It was a late summer evening. The Jansen* family—a husband, wife, and their daughter—were riding in the family vehicle and crossing a busy road.
At the same time, a Ford Transit Van started to pull out of a nearby gas station. The van ran a red light and smashed into the Jansen’s rear passenger door.
After the crash, the mother of the Jansen family—Jennifer*—struggled with chronic pain and loss of mobility. While her husband and daughter were not injured in the crash, Jennifer’s condition took a heavy toll on them, too.
The Jansens believed they deserved significant compensation from the at-fault driver. But the commercial vehicle driver, his employer, and the insurance company did not agree.
Fortunately, the Jansens turned to Crosley Law for help. Our sophisticated analysis of the crash and tough questioning revealed the van driver’s negligence and helped the Jansen family get a substantial settlement.
* All names in this story changed for privacy.
Jennifer suffers severe, nearly disabling hip and back pain
After the crash, Jennifer experienced many painful symptoms, including headaches, shoulder and neck pain, and lower back pain. But the biggest area of concern was her left hip.
The sharp, stabbing pain was constant, and it just kept getting worse. Almost any kind of physical activity would trigger symptoms. Even walking short distances was painful.
She tried physical therapy and chiropractic treatment, but her pain did not improve. Jennifer was then referred to an orthopedic doctor. Her MRI scans showed significant damage to the cartilage of the outside rim of her hip socket—a labral tear.
Side-impact car crashes often cause this kind of injury, especially if the crash is toward the front or rear of the vehicle (as it was in the Jansens’ case). The impact causes the upper body to pivot and “overtake” the hips (which are restricted by the lap belt), placing extreme forces on the hip joint itself.
Further MRI scans also revealed two herniated disks in Jennifer’s neck, and three more in her lower back.
Physical therapy and cortisone injections were not going to address Jennifer’s injuries. She underwent hip surgery to fix the labral tear and to reshape and reposition the ball and socket of her hip joint itself. Doctors also told her that she would probably need a full hip replacement in the future.
Jennifer’s injuries take an emotional toll
Jennifer’s medical care was expensive. She already had about $50,000 in medical bills and would need significantly more care in the future. But the cost to her quality of life, and the burden her injuries placed on her family, was even more.
The Jansens are a young, active family. They love to go hiking and camping together. Jennifer regularly took her daughter swimming and ice skating.
Surgery helped Jennifer regain some, but not all, of her capacity for physical activity. She could now go on short walks with her dog and get through a trip to the grocery store on her own. But even after treatment and recovery, she remained unable to go hiking or do many of the recreational activities that the Jansens used to enjoy as a family.
Crosley Law exposes van driver’s shifting stories
The police officer who responded to the crash was clear about who he believed was at fault. He put all the blame on the Transit Van driver for failing to stop at the red light and “driver inattention”—in other words, distracted driving.
The driver, however, was reluctant to accept full blame. Here’s what he said in the report he wrote for his employer:
Turning out of the gas station I looked and saw the light was green. I looked back while turning to check [the] cars behind; when I looked back [the] light was going from yellow to red. I ended up rear-ending their car.
However, when Crosley Law’s attorneys started questioning the driver, his story began to change.
First, in a written statement, the at-fault driver said that he “wasn’t sure” whether the light was red.
Later, we interviewed the driver under oath during a deposition. His story changed throughout his testimony.
- Early on, he said that he looked up “twice” and didn’t see a yellow or red light.
- Half an hour later, he said that he never looked up again at the intersection after leaving the gas station driveway.
- Finally, we asked point blank if he agreed with the police officer’s opinion that he did not stop at the red light. He agreed.
Light sequence analysis confirms van driver’s negligence
To get more objective information about the crash, and prove that the van driver was distracted, Crosley Law worked with an accident reconstruction specialist to piece together the facts.
Our expert analyzed the post-impact movement of the Jansens’ car and found that the Transit Van was traveling at least 26 miles per hour at the time of the crash—and possibly more. Based on our calculations, the driver would have needed about 6 seconds to reach the collision location after turning onto the road.
Then, we reviewed the traffic signal’s light timing. At that intersection, the yellow signal lasted 4.3 seconds, followed by another 1.4 second delay before the light turned green for the Jansens.
Based on the signal timing and range of possible speeds, the accident reconstructionist concluded that the at-fault driver must have ignored the signal lights for a minimum of 5 seconds, if not more.
We uncover a pattern of distracted driving
How could the driver have been distracted for so long? He openly admitted that he was on a phone call at the time of the accident, violating both company policy and Texas law.
Distracted driving seemed to be a pattern with this driver. We requested camera footage from the company’s dashcams. Barely a week after the Jansen’s wreck, the company recorded the at-fault driver texting and driving again.
Still, the company took no action against their negligent driver.
Crosley Law’s Efforts Result in a Great Settlement
This entire story shows how an experienced car accident attorney can make a huge difference for injury victims and their loved ones.
At the start of the case, the insurance company refused to give the Jansens anything close to a fair offer. They simply took the at-fault driver’s statement to his employer at face value.
Getting an insurance company to do the right thing usually requires a lot of experience and effort. Crosley Law did just that:
- Working with accident reconstruction experts to establish the speed of the van, light timings, and how long (at minimum) the driver must have ignored yellow and red lights.
- Carefully questioning the driver and his employer to expose contradictions and holes in their narrative.
- Obtaining camera footage, company policy documents, and other evidence establishing the driver’s gross negligence.
- Painting a clear picture of the true impact that Jennifer’s injuries have had on the Jansen family—not just economically, but also emotionally.
Our team was confident heading into mediation that we could get a great result. Those efforts were rewarded, resulting in a total $900,000 combined settlement for Jennifer, her husband, and her daughter.
The family was extremely happy with the result, comparing the Crosley Law team to rock stars in a five-star review.
Car crash? Call Crosley Today
If you’ve been hurt in a crash that wasn’t your fault, call Crosley Law today. Our experienced car accident lawyers can help you obtain the evidence you need to get the fair compensation you deserve. Request your free case review by calling (210) 529-3000 or completing our simple contact form.
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