Amanda* was the kind of kid every parent hopes for. She was smart, funny, hard-working, and big-hearted. A college freshman, Amanda was debating whether to pursue orthopedic medicine or become a teacher and coach. Her future was bright, and her mother, Jane, couldn’t have been any prouder.
Everything changed on a fall afternoon.
*We have changed our clients’ names to protect their privacy.
An Ignored Red Light Has Tragic Consequences
Amanda was driving her car in Wilson County. She entered a protected left-turn lane and waited until the light turned green. While she was in the middle of the intersection, a tractor-trailer violently smashed into her small car.
Amanda’s vehicle was mangled. Someone called 911 and first responders rushed to the crash site. The paramedics tried to resuscitate Amanda for 20 minutes, but she was unresponsive. She died at the scene.
During the police investigation, the truck driver insisted that Amanda had run a red light and he had been unable to stop. With no one able to dispute his side of the story, the police faulted Amanda in the crash.
Jane Demands Justice for Amanda—and Crosley Law Uncovers the Truth
Jane was convinced that her daughter wasn’t at fault. It seemed out of character for her bubbly (but responsible) daughter to break the rules. Frustrated, she turned to Crosley Law for help. We quickly began investigating the claim.
In the early days of the case, the insurance company’s lawyers relied on the police report, blaming Amanda for the crash. During discovery, the formal process where both sides share information, they stuck to this story, commenting:
“It is Defendant’s understanding that Amanda entered the intersection on a red light. Therefore, Defendant believes that Amanda failed to drive in a reasonable and prudent manner, which proximately caused in whole or in part, the subject accident.”
However, we soon uncovered the truth.
During our investigation, we requested a large amount of information, including the driver’s employment records, dashcam videos, and data from the truck’s GPS-powered telematic systems. We knew that this information might pinpoint the 18-wheeler’s precise location and speed during the crash.
Telematics systems can record a truck’s every move. We thought we’d find some helpful information, but what we found was astounding. The dashcam footage clearly proved that the truck driver had run a red light and didn’t hit his brakes until five seconds after the crash.
Our team’s accident reconstruction engineer determined that, at the time of the impact, the truck driver was going 43 mph. If he had been paying attention to the road, he should have seen that the light was red for several seconds and could have safely stopped his truck.
We presented this information to the investigating trooper, and he amended the crash report, placing all the blame on the truck driver.
The Trucking Company Hid the Facts from Jane and the Police
Even worse, our team discovered that the trucking company’s safety director had viewed the dashcam footage shortly after the crash. They failed to disclose this evidence, blamed the victim, and hid their misconduct.
Because of the company’s actions, Jane suffered for months wondering whether her beloved daughter had caused the crash.
A Troubling Pattern of Reckless Driving
However, the telematics data wasn’t the only damaging information we uncovered. The driver had a long and disturbing history of reckless driving. He failed to report two traffic convictions on his record when he applied for his job. The company still hired him.
Then, his supervisors had written him up at least three times for “preventable accidents” while working for the company. One of these incidents involved running an older woman off the road. The company had also ordered safe driving coaching for the trucker on at least seven occasions, based on his truck’s telematics data.
There was a lot of evidence suggesting that the truck driver was a danger on the road. Still, his employer let him continue to drive heavy commercial vehicles.
The Crosley Law team deposed multiple company representatives, including the driver. While the corporate representatives made many admissions, the truck driver refused to answer more than 50 questions, invoking his Fifth Amendment rights to avoid incriminating himself. He never showed any remorse or regret.
Our Team Painstakingly Documents Amanda and Jane’s Losses
Even though it was clear that the driver and trucking company caused the crash, our injury lawyers also need to quantify Amanda and Jane’s damages. In a wrongful death case, the insurance company and at-fault parties might owe the deceased and their family many forms of compensation:
- Medical bills and other expenses
- The deceased’s lost income and wage-earning capacity
- Their pain and suffering before their death
- The family’s lost companionship, support, and services
- Emotional distress
When you’re calculating these damages for a young woman, you need to consider decades of lost opportunities. To help, we brought in a team of experts.
Celebrating Amanda’s Life and Potential
Our team interviewed more than 40 of Amanda’s friends, teammates, coaches, and family members. They shared their memories and described Amanda’s personality and character. Their deep sense of love and loss was undeniable:
“She was so much fun to be around. She was always just laughing and telling jokes.”
“She lit up a room.”
“She was one of those girls who gave you more than she should have had in her. She wouldn’t know ‘can’t’ if it hit her upside the head.”
“I don’t know anyone who worked as hard as she did. She pushed herself. She knew exactly what she wanted and would go after it.”
“She would give you the shirt off her back.”
“I love her. She was an amazing person.”
Her friends and family also told us about Amanda’s close bond with her mother. In a text message to her aunt, Amanda noted, “She is my strength, and I am hers.”
Shawn Mechler, an attorney at Crosley Law, notes, “Amanda was Jane’s best friend, her happiness. She had experienced more than one tragedy in her life, but nothing quite like losing her daughter.”
These stories helped us both celebrate Amanda’s remarkable life and document the profound grief and emptiness that her loved ones felt. It was easy to see that no amount of money could compensate them for their emotional losses.
Documenting Amanda’s Potential Income
At the time of the crash, Amanda’s income was modest—but her potential was limitless. She was a college freshman who was embarking on her career, and she had considered studying both medicine and education.
We consulted with an economist who calculated Amanda’s potential lifetime earnings, considering the average income of a teacher, an orthopedic surgeon, and the average college graduate. Based on his calculations, her earnings would have ranged from six figures to millions.
Demanding Justice for Her Pain and Suffering at the Crash Scene
Based on recent case law and our track record, our personal injury lawyers argued that the trucking company owed Amanda’s estate for her pain and suffering before she passed away. Even though she was unresponsive at the crash scene, our experts believed that what she had experienced significant pain and fear in the moments before her death.
We believed that, based on the all the evidence, a jury would award Amanda’s estate significant pain and suffering damages.
We Negotiate a $9 Million Settlement for Amanda and Jane
We walked into mediation confident that the facts were on our side. Our lawyers also had careful damages calculations, expert opinions, and dozens of character witnesses. We were able to negotiate a $9 million settlement for Amanda and Jane. After paying their costs and attorney’s fees, the family received $5,330,050.22.
“This is one of those cases that sticks with you forever,” notes Tom Crosley. “Amanda was an amazing young woman, and the bond between her and her mother was powerful. It was an honor to represent them and hold a reckless driver and trucking company accountable. We did a lot of work on this case, but it was worth the effort because we gave Jane the answers and justice she deserved.”
Crosley Law: Fighting for Crash Victims in Texas
We know that many trucking companies would rather hide the truth than pay crash victims the compensation they deserve. We combat victim blaming with aggressive litigation strategies, cutting-edge investigations, and testimony from respected experts. At the same time, we provide families and survivors with real-world advice and support.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a truck wreck, call Crosley Law today at 210-LAW-3000 | 210-529-3000 or fill out our brief contact form. We’ll set up your free consultation so you can get free expert legal advice about your situation.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.