DUI Victim Recovers Confidential 7 Figure Settlement — 10x’s Automobile Insurance Policy Limits
During the early evening hours of April 4, 2018, our client, 45 year old, Mrs. X was riding her bicycle in the Little Havana neighborhood of downtown Miami. As she crossed SW 17th Avenue, she was struck by a pick-up truck. Mrs. X sustained trauma to her head in addition to orthopedic injuries. She had no memory of the crash. Unfortunately, the only “eyewitness” listed in the crash report refused to cooperate. And the driver of the pick-up denied that he had struck Mrs. X. Although that driver was arrested and charged with DUI causing bodily injury, the prosecutor’s evidence was “thin.”
At the time, Mrs. X was undocumented; unable to work and/or to support herself. She had massive medical bills and was on the verge of moving into a homeless shelter. Luckily, she retained Pita Weber Del Prado and partner, Randy M. Weber. From the outset, Weber and his team conducted a “boots on the ground” investigation, which included obtaining surveillance from neighboring buildings, canvassing the neighborhood for witnesses, posting signs in Little Havana seeking witnesses and retaining an accident reconstruction expert to assist in proving that the driver of the pick-up truck was at fault. In addition, PWD had its investigator conduct a thorough asset search of the driver.
Eventually, key witnesses were located and their testimony obtained. Weber had insisted that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Crime Lab conduct paint chip testing on the pick up’s bumper and discovered that a smudge on the truck’s bumper matched Mrs. X’s left shoe. In addition, the team at PWD assisted Mrs. X in obtaining assistance from the State of Florida Crime Victim’s Compensation Fund (to assist in paying her medical bills), obtained PIP benefits from the pick up truck’s insurance carrier, and moved to amend the civil complaint to add a claim for punitive damages, which was granted.
Although the at-fault driver’s bodily injury liability insurance limits were quite limited, the team at PWD had discovered that the owner of the pick up truck had substantial personal assets. As time was of the essence for Ms. X, Weber set the civil case for trial. As trial approached, the driver agreed to a 7 Figure Settlement, which was many multiples of the insurance policy limits. And thankfully, our client has the money necessary to live comfortably and obtain the medical care and treatment that she needs for years to come.
We’d like to thank our co-counsel and fantastic immigration attorney, Michael J. Liberatore, for his hard work on this case and having the confidence to refer this matter to our law firm.