Bayou City

After Near-Fatal Car Accident, Houston PR Man Dolcefino Will Likely Pay for It Too

Wayne Dolcefino, right, holds a press conference for former candidate for Precinct 6 constable, Richard Gonzales.
Wayne Dolcefino, right, holds a press conference for former candidate for Precinct 6 constable, Richard Gonzales. Photo by Meagan Flynn
Wayne Dolcefino, owner of Dolcefino Consulting and former reporter at KTRK, thought that AT&T was going to be paying his medical bills for a long time.

Back in April, he was hit by a driver who, according to the lawsuit Dolcefino filed, was trying to pass slow traffic and crossed right into Dolcefino's lane, smashing into Dolcefino's Lexus head-on. Dolcefino suffered from a brain bleed and subdural hematoma — a traumatic brain injury. He had a broken foot and pelvis, as every bone in his right leg was pushed upward. Bones were sticking out of his body and he had to be Lifeflighted to two different hospitals, in San Angelo and San Antonio, before doctors could begin several surgeries. By the time Dolcefino went home to Houston in a wheelchair, he was looking at north of a quarter million dollars in medical bills.

The driver who hit him had only $50,000 in insurance, Dolcefino said.

So Dolcefino, no stranger to the civil court system, hired a lawyer, Tom Crossley: He looked up the driver's LinkedIn page, discovered he worked for AT&T, and tacked AT&T onto the lawsuit along with the driver, presuming the driver may have been on the clock at the time of the crash.

Turns out, according to AT&T, not only was the driver not working at the time of the crash, but he didn't work for AT&T at all anymore. Which means, Dolcefino said, that he probably won't recover a penny from this guy, and probably will be paying for what happened to him for the rest of his life.

"So not only do you get the pleasure of being hit head-on and nearly killed, you then find out the guy who hit you doesn't have a lot of insurance. So at the end of the day, I may have to pay for the pleasure of being almost killed."

Dolcefino said he is not yet sure what his insurance is going to cover and what will come out of his pocket, but he estimates the total costs of his five or six surgeries will creep up to between $600,000 and $700,000. He has sued the driver for negligence and for the physical and mental anguish caused following the accident.

Dolcefino recommended that drivers make sure they have the maximum "under-insured motorist coverage" to protect against something like this. "Obviously, it is what it is, but people need to protect themselves," he said. "If you get hit by a car and the guy doesn't have insurance, it's horrible. Well, if you get hit by a car and you're seriously injured? I have no doubt I will deal with this forever. No doubt."
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Meagan Flynn is a staff writer at the Houston Press who, despite covering criminal justice and other political squabbles in Harris County, drinks only one small cup of coffee per day.
Contact: Meagan Flynn