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Passenger Pursues Lawsuit
Against Driver and Gets Settlements
Against Driver and Gets Settlements
Bad Timing and Bad Decisions
An enormous ice storm had severely reduced visibility on the Texas interstate, and the roads were slick with ice and dusted with snow.
On that night, Jake, Tyler, and Bethany were planning on taking a road trip to a ski area in New Mexico in a van owned by Tyler’s dad. Despite the bad weather, Jake and Tyler convinced Bethany they should leave immediately rather than wait until the weather cleared.
Not long into their late-night trip, the already-bad roads started to get worse. And someone else was out that night as well — a driver named Mr. G. He had stopped in the middle of a lane without any obvious reason, and he was drunk.
Jake was driving at highway speeds on a slippery road with low visibility. As he turned around a curve, he suddenly saw Mr. G’s parked car directly in his path. Jake tried to brake and maneuver, but he immediately lost control of the van on the slick highway.
The van clipped Mr. G.’s car, skidded sideways down a hill, rolled over, and eventually came to rest along the north shoulder of the interstate. Mr. G.’s car skidded off the road from the impact and ended up on the shoulder as well.
The officer who arrived on the scene noted the limited visibility and reported that heavy snow and ice were present on the highway. He also discovered numerous opened and unopened bottles of alcohol in Mr. G.’s vehicle. A subsequent blood test showed that Mr. G. was well over the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for intoxicated driving at the time of the collision.
Getting Bethany Medical Help Immediately After the Car Crash
Bethany, who was simply a passenger along for the ride, sustained severe injuries during the crash despite being buckled up properly. An ambulance took her to a nearby medical center where staff performed CT scans of her brain, spine, abdomen, and pelvis.
- A fracture of her acetabulum (a bone in the hip that holds the upper part of your femur in place)
- Multiple fractures of her pelvis
- A fractured zygoma (a bone in the cheek)
- A rupture of her bladder in multiple places
- Blunt trauma, abrasions, and other bodily injuries
An ambulance took Bethany to the closest hospital to get treatment for her injuries, including surgery to repair her bladder rupture. Because of the extensive damage to her bladder and pelvis, the surgery left a wide, painful red scar extending approximately 10 inches straight down from her belly button.
Bethany could not walk for weeks after the crash due to the bone fractures and other injuries. She had to undergo months of follow-up care, including physical therapy, home exercise, and scar revision surgery. She continued to suffer from neck pain, shoulder pain, back pain, and knee pain after the crash and throughout treatment. And even with the revision surgery, she will always have a prominent scar on her stomach.
Crosley Law Firm Handles Bethany’s Personal Injury Case
The circumstances surrounding this collision were complex. Who was to blame? If Mr. G. hadn’t stopped in the middle of the road, the crash would never have happened — and Mr. G’s poor decision was likely a result of his intoxicated state.
At the same time, if Jake had been driving more carefully, he could have avoided the erratic maneuvering that caused him to clip Mr. G.’s vehicle and roll the van. Perhaps if the group had decided to stay home in the first place and wait until the weather had cleared, no crash would have occurred at all.
All of this was made even more complicated by the unusual Texas weather that night.
The entire incident felt like a tangled mess, and it was a mess that Bethany didn’t need to deal with on top of her surgeries, treatment, and recovery. That’s why she decided to call Crosley Law Firm. During a free consultation, the attorneys at Crosley Law listened to the details of her story and helped her evaluate her legal options.
Even after just one meeting, Bethany felt she could trust the team at Crosley Law Firm.
“They had a lot of compassion for me, so I really felt protected by them and that they would put my interests before everything else,” Bethany says. “After the first meeting … I felt so much better about [my situation] already. It was such a relief to find them.”
In the Crosley Law team’s opinion, the law provided a clear path forward that the team would be able to follow, so Bethany hired them to advocate for her and handle her case.
For example, the Texas Transportation Code — the set of rules everybody learns about in driver’s education — clearly outlines drivers’ responsibilities, especially when the weather negatively affects conditions on the road.
The code clearly states (and simple common sense dictates) that the operator of a vehicle “may not drive at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the circumstances” and that drivers should “drive at an appropriate reduced speed if a special hazard exists with regard to traffic, including pedestrians, or weather, or highway conditions” (emphasis added).
Clearly, Jake hadn’t obeyed the law as he was speeding down the highway on that icy January night. During depositions (statements taken under oath by witnesses and others involved in a case), the attorneys at Crosley Law Firm also discovered that Jake may have been under the influence of marijuana while driving.
As if to add insult to injury, neither Jake nor Tyler showed any remorse for their actions on that night; they even went so far as to say they wouldn’t do anything differently if they had the opportunity.
In addition to pursuing compensation from the insurance companies that covered Jake and Tyler, the attorneys at Crosley Law Firm followed up with the insurance company that covered Mr. G., who had driven while intoxicated, stopped in the middle of the lane rather than pulling over to the shoulder, and created a dangerous hazard for other drivers
Crosley Law Firm Achieves Multiple Settlements for Bethany’s Claim
Even though Bethany had insurance, she was still facing a stack of medical bills that were piling up and that she was responsible for paying out of her own pocket — even though she was simply a passenger who hadn’t done anything to cause the crash.
Ultimately, the team at Crosley Law Firm helped Bethany achieve multiple settlements with several different insurance providers.
Although the van and Mr. G.’s vehicle only clipped each other, which was a major point of contention during negotiations, Crosley Law Firm was able to clearly prove the driver’s negligence and get a policy-limits settlement for Bethany from his insurer.
The attorneys at Crosley Law Firm also dug into all of the other insurance policies covering the incident. For example, Bethany was still young enough to be covered by her mother’s policy, multiple drivers had gotten behind the wheel on the trip, the vehicle was insured separately from the driver(s), etc.
In the end, Crosley Law Firm was able to get policy-limits settlements from four different insurance companies to help Bethany cover her medical bills. These settlements got Bethany to a point of financial stability after she had gone through surgeries, received months of follow-up care, and suffered visible scars that would stay with her forever.
Today, almost three years after the crash, Bethany is glad she worked with Crosley Law Firm on her case.
“If I had someone who came to me in a similar situation as I was in, I would definitely recommend Crosley Law Firm to them because I know they would be well represented and taken care of,” Bethany says.
Crosley Law Firm: Helping Texas Car Accident Victims
Car wrecks are rarely as simple as one careless driver crashing into a single vehicle. As with Bethany’s case, sometimes passengers are hurt by the reckless actions of the person driving, and sometimes multiple people are at fault. Sometimes, crashes are worse than Bethany’s and people don’t get the chance to make a recovery.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one because of someone else’s reckless behavior, you shouldn’t have to pay for the consequences of their carelessness. At Crosley Law Firm, we offer free consultations so we can listen to your story and give you straightforward advice that will help you understand what your options are moving forward. We also take cases on a contingent fee basis, which means you don’t have to pay us a cent unless we get you a settlement or win your case in court.
Maximum speed requirement. (n.d.). Texas transportation code 545.351. Retrieved from http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/docs/TN/htm/TN.545.htm
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.