It is a high honor when a defense lawyer calls and says they want to settle your case first and for a premium to get you out of the case. That is exactly what happened after Justin Hill deposed the two defendant drivers in this case. He got them both to admit they could have avoided the crash.
Speaker: Welcome to Hill Law Firm cases, a podcast discussing real-world cases handled by Justin Hill and the Hill Law Firm. For confidentiality reasons, names and amounts of any settlements have been removed. However, the facts are real. These are the cases we handle on a day to day basis. In Hill Law Firm we handle more bus crash cases than probably most law firms in the state of Texas. We’ve handled bus crash cases against some of the largest busing companies in the world.
One such example is a case involving a international bus line that takes people from Texas into Mexico. One day while this bus was making one of its routes south, as it was approaching a disabled 18-wheeler on the shoulder, it failed to get over into the left-hand lane to pass it. At about the same time, that 18-wheeler driver who was working for one of the largest companies in the world, was trying to get a speed up to get back into the slow lane so he could get on his way.
He had his hazards on and the bus driver thought he had stopped. As can be expected, the bus driver failed to get over and he ended up hitting the large 18-wheeler truck. This caused the bus to roll over in the median. Our client, an elderly woman, was thrown from her seat into the luggage compartment where she was stuck. She had a broken arm and a broken shoulder.
She was not found until the wrecker was there fixing to tip the bus back onto its wheels. Only then did somebody hear her cry for help. In the depositions for this case, I was able to establish with both of the drivers. The first, the bus driver would have been able to get over completely to the left and avoid this accident had he tried. He also said he would have been able to come to a complete stop if he had started to slow when he saw the truck.
In the same vein, the trucking company driver stated that he could have waited on the shoulder until the bus passed, and then it wasn’t a lot of traffic, and then he would have been fine waiting and getting on the roadway after. Both of the defendants called us early on and settled our claims first. In the end, some of the other lawyers had to take their case all the way to trial. It wasn’t that we got a low settlement.
We got an early settlement because we were the law firm doing the hard work. We had hired the accident reconstructionists, we had the expertise and knew what we were doing. Because of that, the defendants knew that we would either improve the value of all the cases, or they could resolve our claim first, get us out, and then deal with lawyers that did not have as much experience in bus cases.
We continue to handle bus cases and currently have one bus case in San Antonio, Texas at this time. It’s something we’re passionate about and it’s something we think the industry needs to better regulate. If you have any questions about a bus case, you know how to reach us.