A few summers back, a young man was riding in a truck down near Calallen, Texas. Little did he know that a series of bad decisions made by others would ultimately leave him paralyzed from the waist down.
The driver of the vehicle he was a passenger in decided to make a U-turn on the highway with oncoming traffic. The vehicle turned right in front of a van resulting in the first of two collisions. The young man and the driver were then struck a second time by another driver. This second vehicle belonged to a large oilfield services company.
Unfortunately, the young man was not wearing a seatbelt. Not only did the accident leave him paralyzed, he suffered many other injuries too including rib fractures, a collapsed lung, and bleeding from the brain.
His injuries may have been less severe had he been wearing a seatbelt; however, he is clearly not to blame for what happened that day. But who is?
That was the burning question. Was it the driver of the vehicle he was riding in who made the U-turn? Was it the fault of the van that hit the truck? Or the man driving the company-owned vehicle who caused the second impact?
The young man consulted a lawyer and they filed the suit against the driver of the second vehicle and the oilfield services company who employed him. The lawsuit stated that the driver and company could have prevented the collision.
The oil company’s defense argued liability – placing the blame on both the young man for not wearing a seatbelt, and the driver of the vehicle he was in for making the U-turn.
To most people, it would seem like the defense had a pretty good reason as to why they were not to blame. At this point, some might even give up the fight.
But the young man and his lawyer didn’t back down. Instead, they took the fight to court.
In the Nueces County courtroom, the young man’s attorney brought up a driving rule that companies should make sure their drivers are aware of. This rule, commonly called the 3-second rule, states that it should take at least 3 seconds before you pass the same object that the car in front of you passed.
If the driver of the company vehicle had been following this rule, he would have had more time to respond – and could have avoided colliding with the vehicle that the young man was a passenger in. So this clearly demonstrates liability on the driver’s end.
But what about the oilfield services company? How were they to blame for the accident?
Since the company owned the vehicle involved in the crash, they could be held liable too because the company policies and procedures had no information on safe following distance.
The young man’s lawyer presented this evidence to the jury and the jury agreed. This company should have enforced safe driving protocols. In their verdict, they held both the driver and company responsible citing negligence and gross negligence.
And the young man, who suffered numerous injuries and is paralyzed from the waist down, was awarded $67 million.
It was a smart move for the young man to consult with a lawyer after the accident. With so many expenses and medical bills, he now has the money he needs to move on with his life.
The odds may have seemed stacked against him – no seatbelt and a driver making a U-turn into oncoming traffic. But his lawyer was able to see past these challenges, uncover the true reason why Arnold is now paralyzed, and clearly explain it to the jury.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident, the best thing you can do is talk to a lawyer. Jason DeSouza is an experienced attorney and tough negotiator who will fight for every dollar you deserve. It costs you no money up front to work with him. In fact, his services are free unless he wins your case. Don’t let another day go by without getting the help you need, give Jason DeSouza a call.
DeSouza Law Firm is a leading personal injury firm representing accident victims throughout Texas.
If you’ve been injured by a car, truck, 18 wheeler, company vehicle, or in the oilfield, call DeSouza Injury Lawyers today at 361-799-2222.