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$2.69M Settlement for Estate of Florida Father Who Died After Saving Daughter’s Life

Mar 05, 2020

Edwards Kirby Attorneys David Kirby, Winston Kirby, and Bill Bystrynski recently recovered nearly $2.7M in compensation for the family of a Florida man who was tragically killed after saving his daughter from a burning vehicle involved in a multi-vehicle pile-up on Interstate 95.

As reported by North Carolina Lawyers Weekly, Edwards Kirby Attorneys secured the multi-million recovery from the man’s underinsured motorist insurance coverage and an out-of-court settlement with the trucking operator that employed the at-fault tractor-trailer driver who caused the chain-reaction crash.

About the Case

As Attorneys David Kirby and Bill Bystrynski told Lawyers Weekly, William Myles was en route from Pennsylvania to Florida with his daughter in June 2018 when traffic slowed for roadwork along I-95 in North Carolina. A tractor-trailer approaching the congested traffic failed to reduce its speed, struck Myles’ van at roughly 65 mph, and caused a chain-reaction wreck involving five vehicles.

The van subsequently caught fire, and Myles’ daughter became trapped inside.

Despite suffering severe injuries in the crash, Myles was miraculously able to extricate his daughter from the burning vehicle. She ultimately survived the crash, but her father succumbed to his injures later that day. A report released by the medical examiner found Myles’ spinal cord has been severed in the collision – which injured an additional four other victims.

Justice & Compensation For a Grieving Family

Challenges created by the number of drivers involved in the multi-vehicle wreck were exacerbated by the trucking company’s $1 million commercial insurance policy, which limited the amount of available insurance for all parties harmed.

As David Kirby discussed with Lawyers Weekly, ensuring full compensation for the victims in the case was a significant challenge. Given the limited commercial policy, our team explored other avenues for potential coverage – finding it in the form of the family’s uninsured / underinsured motorist (UM / UIM) coverage.

“I tip my hat to my colleagues in the legal profession for looking at their clients’ own uninsured motorist coverage to see if they could receive full compensation for their clients. Everyone worked to make sure that everyone who was injured got compensated and worked hard to make sure the Myles family was treated fairly.”

One of the most serendipitous breaks in the case came from a UM / UIM policy which was written in the state of Florida. As Bill Bystrynski explains, had the policy been written in North Carolina, where the wreck occurred, Myles’ estate would only be entitled to an additional $100,000. But, because the policy was written in Florida, the estate was able to collect an additional $1M on top of the $900,000 settlement paid by the trucking company’s insurer to settle the estate, and the $750,000 paid to compensate Myles’ daughter for her considerable pain and suffering.

Our entire legal team is honored to have been part of this case, and is so very grateful for the trust our clients placed in us to guide them through their tremendously difficult and turbulent legal journey. While no amount of money can serve as recompense for the loss of a life, the resolution in this matter was perhaps an example of power of providence for a father whose final act was saving his daughter’s life. As David Kirby said:

“This is just a wonderful family. He was severely injured and his last act as a father was to kick the door open and drag his daughter out of the burning van. She saw her father brutally injured, and she had terrible emotional trauma that she still lives with today. In talking to the firemen, talking to the highway patrolmen, I’ve never had a case where the first words out of every witness’s mouths were, ‘You realize that this man saved his daughter’s life.’”

David F. Kirby, Winston S. Kirby, and Bill Bystrynski are attorneys at Edwards Kirby, a Raleigh-Based Personal Injury & Civil Litigation Firm that’s earned national recognition for securing millions in compensation for clients – including record-setting results. Learn more about our team or contact us to speak with an attorney.

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