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Matthew Douglas Powell

Matthew Powell’s Answers

14 total


  • Do I have a better chance of receiving damages if I'm in an accident with a commercial truck?

    I was hit by a delivery box van over the weekend, and was wondering if I have a better chance of receiving damages that if it were just a normal accident. .

    Matthew’s Answer

    There are three main parts to every injury case. The first is Liability or fault. The second is Damages or Injuries, and the Third is how much Insurance is there to pay for the Damages caused by the fault of the negligent person?
    To answer your question about commercial truck causing an accident, you are probably better off since most commercial vehicles carry more insurance than many private persons.

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  • What steps can I take if I was in a car accident with no insurance, and the other party was at fault and has insurance

    I was cited for no insurance but he was cited for the accident. Currently my car is financed and they were charging me a insurance premium on top of my payments. The car was towed to a tow yard and from what I am understand the car will probably c...

    Matthew’s Answer

    Your question is a good one. The fact that you did not have automobile insurance at the time of the crash will not affect your right to recover for your injuries. You should go to your doctor for treatment, and you should hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to guide you through the process.

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  • Is it worth it to settle or to not settle and keep receiving medical coverage from my and the at fault drivers insurance?

    i was recently in a car accident not at fault. rear ended. i went to a doctor and got a script to go to get an mri. the mri revealed that i have multiple disc bulges indenting the thecal sacs. the mri also states the bulges are not preexisting inj...

    Matthew’s Answer

    You should talk to your lawyer before making any decisions. Make sure that your lawyer is experienced in handling personal injury cases. Make sure he is comfortable trying your case if the insurance company does not make you a fair settlement.
    Also, it seems too early for you to be talking about settlement. You need to know what all of your injuries and conditions are before you can consider what is a fair value. You aptly pointed out that this may affect your ability to work, your condition may lead to surgery, you may have more medical bills than you expect. So wait until the doctors have told you that you have reached what is called Maximum Medical Improvement. MMI for short. This is usually about 6 months after you begin your treatment.
    Don't be in a rush to settle your case, because you might settle for too little money, and once you sign the release, you can not go back for more.

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  • Can we sue the negligent party's auto insurance company in Florida for damages beyond the policy's $100K maximum?

    My husband was rear ended and sustained a serious spinal cord injury. He's scheduled for back/spine surgery in a few weeks. He may be in worse shape after the surgery, but without it, he could become paralyzed. Our P.I. attorney advised we should ...

    Matthew’s Answer

    You have asked a very good question. The answer is some what complicated, but here are the basic things you need to know. Yes, you can sue the driver for more than his policy limits, but you may not collect much more than the policy limits because, he can file bankruptcy and discharge the debt he owes you. Now, there are situations where the other drivers insurance company may not have acted in Good Faith. If the other drivers insurance company did not offer to pay you the policy limits (which it seems that they have done so) then you could bring an action against the bad driver, and if the jury awarded a lot more than the policy limits, you would have a good chance of collecting it from the bad drivers insurance company, since they did not act in Good Faith towards their insured, which would have been to pay you the policy limits in exchange for a full release.
    When the insurance company takes a risk of not paying the policy limits, they should bear that risk, and pay the excess judgment over and above the policy limits. But if I understand your question, then it seems as though the bad drivers insurance company has acted in good faith since they have offered to pay you the policy limits. The other issues you might want to consider is whether or not the bad driver was working at the time? If so, then his employer may be liable for your husband's injuries. Also, who owned the vehicle the bad driver was operating? This may be another way to increase the recovery for your husband.

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  • Can my wife be sued also

    My 19 yo son borrowed my care one night and had an accident.A car pulled out in front of him without stopping at a stop sign and they collided.My son at the time was going 65 in a 35 at the time.Now the passenger in my sons car is trying to sue me...

    Matthew’s Answer

    The law in Florida basically says that the Owner of a vehicle is responsible for any negligent operation of the vehicle. From the facts that you have provided, it would appear that your wife should not be sued, or liable for injuries caused by your adult son. In Florida the doctrine is called the "Dangerous Instrumentality Doctrine." Which is followed in Florida for the reasoning that a car is a dangerous instrument, and the owner must be held responsible for any negligence in the vehicle's operation.
    From the facts as I understand them only you yourself as an owner or your business, or LLC (if it was a company vehicle) and your son (who was an adult at the time of the crash) would be proper defendants. The key question is who is on the title to the vehicle? Anyone on the title to the car, and the driver will likely be named as a defendant in a suit for damages.

    I hope this information is helpful to you.

    Sincerely,

    Matt Powell
    Eaton, Powell & Tirella
    304 Plant Avenue
    Tampa, Florida 33606

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  • Minor car accident two days ago and the other driver does not have insurance

    I was rearended two days ago, since the other driver did not have insurance and there is only minor damage to my bumper, we decided not to file a police report, and come to an arrangement. If the other driver does not pay for the damages, how lon...

    Matthew’s Answer

    When should a crash be reported?

    Illinois law: “The driver of a vehicle that is in any manner involved in an accident within this State, resulting in injury to or death of any person, or in which damage to the property of any one person, including himself, in excess of $500 is sustained, shall, as soon as possible but not later than 10 days after the accident, forward a written report of the accident to the Administrator” (625 ILCS 5/11-406). The Administrator is the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) — Division of Traffic Safety

    So you have 10 days to file the report. And here is who you contact for help with filing your own report: call (217) 782-2575 or email IDOT at IDOTCRASHFORM@illinois.gov.

    I hope this helps you solve your problem.

    Sincerely,

    Matt Powell
    Eaton, Powell & Tirella
    304 Plant Avenue
    Tampa, Florida 33606

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  • What is the process under Missouri personal injury laws for filing a claim against other driver's insurance

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Missouri I was in an accident in June 2007 where the girl i was riding with lost control of her car and flipped it onto its back. My foot was crushed under the dashboard--4 bones were broken and ...

    Matthew’s Answer

    The first thing you need to know is what are the policy limits of the girl who flipped the car. The next thing you need to know is whether there is any other insurance to compensate you for your loss. For example, who owned the car, is there insurance. And it would also be very important to know why the car flipped over? Was there a defect in the car? Was there some other cause for the crash? Who else might be responsible for your losses?
    Your injuries are obviously very bad. It will probably be better for you to hire a very experienced injury lawyer who can review all aspects of your claim before any settlement is made. If you settle the case yourself, yes, you may save some money, but you may miss out on the opportunity to make a recovery from some other responsible party.

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  • Proper determination of jurisdiction for accident occurring in WV, i am from AZ state where do i file lawsuit

    I HAD ACIDENT AT WV . I AM FRM ARIZONA. WHICH STATE COURT HAVE JURISDICTION. WHY?

    Matthew’s Answer

    If I understand your question, you are interested in knowing where a suit can be brought involving an accident. Well the law is that the proper venue, which is the place where a suit can be brought is either in the place where the accident happened, where the defendant resides, or where the defendant can be located.
    So if you live in Arizona, and you are involved in an accident in West Virginia the proper location for a law suit would depend on whether you are the Plaintiff (person suing the other) or the Defendant (person being sued).
    Assuming you were not at fault for the accident, and you want to be the Plaintiff, and bring an action against the other person, the proper location to sue the defendant is where the defendant lives, or where the accident happened. The reason that these are the two locations for a suit is because the law finds it fair to sue a person where they caused an accident, or where they live. In other words it would not be unfair to sue them in their own town or state because they live there, and it would be fair to sue them where they caused an accident. But it would be unfair to the defendant to sue them in a location they have never been to and had no connection with. So if the defendant caused an accident in West Virginia, it would be fair to sue them there. But it would be unfair to sue them, and make them have to come to Arizona to defend the claim.
    The question of Jurisdiction really means which court system should a claim be brought in? For example, a claim for a small amount would have proper jurisdiction in perhaps "Small Claims Court" and if the claim was for a lot of damages, then jurisdiction might be in the "Circuit Court" or "Supreme Court" Each state has different names for their courts depending on the amount of money in dispute, or they type of cases. Also there is State Jurisdiction, and Federal Jurisdiction. Some claims such as a federal copyright claim should probably be brought in a Federal court. Federal courts also take jurisdiction of matters between citizens of two different states if the damages exceed $75,000.00.

    Jurisdiction and Venue questions are very fact specific, and before you take any actions, I would suggest you sit down and have a conference with an experienced lawyer to discuss the facts and details of your questions. I hope I have given you some help, but I would like to know more about your situation to make sure I have given you the right information for your problem.

    Matt Powell

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  • Can I recover monies required for clean up and lost property due to water damage

    water came up through basement drain due to overcharged sewer system msd st louis fisoffering up to $2400.00 for losses and cleanup, cleanup alone is $1200.00 how do i get more for my lost

    Matthew’s Answer

    You need to organize and document all of your losses. Take good photographs of the damages, the more the better. A video may even be helpful. Then you have to organize and quantify all of the clean up costs. Get estimates, or save all of your receipts and bills.
    As far as damaged property, you need to document what was damaged or destroyed, and the value of each item. For example if a television was ruined by the water, the responsible person or city should pay you the value of what your destroyed television was the day it was damaged.
    Also, please look at your own insurance policy. You may have coverage that will pay the cost and losses as well. Some people purchase "replacement costs" insurance, which means that if your TV is destroyed, they will pay you the cost of a brand new television to replace the one that was damaged.

    The key to resolving any property damage claim with anyone is to be able to document what was lost, and the value of each item. The more organized your documentation, the easier it will be to resolve your claim.
    I hope this helps answer your questions.

    Matt Powell

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  • FL Insurance/Traffic/Civil laws, Can I overturn judgement? Was in car accident in 2003...

    I was not insured. I was new to Florida, unaware of traffic accident protocols. Other driver was 100% at fault, according to officer who arrived on scene, though I had left the scene before the police arrived to pick up young my young child (th...

    Matthew’s Answer

    There is one thing I can think of that you could do. Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.540 (b) entitled Relief From Judgment, may offer you a chance to go to the court that entered the Final Judgment against you, and ask them to set it aside because you have a meritorious defense, and maybe you were not served properly with the papers. In the event that they did not obtain proper service upon you, but they told the court that they did, and now the judgment is based upon improper service, then you might have the judgment set aside.

    You need to go to the civil court where you were sued, and examine the file carefully to find out how and when they served you with the complaint. If they did serve you properly, then you should not get the judgment set aside. If they did not serve you properly, it would be improper for the judgment to stand against you, provided you make your motion within 1 year of the judgment being entered against you.

    On another note, if you file for bankruptcy, the suspension on your drivers license will end. The only reason your license is suspended is for failing to have insurance, and the fact that they think you owe money. Bankruptcy will discharge the debt, and therefore you get your drivers license back. Also, if you are successful in asking the court to set aside the judgment, you need to send a copy of the court order to the Department of Motor Vehicles, and that will un-suspend your drivers license.

    As a final resort, if you can’t get the judgment set aside, you can ask the judgment holder to work with you and allow a payment plan. If you and the judgment holder reach an agreement, then the DMV will remove the suspension.

    I hope this helps answer some of your question.

    Matt Powell

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