Injured Law Enforcement Officers Turn to Abeyta Nelson
Abeyta Nelson represents all kinds of people, from farm laborers to doctors and lawyers. We also are the firm that our local law enforcement officers turn to when they’re injured in an automobile crash.
Terry Abeyta recently successfully completed two personal injury cases for a Washington State Patrol trooper and also a Yakima County Sheriff’s Deputy who were hurt on the job serving the citizens of Central Washington.
Our first client, a 62-year-old WSP trooper from Cle Elum, had responded to the scene of a one-car accident on a snowy Interstate 90 near Easton on January 5, 2011. He parked his patrol car as far as he could onto the inside westbound shoulder in order to protect the accident scene. He had all of his emergency lights operating.
It was still dark as the trooper prepared to clear the scene. He was waiting for the tow truck, which also had its emergency flashers on, to pull onto the highway ahead of him when a truck driver in an 18-wheel semi-tractor/trailer approached from behind. The truck driver was going too fast for the slick road conditions. When he braked, he lost control and his trailer swung around striking the rear of the WSP cruiser. The hard impact spun the trooper’s car around.
Our client suffered a herniated disc in his low back. He underwent treatment including chiropractic care, physical therapy, and epidural steroid injections. Unfortunately, none of the treatment took away his pain.
After he retired from the WSP, our client moved to Montana to be close to family. Due to his back injury, he had to give up a higher-paying full-time job for a light duty job that paid much less. We claimed the loss of income as part of his case.
The insurance company for the trucker tried to blame the trooper for what happened. We fought back and showed that the trucker could have avoided what happened by reducing his speed and moving into the other lane as he approached the patrol car and tow truck.
Although he wanted to avoid surgery, our client’s orthopedic surgeon in Montana testified that he would eventually need to have the herniated disc fixed. We claimed the cost of the future surgery as well as our client’s past medical expenses of $315,000.
After we traveled to Montana to take sworn testimony for trial, the trucker’s insurance company got serious about settling the case. The case settled shortly before trial for $315,000–more than five times what it offered before suit was filed. This settlement allows our client to rebuild his life with some financial security for the future.
Terry Abeyta also recently successfully resolved another case for a 46-year-old Yakima County Sheriff’s Office deputy. He was in pursuit of a speeder on February 1, 2013 when an oncoming driver came across the center line into his lane. He swerved to avoid a head-on collision, but the other driver still sideswiped his patrol car, sending it into the guardrail.
The deputy thought he was alright, but developed worsening pain in his left shoulder where his shoulder harness crossed his body. After waiting a week for the pain to improve, he sought medical treatment. He had conservative care with a chiropractor and physical therapist, but his shoulder continued to be painful.
He ended up having arthroscopic surgery for a tear in his rotator cuff, which was successful, but he missed about 10 weeks of work following surgery and had medical bills of $27,139.
After the surgery and a second course of physical therapy, he was able to return to full-duty work for the sheriff’s office. Terry Abeyta resolved his case without trial for a six-figure settlement, which will provide payment for future surgery as well as other expenses.
Abeyta Nelson has successfully represented many law enforcement officers over the past 40 years. We’re proud to be the firm to whom the men and women who protect us turn when they’ve been seriously injured.