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Brian's Story:

Winning Fair Compensation After a Complicated Medical Recovery

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After a negligent driver blew through a red light and smashed into Brian’s car, Brian thought he’d gotten lucky. The car was totaled, and he was in a bit of pain, but otherwise could walk and move normally. He wasn’t even sure he’d need to see a doctor.

Unfortunately, symptoms got worse and several doctor visits, physical therapy appointments, and even two surgeries later, Brian was still struggling to accomplish daily tasks. His injuries not only caused constant pain, but also severely limited the use of his left arm for nearly two years after the crash. And his medical bills were piling up, too.

Fortunately, Brian had attorney Brennen Jenkins and the team at Crosley Law on his side.

A Careless Driver Runs a Red Light at a Dangerous Intersection

Intersection of W Sunset Road and a US-281 access road.

It was a spring day in North Central San Antonio. Brian was heading south down a US-281 access road and preparing to make a left-hand turn at the T-shaped intersection with Sunset Road.

Intersections can be extremely hazardous places for motorists, and this is a dangerous intersection for a variety of reasons. Sunset is a busy four-lane road. The acute angle of the turn, as well as the shadow cast by the overpass and visual obstruction of the support pillars, can make it difficult to check for cross traffic from the access road. And the overpass also obstructs the view that westbound motorists on Sunset have of the access road.

Brian had a green light and proceeded forward. Unfortunately, at the exact same time, a driver heading west on Sunset completely disregarded his red light and also entered the intersection. Brian’s car was broadsided, with the collision smashing up the front passenger side of his vehicle.

An eyewitness confirmed to police that Brian had a green light when he entered the intersection. The at-fault driver also told the responding officer at the scene that he was not looking at the traffic light, but claimed to be following cars in front of him moving through the intersection.

Brian Works Through a Long, Frustrating Recovery

The damage to the car, however, was nothing compared to what Brian went through over the next two years.

Immediately after the crash, Brian felt pain in his left shoulder, but could still walk around and move his arm. He told the responding officer he would monitor his symptoms and seek care later if necessary. He was even evaluated and cleared by EMS at the scene.

But in the coming days, symptoms got worse, and it was obvious this would not be as simple as a few aches and pains. Brian’s injuries included a torn bicep and substantial damage to his left shoulder, including a torn rotator cuff, labral tear, and AC joint injury. His range of motion was drastically reduced, as moving his arm more than small distances caused significant pain.

Diagram of a crash involving two vehicles

As you can imagine, losing primary use of an arm for an extended period of time has major negative consequences for a person’s quality of life. It impacts the ability to work, drive, lift, carry, enjoy hobbies, and participate in any physical activity requiring the use of both arms.

Initially, Brian’s doctors recommended conservative treatments and physical therapy. While a nonsurgical approach is often recommended after injuries like these, they don’t work for everyone—and unfortunately, they didn’t work for Brian.

After more than six months of conservative treatment, Brian underwent surgery to repair his torn labrum and bicep. But joint popping and pain kept him from completing post-surgical physical therapy, and a subsequent MRI revealed that his bicep had torn again. Nearly a year after the original crash, Brian had surgery again, and it would be another six months before he regained significant range of motion without any pain.

Crosley Law Investigates the Crash and Goes the Extra Mile for Brian

Brian turned to Crosley Law to handle his legal case. Our investigation of the other driver’s negligence revealed far more than a simple moment of poor decision making.

At the time of the crash, the other driver was operating his vehicle within the course and scope of his employment. Despite this, he did not have a valid driver’s license. In other words, it wasn’t simply that the other driver shouldn’t have run a red light. He shouldn’t have been on the road, period. He was cited at the scene for operating a motor vehicle without a license, and the responding police officer had to wait with him at the crash scene until a licensed driver could arrive to move his vehicle.

Front view of a car with front driver's side damage and a partially disconnected bumper

Crosley Law’s investigators carefully examined the physical evidence to piece together how the crash occurred and clearly establish liability. Since the at-fault driver was engaged in work activities at the time of the crash, his employer was also accountable for Brian’s injuries.

This was good news for Brian. Although it made the case more complicated and time-consuming to litigate, it also meant there was more insurance coverage available to pay for his medical bills and other damages.

It’s also important to note that our team does far more than just “legal work.” Getting a fair settlement from the at-fault party is only one aspect of truly and fully recovering from a catastrophic accident. Our clients’ needs extend beyond filing lawsuits and negotiating settlements, and we work hard to address them. For example, we helped make sure Brian got the experienced medical care he needed and remained focused on his treatment and physical recovery.

Insurance Companies Fight Valid Claims—Even When Their Driver Was Clearly at Fault

Even in a case like this, defendant insurance companies will often try to limit the amount of money they have to pay out in a variety of ways.

One common tactic is to try to pin some of the blame on the injury victim. For example, even if their driver was unlicensed and blew a red light, they’ll still argue that the injured driver could have avoided the accident if he had done a better job checking for cross traffic. If they can convince a jury to assign, say, 20% of the blame to the crash victim, then the amount of damages they must pay will also be reduced by 20%, due to Texas’ comparative negligence law.

Another common tactic is to question the necessity of medical care, or whether a specific injury is actually the result of the accident. For example, in soft tissue injury cases where conservative treatments fail, the insurance company might say that treatment failure or a re-injury was caused by the patient disregarding their treatment plan. If true, they could potentially get out of paying for medical bills that arise afterward.

A third strategy many insurance companies use is making a quick, lowball settlement offer even before the victim has a chance to make a full recovery or reach maximum medical improvement. Accepting an offer like this would have been devastating for Brian, since his recovery didn’t go as planned and he ended up needing not one, but two expensive surgeries that his doctors had hoped he’d avoid. If he’d settled early, based on what his estimated future medical expenses had been in the first few weeks after the crash, he’d have gotten nowhere near what he ultimately needed.

Fortunately, Crosley Law was prepared for these kinds of tactics. We made sure we waited for Brian to heal and had the strongest possible evidence supporting his claim.

Crosley Law Wins a Great Settlement for Brian

In the end, we were able to negotiate a $341,000 settlement with the insurance company, which helped Brian get back on solid financial footing after more than a year of expensive treatments. Notably, we were able to achieve this without the case requiring mediation, helping save time and stress for Brian.

Afterward, Brian gave us a glowing review. He wrote:

“I am truly grateful for the services provided by my team at Crosley Law Firm. I cannot thank enough to Priscilla, Rachel, and my attorney Brennen for the help throughout the process. I was pleased with the final settlement. If ever I need representation in the future, I would definitely be going back to them, and I would recommend others to consider Crosley Law Firm.”

If you or someone you love has been injured in an auto accident, don’t wait any longer to reach out for legal help. The longer you wait, the more difficult it may be to prepare a strong case. Initial consultations with the Crosley Law team are free. We would be happy to review your case and help you determine the best way forward. If that includes hiring our firm, you won’t pay us anything unless we get you money.

To request your free case review, complete this brief online form or call 210-LAW-3000 | 210-529-3000 today.

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