We represented a young man who was rear-ended at a high rate of speed by a distracted driver on I-35 in San Antonio. The driver was going approximately 60 miles per hour when she hit our client. Luckily, he was able to walk away from the crash with injuries that would not keep him from doing his job or walking.
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 and these are the cases we handle on a day-to-day basis.
The most common cases we handle, just because the volume of these cases is the highest, are car crashes. Car crash cases in San Antonio make up the bulk of most personal injury lawyers work. A lot of people roll their eyes at this or scoff at this, but the reality is that insurance companies have made it necessary to hire a lawyer and oftentimes file a lawsuit just to get a fair settlement on what is an uncomplicated car crash case. While there’s lots of discussion over frivolous lawyers and frivolous lawsuits, there’s very little discussion over frivolous defenses. Defenses made out of whole cloth, as a way to deny, delay and defend a claim.
Insurance companies only get paid by the money they hold on to or the money they don’t pay out. They don’t make money by paying out claims. This makes me think of a recent case we just settled, in which I represented a young engineer going to Austin to visit his girlfriend. It wasn’t yet rush hour, but it was probably about 3:45. I-35 headed north towards Austin around the Windcrest area. If anybody’s been there, they know that traffic slows and speeds up. Sometimes it stops.
My client’s following the law, following the rules, traffic stops, he stops. About two seconds later, he’s hit by a vehicle going about 60 miles an hour. What that lady was doing, we don’t know, but she wasn’t paying attention and she’s lucky she didn’t kill him. Those kind of speeds can kill, or traumatically injure everyday people. Our client got very lucky. While he was injured, he didn’t have a life-time debilitating injury that he would never be able to recover from. He has a back injury that will be with him the rest of his life, but he’s gonna be able to work and he has a concussion that mostly resolved, but he hasn’t lost his ability to do his job as an engineer.
I tell people about cases like this and they cannot believe that it didn’t settle, but it didn’t. The case got filed, the defendants moved that case to federal court, they required depositions, discovery, they dug into my client’s past medical history. They were looking for any way to deny his claim. That’s what insurance companies do. In the end, the insurance company did the right thing but they made sure that plaintiff, my client, felt stress, felt pressure, felt like he had done something wrong.
These are the cases we handle day to day. Car crash cases are not easy cases anymore. They were at some point in history out here, but insurance companies make their money by denying these cases. We continue to represent car crash victims because they are some of the most preyed upon of injured people, because insurance companies think they can convince juries that it’s made up or frivolous and in doing so, they’ll pull out all the stops.