are not comfortable talking to them in an office, how effective will he or she be in telling your story to a jury?
How long has the attorney been practicing law?
Practicing law is one of the professions where experience matters. It is only in trying cases, developing relationships with accident investigators, medical experts, and financial analysts, and learning all the nuances of the law that an attorney can best represent his or her client. The attorneys at Greenberg Stone & Urbano have more than one hundred years of combined experience in getting results for our clients after a devastating car accident.
Does the lawyer specialize in the right field of law?
A person injured in a car accident should look for an attorney who specializes in personal injury law and car accidents in particular. Although a generalist lawyer is good for some things, understanding the nuances of the law, including applicable laws and regulations, as well as the tactics employed by attorneys representing insurance companies is critical for the successful resolution of a case.
Is the attorney's idea about how to handle the case the same as yours?
You want an attorney who will listen to you and address your wants and needs. Although there are times when an experienced attorney will provide insight that a client may not have considered, it is the role of the lawyer to understand what motivates a client and act as an advocate to achieve those goals.
If you or a loved one has been harmed in a car accident, there are many emotions driving your thoughts and actions. It is important to focus on the selection of the right attorney so that someone else can pick up your banner and represent you while you focus on healing and getting your life back, to the extent possible.
Consult With The Skilled Car Accident Attorneys At Greenberg Stone & Urbano
Our experienced South Florida car accident attorneys have decades of experience in representing clients injured in horrific auto accidents. We would like to sit down with you during a free consultation and discuss the specifics of your case. Please complete an online form through our website or call us at (305) 692-0055 to set up an appointment.