The Cowboys’ young sensation was sued yesterday in Collin County district court after he caused a wreck in January 2017, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Zeke Elliott was driving to the Cowboys headquarters at 7:00 o’clock a.m. when he ran a light on the Dallas North Tollway in Frisco and apparently severely injured Ronnie Hill.
We here at Berenson Injury Law are obsessed with car wrecks and sports and we blogged about the crash here.
Zeke, who is 23, ran for 983 yards last season and scored seven touchdowns despite being suspended for six games for legal reasons. He was the #1 rusher in the NFL his rookie season.
Hill’s attorney said that his client was left with “serious, life-altering injuries,” so apparently his neck and back discs have been damaged.
Hill’s expensive BMW was totalled with over $33,000 in property damage. Media accounts initially downplayed the wreck, calling it a fender-bender. Both vehicles were driven away from the scene and no ambulance was called for Hill.
Of course injuries can be delayed and in the state of shock — and maybe here a little celebrity worship — the injured person may not rush to an ER or begin feeling pain until hours or even days afterwards.
Zeke was driving a huge GMC Yukon when he “accidentally” ran a red light, according to the police report which was apparently written by a big Cowboys fan.
The Yukon hit the BMW on the front driver’ side panel and, according to the lawsuit, caused it spin more than 90 degrees. A tow truck was required to pull the two vehicles apart, as they were wedged together. The air bags deployed in the Yukon but not in the BMW.
Hill sought emergency medical treatment that day and has apparently been treating with physicians since. No specific information is given about the nature of the injuries. Often petitions are silent as to details, especially in high profile cases.
Zeke tweeted later that day that “I’m good. I’ve been in bigger collisions. Lol.” It is hard to believe that this huge athlete would have been injured as injured as an average person in his huge vehicle. And he must be used to being hit over the years as a football player.
Hill’s attorney has been trying to negotiate a settlement with Zeke’s insurance company. He gave credit to the football player for admitting fault at the scene and for cooperating with his insurance company. Cooperation from the insured driver is required or the insurance coverage can be voided.
Hill said he was a big fan of Zeke and the Cowboys, who are in training camp in California. The team plays its first preseason game next week. Yesterday also kicked off the NFL season.
Zeke was sued personally, which is required by Texas law. Other states permit a plaintiff to sue the driver’s insurance company directly. This pro insurance company rule was written so that a jury does not find out that the defendant driver is covered by liability insurance, which will supposedly bias the jurors and cause them to award a higher sum of money. However almost everyone on a jury has liability insurance and has to assume that the defendant, who is represented by an experienced attorney, does too.
Will the lawsuit affect the star’s upcoming season which begins with the preseason game next week? Presumably not. Venus Williams was also sued for causing a car wreck several years ago and is still one of the world’s best women’s tennis players at the age of 38.
OK all you Cowboys fans, here are some interesting facts from wikipedia for you to impress your football friends with:
2016 season: #1 rusher in the NFL as a rookie
2017 season: legal problems limit him to 10 games
Zeke is no stranger to adversity during the football season. It is unlikely this this new lawsuit will affect his attempt to get the Cowboys into the playoffs.
Sports and controversy seem to go hand in hand these days — especially in Columbus, Ohio. They are keeping a lot of attorneys busy with all of Ohio State’s sports scandals:
Back to the Frisco crash, can you be injured in a crash like that one?
Zeke may not have been injured in this wreck and even joked about it. But his stats showed that he weighs 225 pounds, is about six feet tall, and could run the 40-yard-dash in 4.47 seconds. He was all muscle and was in amazing shape.
But what about the typical person who isn’t in good physical condition and is crashed into? Should an insurance company be able to deny or minimize a claim due to an apparent lack of property damage to his or another vehicle or claim the lack of an ambulance ride to a hospital proves that person was not injured? They do it all the time.
Should you hire an injury lawyer in a visually minor impact case?
That depends on whether you were injured, whether liability is clear, and other factors.
The attorney can assist you in many ways. He will obtain the police report, speak with the police officer and eyewitnesses, investigate the vehicles, file required documents, and obtain evidence that will help you. He can help you get the medical treatment you need and your medical bills paid and work to see that you receive a fair settlement or jury award.
Or you might want to handle these details yourself. This is usually not a good idea, but we can give you free tips on what to do should you decide to take this route.
But remember that your injuries may not be as minor as you thought they were on the first day. And that the insurance company adjuster may make you a small offer of settlement. Then you will have to hire a personal injury lawyer, at which time it may be too late for him to build your case and win your case at trial.
We are confident that this case will settle out of court for a reasonable amount of money (that will not be disclosed) and that Zeke will have another great season.