Ikerd Law Firm

truck driving on road

2.2M+ Settlement (Carlos & Iris)

Working with a great legal team from Webre and Associates in Lafayette, Louisiana, as well as the Patino Law Firm in McAllen, Texas, Chad Ikerd successfully represented two people in a rear-end collision in Lake Charles, Louisiana that resulted in a settlement of over $2.2 million.

Carlos and Iris were a couple who both worked in the construction fields. Both typically worked in the industrial plant industry. Carlos was a scaffolding supervisor and Iris was a fire hole watcher.

Like most in the construction field, they had worked themselves out of a job in a local Lake Charles plant after their project was completed. After several weeks of being off, they decided to pack up and return to South Texas because of the prospects of an upcoming job at a plant closer to their home on the Texas-Mexico border.

The couple packed up Carlos’ truck to bring several items to a local long-term storage facility to store until they resettled in a new location. As the couple drove down Prien Lake Road in stop-and-go traffic, they stopped at the end of a long line of cars waiting at a red light about 1/4 mile ahead.

As Iris talked to her daughter back home on the phone, the two heard the unmistakable sounds of screeching tires. They both looked around, not knowing the source of the sound or thinking it was headed straight toward them. Without bracing for impact, the two felt a massive jolt from behind. Iris’ phone went flying; her daughter began screaming at the other end, not knowing what had happened. Luckily, both were wearing their seatbelts. Unfortunately, both of their lives changed that day.

Carlos exited the truck in a dazed and confused manner. He noticed that a Ford F-150 had slammed into the rear of his truck. Carlos’ truck was an older model Chevy and built tough, so it absorbed most of the impact but did cause several thousand dollars in damage to the bed of the truck.

The Ford F-150 did not fare as well, with the entire front end destroyed and many thousands of dollars in repairs. The driver of the F-150 was not injured.

The Aftermath

Almost immediately, Carlos started to feel pain in his head and foot. He was taken by ambulance on a stretcher. Iris, who did not speak up for herself at the scene or advocate for her own injuries, stayed behind to “watch” the truck.

The two returned to South Texas the next week and continued to have pain throughout their bodies. They began conservative treatment with a chiropractor in their rural area, which still required many hours of driving a week. Eventually, Carlos underwent surgery on his lower back to relieve nerve impingements that caused pain in his back and legs. Both Carlos and Iris, quite literally, had injuries from their heads to their toes. Carlos tore a ligament in his left ankle during the wreck. Iris suffered cervical pain that radiated down her arms and caused her to lose significant grip strength in her hands.

For many months after the wreck, in addition to their neck, back, and leg pain, both had trouble sleeping, mood swings, depression, and other new ailments. Eventually, it was realized they may be suffering from a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Both were tested and they were referred to specialists. After an evaluation, they were diagnosed with TBIs relating to this collision, which was around 20–35 mph.

The driver of the Ford F-150 was driving a “demo” or demonstrator vehicle for a local car dealership. Unfortunately, the insurance policy covering this wreck only had $2 million in coverage.

We were prepared to prove and argue to a jury that Carlos and Iris’ damages must be compensated for a lot more than $2 million. The costs of their future care for the TBIs alone far exceeded the coverage in the case. Carlos had lost his ability to work in the only trade he knew, while Iris was able to find vastly lower-paying work in the home care industry.

After making a policy limit demand and requiring the insurance company to pay judicial interest above those limits, we were able to reach a settlement of $2,217,128.

Money does not and will not make their back pain go away or their headaches completely disappear. However, it has relieved some financial stress related to being unable to work. Additionally, this compensation will allow them to continue to receive treatment and medical procedures to alleviate their pain.

How the Ikerd Law Firm Helped

Carlos and Iris were amazing clients, and I continue to reach out to them often to check in. They were also great because of the seriousness with which they took care of their health during the litigation. Both lived over an hour from the main town, where most of their healthcare providers were located. Nevertheless, they made multiple trips a week to seek the care they needed to try to correct or at least relieve some of the pain they were experiencing on a daily basis.

It is a blessing to be able to do this work to represent people like Carlos and Iris. I know they would never trade the money from this settlement for their health. But if you find yourself in a similar situation with significant injuries and in need of someone to stand up for you, I would be honored at the opportunity to discuss your potential case. Contact us today at the Ikerd Law Firm for a free consultation.

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