Josh and Nancy (center) with Byron Alfred and Ron Harris (right).
Elizabeth with Byron.
Ambulances and EMS vehicles are considered to be safe throughout the world. Paramedics attend Emergency Vehicle Operator Courses throughout their careers - in short, they are professional drivers. We expect them to be vigilant when they're on the road with the rest of us. We trust they have the training and experience to handle any driving situation.
For Nancy, Josh, and Elizabeth, they never even saw the EMS truck coming when they were hit from behind. Turning left at a light in Beaumont, Texas, they'd yielded to traffic. The car behind them had also yielded, but a City of Beaumont EMS vehicle didn't "observe that the cars in front were stopped until it was too late to avoid a collision," according to the police report. He caused a three car accident that injured Nancy, Josh, Elizabeth, and the occupants of the other car.
The irony here is that since Nancy, Josh, and Elizabeth's injuries were caused by an EMS vehicle was that the paramedic who was driving the rig was able to assess their injuries right away. They were transported by another ambulance to Memorial Hermann Baptist Hospital to be evaluated for their injuries.
Nancy, Josh, and Elizabeth all continue to experience lower back pain because of the accident, and Josh also experiences shoulder pain. Josh, who was only 25 at the time of the accident and was previously healthy, needed a shoulder surgery, and might need a second surgery in the future to further correct the problems caused by this wreck. Nancy had to have a back surgery to help alleviate the pain she was experiencing. Elizabeth was able to recover from her injuries with chiropractic and physical therapy treatments.
They tried working with the City of Beaumont to get their medical bills paid, but weren't successful in getting much done. So they hired a well-known Beaumont attorney named Ron Harris. Ron, having worked with Byron on previous cases and impressed with the results Byron was able to obtain on those cases, referred it to Byron.
Byron filed a lawsuit against the City of Beaumont and the paramedic arguing that not only was the paramedic negligent, the City of Beaumont had failed to properly train or sueprvise him and had failed to act responsibly by entrusting him with the responsibility of driving an ambulance. Byron's investigation into the accident revealed that the paramedic who caused the accident had been involved in and caused multiple other accidents while behind the wheel of EMS vehicles for the City of Beaumont. And yet the City of Beaumont still entrusted him to drive in high-risk situations on Beaumont's streets, endangering the citizens of the city every time he got behind the wheel.
Because of the Texas Tort Claims Act, there is a limit on how much the victims of an accident caused by a government employee can claim per accident. Two of the people in the car between our clients' car and the EMS vehicle had also filed lawsuits, so we were facing a reduced total sum of money we could recover despite our clients' medical bills.
Then the City of Beaumont tried to combine all of the cases into one big case. Byron was successful in fighting that and was able to get our three clients to the mediation table independently of the other two people who had been hurt in this wreck.
That meant that the mediator could focus on our clients' claims and not have to try to get a bunch of separate people to agree on a joint resolution to the case.
Byron obtained a $165,000 settlement for Josh, Nancy, and Elizabeth.