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Marine‚Äôs Astounding Recovery Poses Challenges for Attorney in Collision Case

On the streets of Anaheim, California, an irresponsible driver took to the road one Sunday morning. Heading into an intersection, the negligent driver made an unprotected left turn, impeding the path of an oncoming motorcyclist named Jose. A 35-year-old active-duty Marine, Jose couldn’t avoid the vehicle, crashing his motorcycle into the side of the car at 35 miles per hour. Jose was thrown from his bike onto the street, suffering catastrophic injuries from head to toe — the most serious of which was an open-book pelvic fracture.

Jose was rushed to the hospital. Along with the extensive injury to his pelvis, he also sustained deep lacerations, a testicular rupture, and disc bulges. Jose then underwent complex surgeries to save his life and minimize the horrific damage caused by the accident. After a two-week hospital stay, Jose was discharged to recover with the help of intensive physical therapy and medical supervision. The accident rendered him unable to serve as an active-duty Marine for several years and left him with significant, lasting pain throughout his body.

Rob Marcereau of Marcereau Law Group took Jose’s case after the crash, filing a claim against the driver’s insurance carrier. As Rob litigated the case and time progressed since the collision, Jose made massive strides in his recovery. He regained his ability to walk without even a limp.

While Jose’s recovery was miraculous, it provided challenges for Rob and his team. Although they had first-hand accounts of the accident, Jose’s medical records, and medical testimony, the Plaintiff appeared to have made a complete recovery. Jose began to work out six days a week and returned to his active-duty position, having passed the USMC physical test.

The Defense used Jose’s restored health as the main argument against him, claiming that his injuries were not that serious. They offered a mere $100,000 to settle. Rob declined.

Rob was aware that he and his team needed to show that while Jose seemed to be in perfect shape, he was still suffering from residual pelvic pain due to the accident. He hired several medical experts to testify, including Dr. Kendall Wagner, a prominent Orange County orthopedic surgeon. Dr. Wagner’s expertise was essential to walking a jury through the extent of Jose’s injuries. Next, Rob approached DK Global to work on a visual rendering of Jose’s fractures and surgeries. DK Global worked with Dr. Wagner and the other medical experts to craft a video that precisely suited the case’s needs.

The animation began by highlighting Jose’s injuries on a 3D rendering of his musculature and skeleton. It focused on Jose’s contaminated pre-patellar pulsar laceration on his knee, his ruptured left testicle, a large muscle tear in his torso, and the four disc bulges impacting his cervical and lumbar spine. Then, the visual showed Jose’s most severe injury, the open-book pelvic fracture. The rupture was then clamped together and secured with a plate and four large screws. Last, two fixation screws were drilled directly into the upper pelvis to keep the bones together.

Shortly before trial, the Defense increased its offer to $300,000. Once again, Rob declined and brought the case before a jury. The animation, alongside Rob’s experts’ testimonies, proved compelling in showing how Jose’s injuries impacted his life. After some deliberating, the jury returned with a verdict of $4,000,000 in favor of Jose.

Rob Marcereau is a personal injury attorney and the founding partner of Marcereau Law Group. Rob is a highly regarded litigator with a reputation for success; in his career, he has secured over $100 million in settlements for his clients. He is a Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum member and designated California Super Lawyer. Rob has also appeared on Good Morning America and the cover of the Los Angeles Daily Journal to discuss his achievements. Rob enjoys family time outside of work with his wife, twin sons, and dog, Pepper. A devoted community member, Rob also volunteers with the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and the Children’s Hospital of Orange County.

"It resonates in a way that simply talking about it, or even having a picture, just doesn't capture."
Rob Marcereau - Marcereau Law Group
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