US, Texas legal help, Please?

Here is the deal. my wife got hit by a truck while walking across the street. A witness stayed and there is no question (to the cops or anybody, he admited to it and a witness stayed), she was in a cross walk, she had a green light and a walk signal (in fact she specifically waited for it). He made a right turn, didnt look or stop and hit her.
He had a sweet truck (ford f150, not older than 2003, very new), pimped out, nice tires and rims, modded paint (not a full paint job), this truck had had thousands put into it on top of its decent value as a nearlly new (maybe bought new) truck. Of course he could afford the very expensive, nearlly new pimped out truck, but he couldn’t aford insurance!!!
So there are 19 xrays, a ct , rushed to the hospital in an ambulance as a trauma patient, (still gotta figure out how to make them do an MRIi), she spent 4 hours on a back board with neck brace (strapped down) because the assesment of the ariving paramedics thought it might be critical (I know they do that as a precaution).
So we have a medical bill that is easliy 5-6000$… Thats just the emergency room visit. While I wouldn’t have a problem with the guy paying out the bills and a few lost days wages, I’m guessing that I am going to have to sue, and if I am going to have to sue, theres no playing nice. We have to go after actual damages as well as conciquential damages (the lawyer isn’t goint to work for free, so there have to be enough extra damages, that a percentage of it justifys his fees and intrest, or I wouldn’t get an atorney to represent for a percentage).
his truck was inpounded, and according to Irving texas law, he looses his truck (not he can get it back after he gets insurance, pays fines restitution, or anything, the city auctions the truck and keeps the money, he LOOSES his truck). That is the cost for driving without insurance in Irving!!!
So how do I find out his assets, find if he owned the truck and if he owed money on it, find out his income etc… I would be willing to settle (he was young, young 20’s or younger and most liklly couldnt afford a truck like that himself).
So how do I find out information about him and his financial status, and how do I proceed??? I’m worried that if I jsut get a lawyer, either he will be crappy or not interested as there is no insurance company to sue, so the payout might not be enough??? I’m not worried about a big payout (beyond medical, which will actually be a huge payout, and a few days lost work and consequentiall damages (I’m talking damages in the hundreds of dollars becuase of the costs that this incident has caused us, not extravegant amounts. The simple fact is though, good lawyers dont work cheap. There has to be a high recovery or it is not worth the lawyers interest, or he is a crappy lawyer and I dont want him because he might not even get actual losses after his fee???
I need a little guidence on how to proceed… If I find a layer to handle it, I’m guessing either he is going for money (and thinks we can get it), or he’s crappy (I’m really woried about getting a good layer if this guy has nothing to go after…). Even if he could be sued into paying 10, 000$ worth of mediacal bills, maybe more, how would the average person pay for it??? I hate to be mean, but knowing my insurance company (medical insurance), they wont pay and sue, they will just deny… I thought I had good car coverage, but turns out I don’t have uninsured moterists (the only thing that might cover since she wasn’t driving). Funny thing is, I remember very clearlly the last time I changed the policy!!! It was whe the car became paid off,and full coverage was not nessasary. Minimum coverage was about 71$… I pay more like 96$ because I voulantarily took stull like townig (50 cents a month), and uninsured moterists, that I defanatlly paid a few dollars for, but now aparentlly its gone!!! I\m guesiing I’m just going to get screwed all the way here.
If we get stuck with these medicall bill, were screwed (we just got out of a ch13 bankruptsy because I had a mega severy back injurie, we have over 40 thousand dollars in student loans on deferment)…Any thought or ideas (I have to take care of the wife and the baby and all the new issues and am not getting any sleep). Mon has been ruled out cause she has to go to the doctor and then I have to work. I’ll look for a layer tue (my employer has been understanding, I walked off the job in a rush the night she got hit. I have 6 out of 9 days off (I didn’t aske for it, he just gave it and he used my rremaining vacation time and some sick time).
Anyone know anything about texas law or for that matter how to proceed investigating someone that didn’t have insurance and what his assets, income etc. might be??? A little more on the accident…
So tuesday, my wife was waited for the light to change and waited for the walk light, then walked across a cross walk with a green light and was hit by a truck. There was a witness (this was a busy intersection, there were probably a few hundred witnesses, but this one stayed, called 911, and gave statment). The witness said that she was hit so hard that she was knocked out of the street onto the sidewalk (as in took air). My wife doesn’t remember geting up on the side walk but she got blind sided (hit from behind) and didn’t know it was coming till she actually got hit (and probably didn’t know what happened till after).
So I was at work, and get a panicked call(from her cel phone), she is crying and desperate sounding and she says that she just got hit by a car…
I ask if she called 911, and where she is. An abulance is on the way and a witness called it. she was near by so I told her I would be right there (and did 50 in a 35, weaved between cars etc. and probably risked hitting someone myself, ran two red lights (my hands were shaking and I was thinking, it was probably some dumb shit like me driving recklessly that hit her but I didn’t care).

So I get to the the acident. She is in the parking lot of the resteraunt that I was suposed to pick her up at later during my lunch (she literally walked across the street from the train station to the resturant and got hit). She seems to find this funny and tells everyone about it. Why was she taking the train? Because she had jury duty, for of all things, assult with a deadlly weapon, and the deadlly weapon was a car (not vehicular homicide cause the victim didn’t die).

was there not an accident report filled out at the scene? if so take his drivers licences number and get a financial report on him you can do a back ground check…and i’m thinking if he can’t afford insurance then he more than likely has no real property that you might can attain…
Was there not medical insurance from your job to help out on the expenses?

This really does sound crappy but my suggestion is find a lawyer…and agree to no more than 25% of your winnings as payment…and if he doesn’t agree then leave…after all it was YOUR wife who was hurt…and YOUR family who will be left paying the bills…so just make sure they don’t take you to the cleaners…

you might need to consider the LONG-Term effects her injuries might have as well…things that don’t hurt now but a few years from now might need medical attention …

I would get a lawyer that handles those type of cases that doesn’t charge a fee unless you get a payout.

My advise is to get an attorney and the best way to find a good one is go to an attorney who specializes in something else(criminal law, bankrupcy) as long as they don’t do personal injury and they can tell you who the good attorneys in that field are.

@SS, The guy stopped and was there when the cops got there. He was maybe 18 (early 20’s at best so either he has money, it was daddys, or it was morgaged to the hilt, cause it was an expensive truck).
There was an acident report including all his info .nothing was done to him because it was infact an accident (and that is fair I guess, he didn’t hit her on purpose). It is on record that there is no question, even by the driver at the time, and a witness, it was his fault, he just didn’t look. |Even if he changes his story, he hit someone in a cross walk with a green light and a flashing walk sign (there is no question that he is convicted).
I’m rambling and a bit sleep deprived and a slightly intoxicated. Long story short, there is no problem proving him at fault.
The problem. The emergency room visit alone was probably 6 grand. There remains an ankle injurie (soft tissue injurie, will probably heal fine with time), a back and neck injurie that are as of now undetermined (I want a god damn MRI, not a ct that only shows broken bones and bledding, and anyway, they only did a ct on her head), an mri is another 2 grand (for head, neck, and back, probably more, mine was over 2 grand just for lower back a few years ago).
SS, you are abslutlly right about the possible long term effects and the importance of getting them checked out now (I got so screwed when that happened with my back and walmart, I will not make that mistake again, and I will not let her, even if it kills us both!!! The problem is, she is stubborn. She went back to work three days after even though she showed sighs of concussion and injurie and now her ankle is hurting more.
@SS, I owe you a big one though!!! that is exactlly the recomendation I needed!!! I can do various background checks and financial checks (my wife works for a developer, while they have gotten out of renting except for a few buildings, I’m sure the background checks are avalable, if not, I’m so stressed, now I got direction. Knowing whatewver I can find about this guy would make things a lot easier.

As far as the attorney, I am afraid that the good cutthroat attorneys that take cases on contingency, wont be interested in a case against someone with no insurance (nothing to sue for).

rip
sorry to hear!
in TX UM/UIM coverage is removed with a state approved form that you sign. they have to keep a copy so you will be able to verify if you signed it away or you can check your dec pages. let me know if you need help.

do you have health insurance? if so your primary care phys can refer your wife for a MRI after a visit.

good luck!

Here is a really big question before anything… They seazed his truck, how can I claim against the truck (In irving Texas, it is not impounded, it is seized by the city for auction, because he didn’t have insurance, he looses his truck (and yes I mean, they take it, sell it and thats it!!! He lost it!!!
Surlly there is a provision for a leinholder though, or someone like me with financial interest???

I have medical insurance through my work that covers her, that’s the only reason that she got the emergency treatment that she got. Still, knowing my insurance???
They have hired a bunch of trained monkeys. A small retarded arangatang is given various patient files. the arangotange walks through the room while the various monkeys throw wads of shit at the folders that contain the files. It is a rather large room and hundreds, if not thousands of monkeys throw wads of shit at the one target. whatever files make it through the other side with less than 1 gram of shit or more than 50 tons of shit attached, are approved.
Just about evey single claim has been challanged (I have a cold, went to to the doctor, got antibiotics, they challenged it). They paid for my wifes pregnancy, they paid for the delivery, they have been paying for the childs medical care for a few months (sorry, no medical records when he was in the womb), And though they have paid without challenge, aparentlly they have started denying all his claims because he may have other medical insurance. My 7 month old son went out and got a jow with instant medical, so sure they had a reason to challenge it). My point is this one is sure to get denyed. Of course, when you are dealing with a company of monkeys throwing poop at eache other, they may not even realize the claim, and pay it???

I almost forgot the best one. They actually denyed medical care for prenatal care untill they had verification from a doctor that she was in fact pregnanant (even thoughtehy had been paying for prenatal for a few months)!!!
The mediaca must be company adminastarted (it not, its ecs, but my god the way they act, you would think it was company administarted).

ripit > Sorry to hear man.
I would take him to Civil court. $5000 or whatever the law allows. Atleast do that so this idiot will think twice about not having insurance again. Or being more careful when driving.

I didn’t even ask…and feel sorry for not mentioning it…do ya need me to come and take care of lil Rip for ya? :stuck_out_tongue:

But i would demand that MRI and CT scan…and take the wife and MAKE her do it…you have no idea what has been damaged and by now the swelling should have gone down enough to see if there is any potential problems that might arise…
I wish there was something I could do for you …but I’m no lawyer or i’d do that for free just for my drinking buddy …

get a lawyer and stop them selling the truck, unless they intend to give the money raised from the sale to your wife for her injuries.

i feel for you man, in this country the treatment would be free (well not if you count having to pay tax for it in the first place and you may catch mrsa or have to sleep on a bloody matress and or get left in a corridor for a week) but it’d be free atleast, but the guy would get away scott free he would simply have to ignore the court orders etc

btw how does that medical bill system work?, what if some bum gets knocked over? or gets a broken arm?, do they refuse to treat? how long do you get to pay these bills?

wow, i’m really sorry. that’s terrible. I hate to be the one to say it, but the first thing you learn about law when you take any law classes is don’t sue the poor. you would surely win, but if this guy doens’t have anything, then you’re not getting anything which means the lawyer isn’t getting anything.

are you sure the guy that hit her is over 18? Maybe if he’s a minor you can get after his parents.

I agree with a prior posting that recommended you find a lawyer in a DIFFERENT field and ask for a recommendation. sure, they tend to throw cases to their buddies, but at least you’ll be able to make some inquiries.

a lot of lawyers do at least a free consultation. you can find otu what your chances are for getting anything out of this guy.

It really sucks that your insurance is so difficult. I don’t have health insurance at all at the moment so that’s pretty scary to think about.

definitely get your wife all of the testing and treatment she needs. Her health is the number one concern whether she likes it or not. I’ve had some things happen in my family that caused a similar situation money-wise and my parents always put everyone’s well-being first and figured out money later.

another loan might be the only way if a lawsuit doesn’t pan out. student loans, can be put into forbearance under extenuating circumstances once your deferment runs out. You’d have no problem putting those off.

the whole situation makes me so angry. Good old USA where you can get hit by a car walking across the street and end up tens of thousands in debt because health insurance companies are greedy bastards and stupid kids are so irresponsible.

if you sue and win, it’s up to you to identify his assets. a court won’t collect for you. you can have the authorities garnish his wages, but for a 20 year old kid that’s probably not going to be much. the first step would be finding out if he has anything worth suing for before you go through all of the trouble. you certainly have a case and would certainly win in court.

have you contacted him? The fact that he stayed at the scene at least means he’s not a total scumbag. It might be better to have a friend contact him because I’m nto sure I’d be able to control my anger if it were me. Find out if there’s anything he’s willing to agree to. He might not have much, but he might be willing to make payments to you (at which point you should get a lawyer to draw up a contract). I’d make it clear that you’re not trying to ruin his life, but it was his irresponsibility for not having insurance that has caused you all this trouble. He might actually feel bad and want to help out.

I wish you and your wife all the best.

Yoiu defanatlly hit on a few of my concerns. If the guy doesn’t have money, no attorney is going to be interested (unless I pay him myself). Small claims courts limit of 5000$ might just barelly pay the emergency room visit.

I can get they guys information off the police report, but does anyone know how I could go about investigating him (preferablly cheap), to see what his assets are, how much his income is etc? I guess that I could take my chances going to a layer and see what he says? If the guy had a nice new truck, maybe that would be enough to make a layer thing he might have enough money, that its worth at least checking out?

Most lawyers have free consultations.

Check to see what your insurance will pay (if anything). I was driving my dad’s van, with him as passenger, and we hit a steer. His insurance covered the medical, but not the car (because I was driving), and my insurance covered the car (as the cops could not find the owner of the steer). They may not pay anything, but it doesn’t hurt to check. Best of luck!

you would need to take the driver/owner (if they are different people) to court
get a judgement against the truck so you could put a lein on it. then it cannot be sold until the lein is satisfied. if you sue for the items your medical provider is paying you will end up turning it over to them when you win under the subrogation clause of the health insurance. if you get your deductibles and copay that they will not touch.

After several lawyers refusing the case on a contingency basis, one finally took it. It a long shot (though this is a big ambulance chaser law firm so I’m fuessing they will know what to do). Unfortunatlly the truck may be exempt if it is his only vehicle and franklly this lawyer isn’t interested in going after nickels and dimes. If he cannot get a big score I don’t think he is even willing to try, so well just have to see what happens. He of course is taking a huge chunk if he does get something.

sounds sucky for you and your wife…but there should be some huge fine for this guy for not having insurance…more than just taking his truck…I do hope your wife is going to be ok…and has she had that MRI and CT scan yet? if not , i’d bitch and moan till someone hears and does it

She seems to be doing much beter. Still, she has on and off back pain so I think I am going to talk to the lawyer about a patient friendly doctor that would order an mri (them ambulance chaser types usally know doctors that like to play ball). I intended to talk to him today about it but forgot.

Where’s Johnny Cochrane when you need him, eh? chuckles I’m sorry to hear about everything that happened…but yes. A decent lawyer could easily have this guy pulled for everything he’s worth. He’d be left without his precious little truck and many other ‘valuable’ things in his life, but then again, he was careless wasn’t he?