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Pregnant Collision Survivor Requires Wrist Surgeries Weeks Before Child’s Birth

A teenage driver cruised down a South Florida street. She failed to notice that the streetlight up ahead had changed and ran the red light. She collided with 22-year-old Jane, who was driving across the intersection with the right of way. Jane happened to be 35 weeks pregnant at the time of collision. Thankfully, the baby was okay. However, Jane suffered two badly fractured wrists that needed immediate surgery.

In the operating room, surgeons realigned Jane’s ulnar and radial fractures using metal plates and screws. Shortly after, Jane gave birth to her baby. Sadly, with the injuries she sustained, Jane was unable to hold her newly born child.

Jane sought out Brian Breiter and David Chonin of the Law Offices of Brian Breiter. Brian and David gathered evidence and sent over a demand package to the Defendant’s insurance carrier. While the Defense admitted to liability for the crash their client cause, they disputed the damages.

Jane dreamed of becoming a baker and she loved to bake as a hobby with her daughters. But because of her wrist injuries she was unable to perform what used to be simple tasks. Moreover, the emotional fallout of not being able to work, hold her child, and work around the house continued to take a massive toll on her and her family. In addition, doctors informed her that she would need subsequent surgeries in the future.

The Defense used Jane’s recovery to further minimize her damages claim. They initially offered only $250,000 to settle the case, which Brian and David roundly rejected. On the eve of trial, the Defense increased their offer to $750,000. Still not enough.

With trial looming, Brian and David brought their colleague, Jeff Twomey, onto the trial team. They retained a hand surgeon to discuss the invasive procedures she endured, as well as what her future medical care will look like. In addition, they also recruited DK Global to create an animated visual aid. When the hand surgeon reviewed the drafts of the animation, he explained to the trio how excited he was to utilize this valuable demonstrative tool during his testimony.

The presentation began by showing a 3D character depiction of Jane. It then zoomed in to the first of her broken wrists, on her right side, explaining the extra-articular displaced distal radius and distal ulnar shaft fracture. The trauma had also induced carpel tunnel syndrome. Next, Jane’s left wrist was shown, with its three-part distal radius fracture and ulnar styloid fracture. After that, the animation portrayed Jane’s surgeries. Scalpels sliced open her wrists while metal screws drilled into the radius and ulna on each side of her body. Finally, photos of Jane’s scars over a year of recovery contextualized the lasting visible trauma she would endure for the rest of her life.

At trial, the judge had never seen visual demonstratives like what DK Global created. The youngest of the group, Jeff successfully argued the necessity of the video technology and got the animations admitted both for the surgeon’s testimony as well as for the closing argument. When it was time for the closing argument, Brian incorporated his improvisational acting skills alongside the animation. While summarizing his case, he pantomimed baking a cake, acting out all of the wrist movements necessary to accomplish even the most mundane baking tasks — selecting and adding ingredients into a bowl to make the batter, whisking the batter and placing it in a pan, setting the pan in an oven and dialing it to the right temperature. The jury understood. They returned a verdict of $1,550,000 — including costs, interest, and PIP — more than double the Defense’s last best offer.

Brian Breiter founded the Law Offices of Brian Breiter in 1995 and maintains offices in California and Florida. A trained actor, he quickly found his theatrical background was invaluable as a trial attorney, using improvisation techniques to captivate juries and win numerous seven- and eight-figure verdict. Brain was nominated for Trial Lawyer of the Year in both 2019 and 2020 by the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA), is a Lifetime Fellow of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), and has been named to the National Trial Lawyers Top 100. In addition, he co-founded Improv for Trial, which teaches trial lawyers how to leverage improv skills to be better advocates in court.

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 as a result of someone else’s negligence.

Jeff Twomey graduated from Loyola Marymount School of Law. The day he was sworn into the California bar, Jeff tried and won his first case. Jeff is passionate about representing injured plaintiffs in all forms of cases to help them recover from their injuries, and to ensure they are treated fairly by insurance companies and the Defendants responsible for their harm.

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"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 empathise with what a victim of a horrible tragedy like this has gone through."
Brian Breiter - Law Offices of Brian Breiter
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