Sitting on the 10th floor of their Uptown offices while taking in the many
accomplishments of Thurlow & Associates, it’s easy to get the impression their law
firm doesn’t have much left to prove. Widely considered one of the most successful
personal injury attorneys in Texas history, Thomas N. Thurlow paved the way for
personal injury law everywhere.
After graduating from the University of Texas as a proud Longhorn, Thurlow first
went into oil and gas law. He spent the better part of a decade as a jack of all trades in
the legal world, serving in areas such as criminal law and other legal matters. At one
point, Thurlow handled north of 100 divorce cases per year. When one particular
mediation came all the way down to a heated battle over which ex-spouse got the
“pewter duck,” Thurlow knew it was time to bow out of divorce law and redirect his
full-time efforts toward the area in which he was most passionate: personal injury.
Making Houston a Safer Place One Client at a Time
“What attracted me most to personal injury was helping people that have been injured
and have severe problems,” Thurlow recalls. “It’s very sad to hear about people who
have been taken advantage of by insurance companies.”
While every generation frequently proclaims the world is getting worse than the era
before them, such theories might not be as accurate as people think. In numerous
ways, a law firm like Thurlow proves the world is much safer today than it was before
the advent of personal injury cases, hearkening back to a time when people were repeatedly of over and over again with no representation on their behalf.
For example one of Thurlow’s cases went all the way to the Supreme Court. The client, Juanita Cazarez, had worked at Continental Coffee for over 16 years as a janitor. One day, Cazarez was hurt on the job, rendered unable to continue with standard physical duties. The company did have state workers compensation, but right after filing her claim with the state, she was immediately terminated as an employee.
“Of course, that would save them money, because they wouldn’t have that on their record for long-term disability,” Thurlow say of the company, acknowledging how this was the beginning of a series of cases tackling the issue where primarily blue collar workers were being wronged by employers trying to save on their premiums. “If she’s not an employee, she’s not on their benefits.”
Once Cazarez was able to get in touch with Thurlow & Associates, the sued the company directly. Thurlow was able to obtain a large judgement on her behalf, and Continental Coffee Company proceeded to appeal the verdict. The Texas Supreme Court then upheld the verdict, causing the case versus Continental Coffee to become the start of litigation for wrongful termination. As a result, now you cannot legally be fired in the state of Texas directly after you’ve filed a state workers comp claim.
Over $300 Million Achieved in Settlements
During their time in Houston, the team at Thurlow & Associates have accumulated over 100 years of combined experience, obtaining a whopping $300 million in settlements and verdicts for their clients.
“We know what we’re doing” Thurlow laughs humbly aware of what and understatement this is.
Quickly perusing a legal archive like VerdictSearch, anyone can access a host of cases over the years in which Houstonians had their lives drastically damaged by unfortunate incidents, only for Thurlow to step in and fight in their corner.
One man was making a delivery in a prominent grocery chain when he was victimized by a faulty dolly, costing him over $100,000 in medical bills, plus countless more in lost wages. Thurlow obtained $576,000 on his behalf. Another case involved a factory worker with negligent supervision who had both his back and earning capacity destroyed by a wrenching pipe. The verdict Thurlow managed to get: $407,600.
However, the majority of Thurlow’s cases over the past few decades have revolved around auto accidents, including crashes where 18-wheeler and other commercial vehicles were at fault. A senior citizen was riding in a taxi in Houston when the vehicle was broadsided at an intersection. She was awarded $325,000. One particular case in Sealy, TX even involved a railroad crossing where Thurlow unequivocally proved the people should have seen her vehicle but did not. The firm brilliantly proceeded to win her $2 million dollars.
Additionally, Thurlow has never charged a fee unless your case is won. You read that correctly – if the case is lost, clients see zero billing. For Thurlow, the goal is to “protect everybody,” not just those who can afford the best legal representation possible.
Direct Praise From A Recent Client
Brendon Oliver is now one of Houston’s leading real estate agents, but prior to this, he was still waiting tables as he jumpstarted his career in realty, relying on physically to help him make a living. One day at the gym, the machine he was using malfunctioned, and a harsh fall knocked him unconscious. Flash forwarding through an ambulance ride to the ER and extensive back surgery, Oliver was in bad shape, to say the least.
“My previous attorney gave the case over to another attorney, who dumped me during the pandemic,” Oliver recalls, noting that he at first felt the situation was hopeless. Then during a therapy session, his chiropractor mentioned how outstanding Thurlow & Associates is at getting results. Oliver made the call and never looked back.
“They picked up my case right from that point on and kept the momentum,” he says of Thurlow. “They always kept me informed on the happenings of the case. It was monumental service and I want to give them a shouthout in any way possible because of the work they did.”
As of the settlement itself, part of the agreement included a non-disclosure, but Brendon Oliver is able to admit the amount was a great result. “It was life-changing,” he says. “The outcome improved my ability to move forward from the incident.”
Perhaps most importantly, Oliver is glad that a financial outcome like this has resulted in the providers of these facilities doing a better job of checking their equipment to make sure everything is the good working order. This will ultimately prevent future injuries at Houston heath clubs.
The Firm’s Mission Continues
Back on the 10th floor, Thomas N. Thurlow sites behind the desk in his corner office overlooking thousands of cars whizzing by on the 610 Loop, many of them speeding recklessly, others nearly parked bumper-to-bumper at a standstill. When viewed from up above, you just know how many innocent men, women and children are destined to be wronged while driving daily on those highly dangerous roads.
And when those Houstonians are hurt, Thurlow will be waiting for the phone to ring so he can help make things right.