Edward and Monica's Story:
No matter how obvious it is that someone else was responsible for your car accident, there’s still no guarantee that the insurance company is going to treat you fairly. That’s what husband and wife Edward and Monica discovered after a distracted driver left them with severe pain (and tens of thousands in medical bills).
After trying to handle their case on their own and getting nowhere, they reached out to Crosley Law. Thanks to the hard work of attorney Steven Nuñez and our legal team, they were able to get a fair and reasonable settlement from an insurance company that had stonewalled them for more than two years.
A Distracted Truck Driver Causes a Three-Car Pileup on a Harris County Freeway
On a clear spring afternoon, husband and wife Edward and Monica were traveling down westbound US-290 in Cypress, TX, just northwest of Houston. This section of the freeway carries four lanes in each direction. Edward and Monica were in the rightmost lane.
Behind them, and two lanes further left, was the driver of an F-350.
Suddenly and without warning, the F-350 veered into the second lane, smashing into a Toyota Camry. The initial impact had enough force to send the car spinning into the rightmost lane, where it T-boned Edward and Monica’s truck on the driver’s side.
Despite some cosmetic damage, their truck was still drivable. After talking with the responding police officer, Edward drove the couple to the ER for evaluation.
Painful Symptoms Continue to Linger Long After the Crash
Immediately after the accident, Edward experienced moderate pain in his neck, upper and lower back, and right shoulder. Monica also suffered from neck pain, which seemed to radiate into her left shoulder. After the initial examinations, both were told to pursue conservative treatment of rest, activity reduction, and over-the-counter medications.
However, even after four weeks of resting, the pain didn’t go away. For Monica especially, simply moving her neck or arm was enough to aggravate the discomfort.
The next step was to try physical therapy, but that failed as well. So, the couple sought out further medical testing.
Diagnostic imaging revealed far more damage than previously thought. Edward, it turned out, was suffering from multiple degenerative changes along his spinal column. Monica’s tests also revealed significant degeneration on the joint spaces in her neck, as well as wear and tear on the vertebrae. Furthermore, her treating physician suspected she might have a lower back injury as well, and recommended an additional MRI of her lumbar spine. That scan revealed four herniated discs.
Both Edward and Monica began receiving steroid injections to help them manage the pain and inflammation associated with their injuries. In the end, we estimated the total medical costs for the two of them combined at more than $50,000. And that’s before accounting for pain, suffering, and other non-economic damages, which would typically be substantial in a case like this.
The Truck Driver Lies About the Crash
The driver of the F-350 who started the chain reaction accident told the responding police officer that he lost control of the vehicle after an unexpected tire blowout.
The officer didn’t buy it.
As luck would have it, the officer had actually been driving along US-290 at the time of the crash and had witnessed it firsthand. In his opinion, no tire blowout had occurred. In fact, he believed the driver of the F-350 was texting at the time of the accident. The officer cited the driver for failure to maintain a single lane.
More Disturbing Evidence Uncovered
After taking the case, our investigative team concluded that the truck driver was using his phone at the time of the crash, was speeding excessively, and had failed to apply his brakes in a timely manner to avoid the crash.
We also started digging into the driver’s driving record, and uncovered some truly shocking details:
- His license had been suspended no fewer than 21 times due to repeatedly driving without valid liability insurance.
- He had two additional suspensions for failure to appear in court, and for driving with an invalid license.
- He had prior convictions for speeding (15 mph or more over the posted limit), displaying expired license plates, inspection violations, a seat belt violation, and a defective headlamp violation.
Despite the driver’s terrible record, he was employed by an energy construction company and was acting in the scope of his employment at the time of the crash. While this certainly reflected very poorly on the driver’s employer, it was also good news for Edward and Monica’s personal injury claim.
Under Texas law, employers can be held accountable for negligent actions of their employees while acting on behalf of the company. There was a strong case against the employer for negligent entrustment, hiring, retention, training, and supervision of a driver with so many clear warning signs on his driving record. And because commercial vehicle operators are required to provide additional insurance coverage for their drivers, this meant that we had a much larger pool of money available to negotiate a truly fair settlement.
Crosley Law Overcomes Insurance Company Resistance and Negotiates a Great Settlement
Like many of our clients, Edward and Monica do not consider themselves litigious people. They had no desire to take the negligent parties to court. All they wanted was to be treated honestly and fairly by the insurance company and receive a reasonable settlement amount. They even tried to handle their claim on their own, for more than a year after the crash.
But when a reasonable offer didn’t come, suing the negligent parties was the only option.
Even though it was obvious that the F-350 driver was 100% at fault for the wreck, this case was certainly not without challenges. At issue was the amount that the insurance company would actually pay out.
Almost every personal injury case (no matter how legitimate) has at least a few inconvenient facts. In this case, the physical damage to Edward and Monica’s pickup was fairly minimal, and they described their symptoms as “mild” to the responding officer at the scene. Furthermore, Monica had undergone a spinal fusion surgery for a previous neck issue in 2016, though she was experiencing no symptoms or problems prior to the car crash.
These are the kinds of details that insurance companies love to pick apart. They often highlight them as “evidence” that a car accident victim is exaggerating their injuries, undergoing unnecessary treatments, or that their symptoms are from an unrelated condition.
Fortunately, our legal team was prepared for these kinds of tactics. Attorney Steven Nuñez helped Edward and Monica get additional necessary treatment and strong medical evidence of the link between the crash and their injuries. And he negotiated on their behalf aggressively.
Less than five months after filing a lawsuit, we were able to secure a combined six-figure settlement. It not only fully covered their medical needs, but also provided meaningful compensation for the pain, stress, and frustration they had experienced.
Edward even wrote us a glowing review:
“During our case, Mr. Steven Nuñez provided guidance and counsel every step of the way. He and his team were always available to assist us, and if we could not reach him, his team members Anthony and Candida promptly responded. Mr. Nuñez’s expertise, exceptional skills, and extensive experience were a tremendous asset to me and my wife. We were thrilled with the outcome, which exceeded our expectations!”
Hurt in an Accident? Call Crosley Today
Even if you’re not the “suing type,” it’s still in your best interest to talk to an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible after a car accident. The unfortunate reality is that most insurance companies aren’t going to make a reasonable settlement offer unless you file suit.
Edward and Monica were fortunate. Even though they waited more than a year to hire an attorney, they were still able to get a good result. The responding officer’s report was very favorable to their claim, helped by the fact that the responding officer witnessed the crash and saw through the truck driver’s lie. And they made a smart decision to seek medical treatment immediately, even though their symptoms seemed mild at first. This gave our team a strong enough foundation to negotiate a great settlement.
But many other car accident victims aren’t so lucky. Evidence usually disappears quickly after a crash. Insurance companies start looking for any evidence they can find to delay, deny, or reduce a claim. The longer you wait to get experienced legal assistance, the harder it usually becomes to get fair compensation for your injuries.
We understand that calling an attorney can be scary. We know that people don’t want to sue if they don’t have to. But you have to protect your legal rights—the insurance company won’t do it for you.
If you or someone you love has been in a car accident, call Crosley Law at (210) 529-3000 today for a free case review.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.
Do you or a family member
need legal advice?
Crosley Law Firm, PC is a professional corporation of trial lawyers focused on representing individuals and families who have suffered serious personal injuries or wrongful death.