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Negligent Armored Truck Driver and Speeding Semi Cause Life Altering TBI to Passenger

At the peak of summer on Marathon Island, Florida, a semi-truck hauling an 80,000-pound load became the instrument of tragedy. Two lanes over, an armored truck carrying passenger Luis Diaz was driving significantly above the speed limit. Its driver, preoccupied and heedless to the consequences, failed to observe the necessary precautions for operating such a behemoth. Without warning, the driver of the armored vehicle cut across two lanes, attempting to make an illegal U-turn. The semi-truck failed to brake in time due to being in an unfit condition to be on the road. The 18-wheeler collided broadside with the armored vehicle. The impact was so powerful that the semi-truck severed the armored truck’s rear box from its chassis and hurtled it 40 feet through the air.

After the collision, Luis had to be airlifted to the Level One trauma center at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. There, he underwent a craniotomy and several other emergency surgeries. The collision inflicted grievous, life-changing injuries upon Luis, who suffered from what medical professionals term "polytrauma." He was essentially blinded in one eye, suffering a traumatic brain injury from the impact. His body bore the severe toll of the crash, unable to resume the life he once led.

Seeking justice for the profound impact of the collision, Luis and his wife, Flor, were determined to hold the big rig driver accountable, believing him to be at fault for speeding and using his cell phone during the accident. Christopher Drury of Drury Law Firm and Ben Lucas of BLUCAS LAW were enlisted to attain the justice the family deserved. Ben and Christopher quickly recognized the gravity of the incident and the arduous legal battle ahead. They were determined to ensure that Luis and Flor would be provided for in the wake of such tragedy.

Ben and Christopher adopted a rigorous “scorched earth” litigation strategy. They meticulously gathered evidence, scrutinizing both vehicles involved in the crash. Their investigation revealed a dozen defects in the tractor-trailer — particularly the malfunctioning brakes — highlighting the big-rig company and driver's gross negligence. Furthermore, they exposed the armored truck's U-turn maneuver as grossly negligent, overcoming Florida's worker’s comp exception and implicating the armored truck company as well. The case, however, faced hurdles when the Defendants appealed punitive damage orders in the Third District Court in Miami. The attorneys enlisted the expertise of acclaimed appellate attorney Allen Bonner of South Florida Appeals. Allen's skilled advocacy led to the appellate court affirming the lower court's decisions, a significant victory for Luis's case.

Ben and Chris enlisted the expertise of multiple medical professionals, including a life care planner, economist, forensic psychologist, neurologist, and renowned neurosurgeon. As their trial date approached, Ben and Chris knew that a jury would need help to follow along with the sheer volume of evidence they compiled from medical reports and the experts. Recognizing the complexity of presenting Luis's medical conditions, Ben and Chris collaborated with DK Global to create an impactful visual representation of Luis's TBI and the subsequent craniotomy.
The animation began with Luis on the operating table, his head held in place with a horseshoe headrest. The demonstrative then illustrated the intricate steps of Luis's craniotomy. An incision was made across his brow, revealing the immediate presence of his severe skull fracture. The animation depicted the partial peeling back of his face to expose his temple, where burr holes were drilled to assist in removing the bone fragments. The bone flap was carefully removed, repositioned, and secured with plates. The presentation showed the exposure of Luis's skull, followed by the insertion of a drain into his epidural space. Finally, his skin was sutured and dressed, allowing the drain to remain within his brain.

Throughout the legal battle, both Defendants resisted settlement, each attempting to shift blame. However, the tide turned following Allen’s appellate success, leading to serious settlement discussions. After years of steadfast advocacy, Ben and Christopher received their first offer to settle. In addition to the $6,000,000 insurance policy limits, Christopher and Ben successfully obtained an extra $500,000 beyond the policies and a $100,000 under-insured policy claim for Luis and his wife — a total of $6,600,000 – providing the Diaz family with some closure after their harrowing incident.

Christopher Drury of Drury Law Firm has been a formidable legal advocate since 2004. He is the immediate past president of the Miami-Dade Trial Lawyers Association and was on the Florida Super Lawyers list in 2021 and 2022. He mainly prosecutes severe personal injury cases and larger-scale complex business disputes such as class action lawsuits.

Ben Lucas, founder of BLUCAS LAW, is a car accident and injury lawyer in the Miami area. His premiere area of expertise is the litigation of catastrophic personal injury cases involving motor vehicles. He was voted one of Miami’s Best Truck Accident Lawyers by in 2021.

"There's no way you can deliver that impact without showing, step-by-step what that surgery entailed, through a detailed animation like the one that DK Global did."
Chris Drury - Drury Law Firm
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