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Surgical Animations Attain Pregnant Mother $1.55M Verdict From Car Accident

Finally getting a license and the long-awaited freedom that accompanies it is one of the highlights of many teens’ adolescence. Unfortunately, that freedom can often lead to recklessness that puts every driver on the road in danger. On one occasion, a South Florida teenager failed to notice a red traffic light and coasted straight through the intersection, crashing into another vehicle. The driver of the other vehicle was young herself, a mother of one who was 35 weeks pregnant with a second. While her unborn child was safe, she sustained severe fractures in both wrists and needed emergency surgery.

To repair the woman’s fractures, the surgeons affixed metal plates to her ulna and radius, drilling screws into her bones to hold them in place. While necessary, the surgery was intensely invasive. The severity of her injuries required the surgeons to realign the bones to allow for the best and quickest healing process.

As her wrists healed, life went on. She gave birth to her baby and was discharged from the hospital. However, routine daily activities proved impossible with two impaired wrists. She couldn’t hold her newborn, maintain her home, or play with her elder daughter. In addition, surgeons told the young mother she would require future surgeries to restore full function to her wrists.

The young mother went directly to the Law Offices of Brian Breiter and consulted with Brian Breiter and David Chonin. Together, the two lawyers collected as much evidence as possible regarding the case. The Defendant’s insurance carrier admitted liability for the collision but pushed back on the damages. As the Plaintiff’s wrists healed from the initial injury and surgery, the Defense grew bolder in their damages disputes.

Brian’s firm isn’t like most others. His unique background in theatre led him to develop an improvisational trial technique focused on storytelling and performance. As the case headed for trial, Brian and David brought their colleague, Jeff Twomey, onto the team and prepped the Plaintiff using the same methods. They knew the medical details were essential to making their case. First, they sought out a famous hand surgery expert. Then, the team approached DK Global for a surgical animation to complement their story and bring a visceral appeal to their case.

The video began with an animated depiction of the Plaintiff with her arms held up. The video zoomed in on one broken wrist and then the other, where her fractures were highlighted in red. The video depicted how pieces of the Plaintiff’s bone were pushed into place and secured with wiring before the metal plate screwed her bone fracture completely together. The animation moved to the other arm, where surgeons surgically relieved the Plaintiff’s carpal tunnel tension and screwed in metal plates on opposite sides of the bone using two incision points. Last, the video showed the future surgery the Plaintiff would undergo, in which her old hardware would be replaced with new fittings.

The judge was astounded by the animation. A former criminal judge, he’d never seen anything like it. With the help of the hand doctor, Jeff convinced the judge to allow use of the animation in both the trial and the closing argument. Both Jeff and Brian were confident that the jury members were moved by the animation as they waited for the verdict. The Defense’s initial offer had been a mere $250K, which they tripled on the day of trial. Brian and Jeff knew their client deserved more, and their persistence paid off: the jury returned with a verdict of $1.55M, more than six times the Defense’s initial offer and more than double their final offer.

Brian Breiter is the head of the Law Offices of Brian Breiter. He is an American Board of Trial Advocates Life Fellow and a double nominee for the Consumer Attorney Association of Los Angeles Trial Lawyer of the Year. Brian’s 30 years of work as an actor formed the heart of his unique improvisational litigation and mediation techniques, which he previously taught students at both Pepperdine University and the University of Calgary School of Law.  

David Chonin leads the Florida office of the Law Offices of Brian Breiter. Recognized as a Super Lawyer, David specializes in helping individuals and their families who have been seriously injured or killed due to someone else’s negligence.

Jeff Twomey is a trial lawyer with the Law Offices of Brian Breiter based out of Los Angeles, where he attended the Loyola Marymount School of Law. A passionate personal injury attorney, Jeff won his first case shortly after passing the bar and has continued to be a champion for his clients ever since.

"It really helps bring those jurors closer to the case. When they can see a video like this in an animation, I think they can feel, really, and empathize with what a victim of a horrible tragedy like this has gone through."
Brian Breiter — Law Offices of Brain Breiter
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