In February of 2023, a motorcycle accident occurred in Nassau County, Florida near Fernandina Beach. In less than a year of trial negotiations, a policy limits settlement of $345,000 was secured after both parties in the accident tragically died. Personal injury attorney Larry Huttman led the Farah & Farah team in Jacksonville in this case and persevered through the end so the grieving family of the motorcyclist could find closure.
Thanks to Larry and the team, the client was able to receive compensation for the devastating loss of their 37-year-old child. While money could never replace the life of a child, settling this case means that above everything, the family could leave the stress of the accident behind and properly grieve their loss. We sat down with Larry to learn more about the details of this case and how the negotiation process worked.
A Motorcyclist and Pedestrian in Florida Collide
A 37-year-old man who was on his lunch break from work was driving his motorcycle in Nassau County when a pedestrian walked off the side of the road and directly into the driver’s path. Both parties involved in the accident suffered traumatic injuries that eventually led to both of their deaths.
Fernandina Fire Rescue transported the motorcyclist to the Med-Trans Life Flight helicopter and the pedestrian had to be intubated and had a left chest needle decompression. After arriving at the hospital, the 37-year-old motorcyclist went into cardiac arrest from cardiac tamponade and then rushed to the operating room where he died from his injuries.
Larry, who represented the family of the motorcyclist who passed, detailed that his survivors were his mother and father. In addition, Larry mentioned that the grandmother of the 37-year-old was also involved in the case as she raised him. Larry explained, “Getting them some closure to help them grieve is important, as the death of a child is horrific. When other family members die, such as a spouse, they have a name for that—widow. There’s no name for a deceased child. He was supposed to outlive his parents and grandparents.”
Impossible for a Driver to Yield
When the pedestrian walked into the street, this was a direct violation of Florida Statute 316.130(8). This statute states: “No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.” Additionally, the Farah & Farah team also found that Florida Statute 316.130(10) states: “Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.”
These statutes helped pave the way for securing the settlement in a case that might seem like an uphill battle. A witness in Florida that day saw the accident occur and stated that the pedestrian did indeed walk directly into the line of traffic.
Larry continued, “The motorcyclist also had a GoPro recording at the time of the accident, but it was not facing the road to see the accident and was positioned facing the driver. This footage did not give us any significant evidence, so we gave a time-sensitive demand to the other party. This helped us to avoid the unnecessary costs of hiring an expert to deconstruct the footage of the motorcyclist’s face. If you don’t secure the recovery early enough in the case when pertinent information is given, it opens the door for more expenses, so we try to limit that whenever possible.”
Since Larry and the Farah & Farah team were clear in the time-sensitivity of their demands, it helped move the case forward to be resolved in less than a year.
Real People, Rectifying Their Rights
Working with the family of the motorcyclist who passed, Larry noted that their expectations were very reasonable throughout the whole legal process. “They were simply real people, rectifying their rights,” Larry shared.
Larry continued to make a point that as an attorney in cases like this, there is not always a clear “winner” or “loser” and that nobody deserved to die that day in February. “Both families will continue to grieve, but ultimately a decision had to be made under the law. You have to be compassionate, persistent, and continue to persevere.”
The final settlement from the insurance companies amounted to $345,000, coming from a $300,000 policy for the pedestrian and $45,000 available for the uninsured motorist.
“Above everything, I take pride in my promises to people,” Larry shared. “I promised I would give it my all. I have immense appreciation for cases where I have freedom to do that and I have the support to give clients what they need to move forward.”
If You’ve Had a Wrongful Death in the Family, Talk With One of Our Attorneys
At Farah & Farah, we’re here to help be your guide through the legal process after an accident. Our team of experienced attorneys has years of legal insight and is ready to fight for your settlement. Reach out to our team today.