This case resolved in 2019 and involved a ride share driver who was rear-ended by a drunk driver at a high rate of speed. This case involved a lot of complicated medical and legal issues. We were able to get this case resolved and have a very happy client.
Justin Hill: 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.
In 2016, I was contacted by a young man the morning after a bad crash he had been in. He asked if he could meet and I met him on a Saturday morning. When I met with him, he told me the only thing he wanted was his vehicle paid for. His vehicle had been totaled in the crash and that vehicle was the way he made his living. I asked him if I could see pictures of the crash and he showed me. The crash was so bad that the vehicle that hit him, a pickup truck, had gone all the way through his trunk, all the way through the back seat and the pickup truck’s bumper was touching the headrest of the driver’s seat. This wasn’t a small car. This was a four-door, full-size car. I was shocked this man was sitting here with me and I talked to him about how he was feeling.
This was a crash that happened in San Antonio at 2:00 in the morning. When the client started talking, he had told me he was hit by a drunk driver. The drunk driver didn’t even recall the crash happening. My client didn’t recall anything until he woke up in the hospital. At this point, I realized the client was probably dealing with more of a medical problem than he thought he had. When he had gone to the ER, they released him with a headache diagnosis because he was an uninsured person. Unfortunately, for uninsured people, they oftentimes get released from hospitals faster than others. We made sure this young man got in to see doctors, to make sure that he was okay.
At the time he was hit by the drunk driver here in San Antonio, he was working with a rideshare company. He was on his way to pick somebody up but did not have anyone in the vehicle. If he had, there was no chance that person would have survived. We prosecuted the case against the drunk driver who turned out didn’t have insurance. We prosecuted a case against the bar where he had just left who got him intoxicated and then let him hit the road. That bar also didn’t follow the TABC rules. They had servers who did not have licenses.
TABC allows bars to protect themselves from claims if they certify their servers. They send them to a class and that class teaches them about proper and safely serving alcohol. We also pursued a claim against the rideshare company. The rideshare company provides uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage for their drivers. As bad luck would have it, the drunk driver, in this case, didn’t have insurance at all, so the underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage kicked in. Our client had a bad head injury, back and neck injuries. He went to neurocognitive rehabilitation for months. He did his best to get back on his feet. This was a man who had a college degree and could no longer find a job. He had a hard time remembering words, recalling names, keeping things in order.
He went back to job training. He got retrained to do a job. This case was put on hold by the district attorney’s office for a little while due to the drunk driver’s criminal case. Once it came out of being put on hold by the district attorney’s office, we were able to resolve the case. First against the rideshare company, and then against the bar where the drunk driver had gotten drunk. The settlement of this case ensured that our client was going to be able to get the medical care he needed and proper job retraining that was necessary for him to find a job in the future. Not only was it a great result, it was for a great young man who continues to be one of our friends and stays in touch with us on a very regular basis.