• January 17, 2017

Christopher Cortez Killed in Martin County, TX 18-wheeler Accident

Martin County, TX -- January 9, 2017, Christopher Cortez was killed in an 18-wheeler accident after a semi-truck reportedly ran a stop sign, causing a crash.

The Texas Department of Public Safety reported that the accident took place around 2:40 p.m. at the intersection of FM 829 and County Road 3100, south of Tarzan.

According to DPS reports, an 18-wheeler was traveling westbound on CR 3100 at the time. They say that the 18-wheeler ran through a stop sign at the FM 829 intersection, driving into the path of 27-year-old Cortez, who was traveling northbound in a Chevy Silverado.

The pickup crashed into the side of the trailer and sustained severe damage. Cortez did not survive the collision. The driver of the 18-wheeler was uninjured.

DPS confirmed that the 18-wheeler ran the stop sign, but did not say if any charges or citations were issued. Their investigations are ongoing.

Map of the Area

Commentary

As fact patterns go, truck accidents really don't get more straight-forward than this. DPS reports confirm that the truck driver ran the stop sign and entered the path of Cortez's pickup. Most people would think this is an open and shut case and those affected wouldn't have a hard time getting compensation, but the truth is that insurance companies are still going to fight tooth and nail to avoid liability.

Our firm has handled hundreds of truck accidents over nearly 30 years, and the process is almost always the same. Insurance companies do whatever they can to shift blame after an accident and mitigate their own losses. They might say things like the sun was in the truck driver's eyes, that the other driver was speeding, failed to react in time, wasn't wearing a seatbelt, etc. By doing this, they hope to mitigate their liability by portraying the victim as complicit in their own death.

The law doesn't allow insurance companies to just outright refuse to pay legitimate claims. That is what is known as acting in bad faith. When insurance companies act in bad faith, they're writing policies and collecting premiums on policies that they never intend to pay out on. Insurance companies try to come up with these crazy stories, with little basis in reality, because it allows them to deny claims, but not be accused of acting in bad faith.

Every one is entitled to their day in court and truck drivers are no exception. This means that without pressure from another source and insurance company can go back and forth with the victims, in a game of "you're responsible, no we're not" until the statute of limitations runs out. The only way to compel an insurance company to do the right thing is with the plausible threat that they can be beaten in court and that losing will cost them far more than acting responsibly.

When people seek compensation from insurance companies without the knowledge of the potential barriers they'll face, they can easily be caught off guard and left at a disadvantage. With the right experience and the right preparation, victims and their families can ensure that insurance companies don't succeed in their mission to avoid liability. That way, the evidence can speak for itself, and the victims and their families can get the compensation they deserve.

--Grossman Law Offices

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