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Elias's Story

Crosley Law Wins $2.8 Million for Trucker Injured in Rollover Crash

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It was a little past 5 a.m. on a calm spring morning in southeast Bexar County. Elias*, our client, was behind the wheel of his semi-truck, in the rightmost lane of southbound US-181 approaching the intersection with Loop 1604.  

A hazardous materials (or HAZMAT) tanker truck was in the left-turn-only lane ahead of him, with the left turn blinker on. 

Unexpectedly, the tanker truck veered to the right. Elias honked his horn, but the tanker continued cutting across all three lanes of southbound traffic, making a right turn from the left turn lane and completely blocking the road. 

Elias had no choice but to swerve right to avoid a collision. He drove off the road, across Loop 1604, and into a ditch on the other side, where the truck rolled over onto its roof. 

Miraculously, Elias survived, despite the fact that most of the truck cab had been crushed in the rollover. He was able to crawl out of a small hole in the windshield, but he had been seriously hurt. 

*name changed for privacy 

Two views of a semi-truck after a rollover accident

Elias Suffers from Serious Injuries and Chronic Pain

After the crash, Elias suffered from headaches, as well as significant pain in his chest, lower back, hip, and wrist. Diagnostic testing revealed that, among other injuries, Elias had sustained a fractured rib, multiple herniated disks, a compressed spinal vertebra, and multiple ligament tears in his right wrist. 

Over the next several months, Elias incurred more than $100,000 in medical bills from pain specialists, chiropractors, and other medical professionals. However, he continued to deal with chronic pain that significantly interfered with his daily life. Eventually, his doctors determined that back surgery (including two disk replacements) would be necessary to improve his symptoms. 

According to estimates from expert witness retained by Crosley Law, the lifetime financial cost of Elias’s future medical care, wage losses, and other services relating to his injuries would exceed $1 million. And that’s before even considering the significant impact of his pain and suffering on his daily life. Many of the things he used to enjoy, such as fishing with his brother, were now limited due to pain. 

Crosley Law’s Investigation Uncovers Appalling Negligence

Despite the opinion of the responding officer and an eyewitness account corroborating Elias’s version of the events, the tanker driver’s insurance company insisted that Elias was at fault for his own injuries. 

Elias knew he needed legal help. After hearing Elias’ story, Crosley attorneys Steven Nuñez and Shawn Mechler got to work. Right away, our legal team started digging into the case, preserving key evidence, and speaking with the right experts who could prove Elias’s side of the story.  

Dashcam view showing the reflection of a hand with a cellphone revealing distracted driving

Analysis of Dashcam Footage Reveals Driver Distraction

One of the first and most crucial pieces of evidence Crosley Law obtained was the dashcam recording from the at-fault tanker driver. 

The footage demonstrated a shocking degree of negligence by the at-fault driver. Most obviously, it showed the driver making a dangerous, illegal lane change and blocking the entire road—as well as the near miss from Elias’s passing vehicle. 

But there was something else hidden in the footage: a reflection in the windshield, coming from a small light source inside the truck. Looking closely at the reflection, it was almost certainly a cell phone being held in the driver’s hands—even though the at-fault driver had claimed he wasn’t using one at the time of the incident. 

“Texting and Driving” by a HAZMAT Driver = Gross Negligence

Further investigation revealed that the tanker driver had made a habit of using his phone while driving on the morning the incident took place. 

Cell phone records showed that, between midnight and the time of the crash, the driver had sent and received multiple text messages. Given the amount of ground that he covered in that timespan, he must have been on the road for most or all of them. 

Shockingly, the behavior didn’t stop even after the crash. After leaving the scene at around 6 a.m., cell phone data showed that the driver was on a phone call for at least 42 minutes and had sent no fewer than 11 text messages while behind the wheel over the next hour and a half.  

Disastrous Deposition Testimony Undermines the Defense

Armed with this and other evidence, Crosley Law was ready to hear from the at-fault trucker and his employer. 

Very quickly, we were able to get the corporate representative to admit that their driver had clearly made an unsafe maneuver. But the testimony of the driver himself was especially damaging. 

During questioning, the driver agreed that he was not supposed to make the lane change that he made, that he could have prevented the incident by not making the lane change, and that an “ordinary person” would not have done what he did. 

But when we asked him, point blank, if he accepted responsibility for causing the incident, his response was, “I don’t want to answer that question.” And when we asked him if it was his testimony that he “did nothing wrong while driving a tractor-trailer on the date of incident,” he answered “correct” and continued to deny any responsibility. Considering he’d already very likely lied about his cell phone use, it was hard to see how any jury would consider him trustworthy or credible. 

Crosley Law Takes the Case to Mediation and Gets a Big Win for Elias

Like many of our other big cases, we went to mediation with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to try to hash out a fair settlement. 

The evidence didn’t look good for the insurance company: 

  • Clear video of the unsafe maneuver, resulting crash, and the fact that the driver was holding an active cell phone at the time.
  • Clear admission that the at-fault driver had acted improperly from a supervisor.
  • Contradictory testimony from the at-fault driver, who at least partially admitted fault, and also presented himself in a manner that no jury would find sympathetic or credible. 

We also reminded the insurance company and the defense attorney of many of our big recent wins, showing how serious (and skilled) the Crosley Law team is about taking cases to trial and getting great results. 

Our strategy and attention to detail worked. The insurance company ultimately offered $2.8 million to settle the case rather than risk a trial—a great result that provided Elias with the financial security he needed to support himself and his family, as well as substantial additional compensation for his pain and suffering. 

Car Crash? Call Crosley Today

Sadly, it’s not uncommon for big trucking companies to initially deny any responsibility for an accident—even when they have access to dashcam footage, driver logs, and other evidence that shows the exact opposite. 

If you’ve been hurt in a crash that wasn’t your fault, call Crosley Law today. Our experienced team 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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