On the morning of December 8, 2015, Diane Miles* headed out for a light morning walk with her granddaughter in her stroller. They were enjoying the beautiful day when Mrs. Miles stopped on the sidewalk of an intersection to check for traffic before crossing the street. There was a stopped pickup truck, and she assumed the driver had seen them because she saw him look in their direction, so she proceeded to cross. Unfortunately, at the same time, the pickup driver started to drive into the crosswalk and was heading right toward them. This brave grandmother did all she could to protect her granddaughter’s life and maneuvered the stroller away from the impact. Although she saved her granddaughter from injury, she could not protect herself. The truck struck her, causing permanent damage and disfigurement.
Mrs. Miles was badly injured. She underwent multiple surgeries. Some of her injuries would be permanent, leaving scars and disfigurement. Despite hitting Mrs. Miles in a pedestrian crosswalk, the driver refused to admit responsibility. He claimed the property on the corner had too much vegetation and overgrowth, and that he never saw her on the sidewalk preparing to enter the crosswalk. This meant the lawsuit would now have to include the property owner and the City of Jacksonville, as they owned the property next to the crosswalk and the sidewalk that contained overgrown foliage and vegetation. Initially, none of the defendants admitted their responsibility for contributing to the cause of the crash and her injuries. The defendants all wanted to blame Mrs. Miles for what happened to her. Knowing she did nothing wrong, she turned to the attorneys at Coker Law. Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney and shareholder Matthew Posgay, as well as the firm’s legal team, began an investigation because they knew their client had done everything right.
During the investigation, the pickup driver ultimately admitted to negligent driving, but there was more to be discovered surrounding the overgrown vegetation. The legal team at Coker Law confirmed there was in fact foliage obstructing the view of the sidewalk and the corner of the intersection. So, they dove into who owned the property, and why it had been left so unmanaged. The property was owned by Brik Enterprises, an independent business service company based out of Jacksonville. Brik Enterprises did not want to admit fault and claimed it was the City of Jacksonville’s responsibility to clear any obstacles. But no one from Brik Enterprises had been out to check the property in over two years. Posgay then uncovered that the City of Jacksonville had received multiple complaints from members of the community to have the shrubbery removed. The complaints started a whole five years before Mrs. Miles was injured. The city failed to handle the complaints properly and allowed the dangerous overgrowth to remain. It was just a tragedy waiting to happen.
The pickup driver’s insurance company insisted that they would only cover a small amount for damages based on the driver’s policy. But through further digging, Posgay and his legal team found a larger insurance policy existed that the insurance company had failed to disclose. This meant more was to be recovered for Mrs. Miles to help her recover from her long-term injuries.
This case of twists and turns and finger pointing was finally resolved in its entirety, and a settlement of $635,000 was recovered. At the end of the day, a kind, hard-working woman who risked her life for her granddaughter rightfully got the justice she deserved. She now has the financial ability to continue treatment for her injuries and pain so she can continue to play with her grandchild.
Were You Injured In A Crash?
If you are injured by a negligent driver, you may have a case and should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. You may qualify to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses related to your injuries. To speak with a Coker Law crash attorney, or for more information, call (904) 356-6071.
*Mrs. Miles’s name has been changed to protect her privacy.
Case Title: Diane Miles v. Brik Enterprises, David Oliphant and City of Jacksonville
Attorneys/Staff involved in case: Shareholder Matthew Posgay, Paralegal Denora Buben
Date of Settlement: June 2021
Amount of Settlement: $635,000