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Crash Survivor Fights Back Against Victim Blaming: Elia’s Story
Elia L. knew the road well; she drove it almost every day on her way to work. She knew it was dangerous. Unfortunately, while she was entering the intersection, a distracted driver tried to turn left. Unable to stop, Elia’s car smashed into the other vehicle.
When the police arrived at the scene, the other driver insisted that he had a green arrow – even though Elia was confident that she had the green light. Unfortunately, she was too disoriented and injured to tell her side of the story accurately. The police cited Elia with traffic violations, including disregarding a traffic signal.
Elia’s Shattered Foot Requires Surgery and Time Off Work
Elia’s injuries required immediate medical attention, and an ambulance took her from the scene to Methodist Hospital. There, she told doctors about her abdominal and chest pain, along with severe pain in her right wrist and right foot. Her wrist and abdominal injuries were relatively minor. However, an x-ray of her right foot identified a complex fracture of her first metatarsal bone.
The first metatarsal is a sturdy bone located right behind your big toe. It’s noted for its strength, and it takes a significant amount of force to break it. X-rays showed that Elia’s first metatarsal wasn’t just fractured; the impact shattered it into pieces.
Elia underwent an open reduction and internal fixation, a surgery where doctors stabilize the bone with rods, screws, and plates. Due to the extent of the fracture and damage to her foot, Elia also needed an external fixator. Pictured above, this device uses pins and a frame to hold fractured bone pieces in the proper position while they heal.
“Even on a case like mine, that’s kind of like, ‘he said, she said,’ [Crosley Law] still took the case. Even when other people said, ‘I’m sorry, there’s nothing we can do.’ He did the work.”
Elia Faces a Long Road to Recovery
For nearly two months, Elia could not place any weight on her right foot, which had the metal fixator and pins protruding out of it. Besides being unable to work, Elia was also unable to partake in many hobbies or even move easily within her own home. She struggled to sleep and experienced chronic pain and tingling in her right foot.
Even after her doctors removed the fixator, Elia still had months of physical therapy, additional x-rays, and check-ups. Unfortunately, Elia never fully regained the use of her foot. She is unable to dance, exercise, or even take long walks because it causes pain and swelling in her foot. Elia cannot even wear certain shoes without experiencing pain and discomfort.
The Insurance Company Blames Elia for the Car Crash
Elia was driving straight through a four-way intersection with the right-of-way when the other driver attempted to turn left across her path. The other driver claimed that he had a green arrow for the turn and could not see Elia due to a slight incline in the road. Elia insisted that she had the green light, commenting, “I work in that corner, so I know that there are a lot of accidents there, and I’m very careful about making sure that the light is correct.”
None of the witnesses noticed the traffic lights’ colors at the time of the crash. Faced with a “he said, she said,” situation and a damaging police report, the insurance companies decided to blame Elia.
Texas’s Modified Comparative Negligence Rules
Texas follows the rule of modified comparative negligence, which states that when someone contributes to their injuries, the insurance company can reduce their damages proportionately. If they are more than 50% at fault, they cannot receive compensation. Elia was at risk of losing most, if not all, of the compensation she deserved.
She called several law firms, and several lawyers rejected her claim because it was too complicated. Luckily, she turned to Crosley Law for help.
Crosley Law Gets Elia the Compensation She Deserved
We knew we could help Elia. Our team carefully investigated her claim, calculated her damages, and negotiated with the insurance company. Our tactics included mediating her claim. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution when a neutral professional helps the parties find common ground and work towards a settlement. We frequently turn to mediation because it can be much less stressful and more cost-effective than a jury trial.
Elia had medical bills totaling over $22,000 and a lost earning capacity of nearly $7,000 from being off of work during her recovery. We were able to help her recover all this and more, compensating her for her suffering and stressful road to recovery. Our attorneys at Crosley Law negotiated a $50,000 settlement, which after paying all of her medical bills and expenses, left Elia with nearly $16,500.
“Even on a case like mine,” says Elia, “that’s kind of like, ‘he said, she said,’ [Crosley Law] still took the case. Even when other people said, ‘I’m sorry, there’s nothing we can do.’ He did the work.”
Crosley Law Helps Victims Get the Compensation They Deserve
Wondering if you can get compensation for a crash when another driver or an insurance company claims you’re partially to blame? Contact the experienced car accident attorneys at Crosley Law for a free consultation to discuss your rights and legal options. Call us at 210-LAW-3000 | 210-529-3000 or complete our online form to get started.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.