Dallas Cowboys Star Sued For $1M After Car Accident

Everything you wanted to know about Ezekiel Elliott

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.

What you probably don’t know about Zeke

OK all you Cowboys fans, here are some interesting facts from wikipedia for you to impress your football friends with:

Early years

  • Zeke was born in 1995 in Illinois to parents who were both athletes in college. His father played linebacker for Missouri and his mother ran track at Mizzou after being a high school state champion in three different sport, so he is genetically blessed.
  • In high school he stood out in football, basketball, and track and also played baseball. As a junior, he rushed for over 1,800 yards and as a senior he ran for 2,155 yards and scored 50 touchdowns. He was the Athlete of the Year in Missouri.

College career

  • Zeke signed with Ohio State in 2013 despite pressure from his family to play for Missouri.
  • He became the starter in his sophomore year, which was highlighted by his 220 yards against Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game that qualified Ohio State for the first-ever College Football Playoff.
  • He led his team to victory the next year in the Sugar Bowl against #1 ranked Alabama.
  • He secured the Buckeyes’ championship by rushing for 246 yards and scoring four times against Oregon.
  • In only his second year as the starter in the 2015 season, he ran for 100 yards in 10 straight wins, ending his career with a huge rushing games over archrival Michigan and beating Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl.
  • He finished second in Buckeye history in career rushing yards (3,961), second only to Archie Griffin and tied Eddie George with the number of 100-yard games, despite only starting in two seasons and not playing in many games in his third.

NFL draft

  • Zeke announced that he was entering the NFL draft at the end of the 2015 season. He was called the most complete back to do so since Adrian Peterson was drafted in 2007.
  • He was selected as the fourth overall pick by the Cowboys. His four-year contract was reported to be almost $25 million.

Cowboys career

2016 season: #1 rusher in the NFL as a rookie

  • Zeke was the starter beginning with the first game against the arch-rival Giants.
  • He almost immediately began running more than 100 yards a game.
  • By the ninth game, he had run for more than 1,000 yards, only the second Cowboys rookie to do so. Guess who was the first? Tony Dorsett in 1977. And only two other rookies had ever done that in the history of the NFL, Adrian Peterson and Eric Dickerson.
  • He passed Dorsett and Herschel Walker for the rookie record at the end of week 15 and memorably jumped into that Salvation Army Red Kettle.
  • Zeke capped off his astonishing rookie season by being the #1 rusher with 1,631 yards and #3 with 15 touchdowns.
  • He was selected as a first-team All-Pro.
  • He rushed for 125 yards in the playoff game against the Packers, but the team lost.

2017 season: legal problems limit him to 10 games

  • It was almost one year ago, on August 11, 2017 that the NFL suspended him for violating its personal conduct policy. Zeke was accused by his ex-girlfriend of domestic violence. He appealed and a federal judge granted his request for an injunction.
  • After the first two games, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reinstated his suspension, so he was forced to serve his six-game suspension.
  • He appealed and was granted a temporary restraining order, allowing him to play in week 7’s game against the 49ers, where he played extremely well, rushing for 147 yards and scoring on a 72-yard touchdown pass.
  • However another federal judge in New York denied his request for a preliminary injunction, so the suspension was back on. His union appealed.
  • He was granted another stay by the Second Circuit in New York, but then the suspension was reinstated.
  • Zeke accepted the suspension and went to Mexico to rehabilitate an injury and continue training.
  • He makes about $333,333 a game so the suspension cost him over $2 million.
  • He returned for the big week 16 game against Seattle, but the team lost and was eliminated from playoff contention.
  • He finished his 10 games with 983 yards and nine touchdowns.

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.

And more lawsuits have and will be filed against his old school

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:

  1. Urban Meyer, the Buckeyes super successful coach, has just been placed on paid leave pending an investigation into how much he knew about domestic abuse charges against one of his long-time assistant coaches.
  2. His predecessor was fired when team members violated university guidelines about accepting payments.
  3. Over 100 former athletes have filed a petition stating that OSU’s doctor (who committed suicide) sexually abused them for almost 20 years.
  4. Ohio State is being sued in three separate class action lawsuits by wrestlers who claim a doctor sexually abused them. U.S. Representative Jim Jordan, who was an assistant coach, has been interviewed in connection with the probe.
  5. The university is also being sued by divers claiming they were sexually abused.

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.

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