KILLEEN, Texas – Mariah Carey isn’t the only one who loves Christmas! The Carlson Law…
[KILLEEN, Texas] — A father and son who were victimized last year in a vehicle accident recently received a double recovery in what means an inspiring victory that brings hope to the Hispanic community as well as the general population. These settlements beat the trend of insurance companies underpaying personal injury auto-claims, which can be even lower for minorities.
On March 19, 2022, this family was involved in a tragic accident that circulated in Killeen and Bell County news after the 11-year-old child was severely injured in his front yard by a driver who lost control of his vehicle while fleeing from a shooting.   
The crash severely injured the child victim, who has been on a long road to physical recovery. The claim against the driver’s insurance sought payment of his medical bills, including the cost of the life flight to Baylor Scott & White McLane Children’s Medical Center. The settlement also included an additional sum to compensate for pain and suffering.
Multiple case studies have indicated that ethnicity can negatively impact claim decisions made by insurance adjusters and their calculation of damages. A March 2023 report published by Texas Watch estimated the average difference between the appraisal award and the insurance offer for repair claims at $5,307.35. A survey conducted by Nolo revealed that 70% of the people surveyed did not accept the first offer and received an average of $30,700 more than those who did not negotiate. Furthermore, survey participants with legal representation for their auto personal injury claims received nearly three times more in their settlements. The Killeen family had legal representation and received two settlements equal to the maximum policy limits.
“We are satisfied that we were able to obtain two settlements for this family to help them on their road to recovery,” Attorney Caitlyn Tellez said. “This victory is especially rewarding because the family is Hispanic, where the heads of household primarily speak Spanish. Often, language barriers can affect recovery. I believe it is essential for a client to find suitable representation with the experience to assist with the legal aspects of the claim and the ability to communicate with the injured client effectively. This allows fluid communication between the client and our office so that we can communicate significant medical and legal developments every step of the way.”
The severity of his son’s injuries and the nature of the situation prevented him from adequately treating his own physical and mental injuries. Tellez and her legal team submitted a bystander claim against the vehicle driver who crashed into the family. “It is often hard to make a successful bystander claim against an insurance company,” said Attorney Tellez. “However, in this case, we felt confident that the father should be compensated for the traumatic ordeal he witnessed right before him. We wanted to ensure that both father and son had the monetary support they may need to recover from this awful experience. We sought to get them justice, and we prevailed.”
Navigating insurance claims is often a frustrating process and can end in unfair payouts. Many current damage calculation formulas are prejudiced, and ethnicity can negatively impact insurance adjusters’ claim decisions and their calculation of damages. Moreover, Limited English Proficiency (LEP) can add another level of complexity to claims. These types of biases and risks are occurrences that The Carlson Law Firm has overcome many times for their clients. This family was advocated by a team that knew how to navigate the situation and handle communication with the insurance company and the family accordingly. “During my time helping victims in personal injury claims, these situations can bring forth real and perceived fears,” said Gerry Avila, a litigation assistant with over eight years of experience at The Carlson Law Firm, who also aided in this case. “So we make it a priority to maintain effective communication with the people we help.”
Car Insurance Claim Attorneys at The Carlson Law Firm
Current laws that affect insurance claims can create a convoluted maze that often leaves many victims without compensation. Knowing your rights is half the battle. The Carlson Law Firm’s personal injury attorneys have ample experience successfully handling auto accident cases; they know the necessary details and angles worth pursuing to get the most complete legal resolution possible. This case exemplifies how seeking multiple sources of compensation is an encompassing endeavor in which attorneys can work in favor of the victim.
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Shanilis Ortiz Reyes