Local Freer Woman Wins a $210K Settlement

Dora Perez, Owner of the Macarias Tire Shop Refused to Let American Tank Company Take her for a Ride

When a drunken employee from American Tank Company crashed into Dora Perez’s car, she wasn’t about to quietly accept their insurance company’s low-ball offer. As a resident of Freer, she knew a snake when she saw one.

It was late one Sunday evening in 2017 when Dora, a single mom and owner of the Macarias Tire Shop allowed her son-in-law’s friend to use her Chevrolet Camaro.  

While her car was parked outside a local business, the young man who borrowed it heard a loud crash.  He ran out of the building and saw a driver speeding away. He jumped inside Dora’s now wrecked car and began to chase the man down.

The police got involved and eventually managed to pull the hit and run driver over. As you might have guessed, he was drunk. He was also unlicensed and under the age of 21. And he didn’t even own the vehicle he was operating.

The vehicle belonged to American Tank Company, a “a family owned and operated company that thrives on the experience, integrity and dedication of its founders, management and field personnel” - according to their website.

Dora is a kind woman with a strong work ethic. When she moved to Freer nine years ago, she didn’t have any connections in town. But she served her community and built her business from the ground up.

And so she decided to call the owner of American Tank and talk as one business owner to another about the accident. But the owner abruptly ended the conversation and told her to talk to his insurance company. (And if you’ve been following this series of stories, you can probably guess how that turned out.)

The insurance company took no responsibility. They made one low-ball offer, which she, of course turned down. But they never inspected the vehicle, fixed it, or offered to pay for her to have a rental car.

Instead of letting them take her for a ride with that offer, she called DeSouza Law Firm.

"Dora knew from the beginning that their denial of her claim was wrong, and although the company didn't fire or even discipline the drunk driver after this wreck, she needed someone to fight them all the way to trial. When we first spoke we were on the same page: we're fighting this all the way." – Jason DeSouza, DeSouza Law, P.C.

Jason DeSouza and his team investigated the accident in order to fight for fair compensation. The details that they uncovered certainly did not match with the company’s website description…

As it turns out, the drunk driver was the son of a superintendent for American Tank Company. And when he was hired, the company knew that he already had one prior arrest for DWI.

Still, they hired him. At the time of the accident, the young man, along with his father and another American Tank employee were staying in a local hotel for work.

Technically he should not have had the keys to the company car that night. They were supposed to be handed over to his father (who ironically didn’t have a license either) at the end of the day.

But that night the father turned in early before having possession of the keys. The other man who worked for the company (and actually did have a driver’s license) claims that he gave the keys to the son to turn over to his father, the super. But regardless of the details of these men’s behavior that night, the question remains – who was responsible for the accident?

Because the insurance company refused to settle the case for a reasonable amount, DeSouza Law Firm took the case to court. And the jury asked this – why wasn’t the employee with the driver’s license responsible for holding onto the keys? Good question.

After hearing from both sides, the jury determined that American Tank Company was 70% at fault and the drunk driver was 30% responsible for what happened that night. And Dora Perez was awarded $210K for the accident.

The insurance company for American Tank may have made a big fuss about how the company wasn’t responsible and that she’d never get much for this type of accident, but Dora and her lawyers at DeSouza Law Firm knew better.

A rattlesnake may sound threatening when it shakes it tale, but the people of Freer aren’t scared of a slithering snake.

Have you been injured in an accident involving a company truck or vehicle?  Injury attorney Jason DeSouza is here to help – at no cost to you unless he wins your case.

DeSouza Law Firm is a leading personal injury firm representing accident victims throughout Texas.

If you’ve been injured by a car, truck, 18 wheeler, company vehicle, or in the oilfield, call DeSouza Injury Lawyers today at 361-799-2222.