Even when you do everything right, a single careless act by another person can change the course of your life for weeks, months—or even longer. That was the case for Melissa, a young mother with two beautiful children, a great job, and an infectious joy and passion for her life and her family.
When her vehicle was rear-ended while stopped at a light, the resulting brain injury and post-concussion syndrome threatened to take all that away from her. Even worse, her complicated medical history gave the at-fault driver’s insurance company plenty of convenient excuses to deny her the compensation she deserved.
Fortunately, Melissa isn’t one to give up easily, and neither are we. This is her story.
Distracted Driving Leads to Devastating Consequences
Melissa’s crash, like so many others we see at Crosley Law, was caused by an inattentive driver approaching an intersection.
It was an otherwise ordinary late summer day in North Austin. Melissa was a passenger in a hotel shuttle, which was stopped at a red light just a few blocks from the hotel. Unfortunately, there was no way to avoid what came next.
Without warning, a delivery vehicle slammed into the back of the hotel shuttle. While the exterior damage to the van seemed minimal, the force of the collision thrust Melissa’s head into one of the vehicle’s hard headrests, causing considerable pain.
After the accident, she was transported to the hospital for evaluation and treatment.
A “Mild” Brain Injury Causes Long-Term Problems
Melissa was diagnosed with a severe concussion. While in medical terms this would be considered a “mild” TBI, the reality is that any traumatic brain injury can be life-altering and long-lasting.
It soon became clear that Melissa’s symptoms would not go away quickly or easily. More than seven months after the crash, she was still struggling with crash-related symptoms:
- Chronic neck and shoulder pain
- Post-traumatic headaches
- Sharp head and neck pain from occipital neuralgia
- Vertigo and dizziness
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Issues with her short-term memory and concentration
Although many of Melissa’s symptoms were gradually improving with regular treatment, they were still significant enough to cause daily disruptions and limit her ability to work, perform regular activities, and spend quality time with her family and friends.
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Melissa’s Pre-Existing Medical History Complicates Her Recovery
While the facts of the crash and the fault of the delivery driver were not in dispute, Melissa’s medical history put her ability to get fair compensation in serious jeopardy.
A few years before the incident with the hotel shuttle and delivery driver, Melissa had suffered neck and low back injuries in a different motor vehicle accident. Making matters even more complicated, she also had an existing history of migraine headaches.
In theory, none of that should matter in her current case.
But the insurance company tried to use her history to deny and devalue Melissa’s personal injury claim. The adjuster claimed that they could not conclusively link her symptoms to the specific crash. They even questioned whether some of Melissa’s symptoms were “in her head” and psychosomatic, rather than trauma-related.
If you can’t persuasively link the injuries to the crash, then you can’t get compensation even when the other driver was clearly at fault. This, unfortunately, was a real problem for Melissa’s case.
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Melissa Turns to Crosley Law for Help
Melissa knew she wanted to get better—for herself and for her family—and to do that she needed a car accident attorney who believed in her story and symptoms and would fight for the compensation she deserved. The lawyer she initially contacted referred her to Crosley Law, due to our extensive experience and reputation for handling TBI cases.
In addition to the challenging medical history, TBIs are still badly misunderstood and underestimated by insurance companies (and many juries). Proving that “hidden” symptoms are not only real, but causing significant daily limitations, can be challenging and often requires extensive evidence and expert testimony. The same goes for projecting long-term medical costs and other care needs.
While we understood that these roadblocks would make Melissa’s case a difficult one, Crosley Law doesn’t shy away from a challenge when we know our client needs us. After two years of hard work and intense medical investigation, we were able to negotiate a $500,000 settlement from the insurance company that will help provide for Melissa and her family’s financial future.
Melissa was certainly happy with the result, as she described in her 5-star review of our firm:
“This is a strong, knowledgeable, comprehensive law firm. The attention to detail is reassuring. Highly recommend Tom Crosley and his incredible team. I am forever grateful for all you’ve done with my complicated case.”
Crosley Law: Fighting for People With Brain Injuries in Texas
While every case is unique, the legal obstacles posed by Melissa’s case were by no means rare or unusual. People who suffer TBIs after a car accident often must fight uphill battles against insurance companies and juries who don’t understand the science and treat claims with suspicion.
That’s why hiring a personal injury firm with a proven track record of fighting and winning big in TBI cases is such a major advantage. We know how to investigate and litigate these cases, uncover the critical medical evidence that you’ll need to prove your symptoms, and frame your case in a way that gives you the best chance of swaying a stubborn insurance company or skeptical jury.
It was an honor to work with Melissa and fight on her behalf, and we look forward to speaking with you about your case, too. To set up your free consultation with our legal team, just dial (210) LAW-3000 | (210) 529-3000 or complete the simple contact form on our website.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.