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School Bus Crushes Woman’s Car – Settlement via Zoom

What was supposed to be another quiet, typical autumn morning in Atlanta, Georgia, turned into a near-death experience for a woman named Audrey Carson. A public school bus and a waste management truck traveled southwest along Metropolitan Parkway. The bus prepared to make a right turn where Audrey stopped at a cross street in her 1998 Toyota Avalon. Suddenly, the garbage truck collided with the bus, causing it to overturn onto Audrey. Michael Braun of The Law Office of Michael R. Braun used an accident reconstruction animation to explain the succession of events and show how both parties were liable. Then, Michael illuminated Audrey’s resulting damages with custom illustrations, securing a favorable settlement at a virtual mediation.

Audrey looked to her left and saw the large bus looming over her. Her car’s roof collapsed past the headrest. Miraculously, Audrey not only survived, but she also managed to walk out of the wreckage. However, her injuries manifested over the next day, forcing her to seek medical attention. Doctors identified significant head, neck, and back injuries but could not detect any evidence of any brain hemorrhaging. After being discharged, Audrey began experiencing debilitating cognitive difficulties that disrupted her life. Eventually, her superficial injuries healed, but she still suffered PTSD, chronic pain syndrome, daily headaches, emotional distress, and more.

The City of Atlanta, who was responsible for the school bus, and the waste management company vehemently denied liability for the accident and Audrey’s damages. The city’s attorneys shared surveillance footage from the bus’s cabin capturing the truck making a last-minute lane change. However, the waste management company stated the bus took too wide of a right turn and crossed into its lane. Ultimately, both parties retained accident reconstructionists who rigorously outlined how the other party was responsible.

Meanwhile,  Michael Braun of The Law Office of Michael R. Braun was brought onto Audrey’s counsel after her initial attorney needed additional expertise handling the complex litigation. Eventually, the City of Atlanta agreed to settle Michael’s claim, allowing him to focus on attaining compensatory damages from the waste management company. Nevertheless, as Michael prepared for mediation, he anticipated difficulty describing the event without compelling visual aids. Thus, he reached out to DK Global to create an accident reconstruction animation using the opposing experts’ testimonies and the bus’s surveillance footage.

The animation began with the school bus driving southwest in the far-right lane with the truck following. Suddenly, the garbage truck made an erratic maneuver into the right lane and struck the school bus. The bus tipped over onto Audrey’s vehicle before rebounding onto all four wheels. Next, the incident replayed from Audrey’s point-of-view: terror ensued as the large bus hovered over her before violently crushing the roof of her car. Finally, to convey the gravity of Audrey’s damages, the animation culminated with photos of the aftermath and slides detailing her cognitive deficits.

With the animation showing both Defendants ultimately liable for the accident, Michael secured Audrey a confidential settlement from the trucking company during mediation conducted via Zoom.

For over 20 years, Michael Braun has tried hundreds of cases, representing the survivors of personal injury matters. Michael is a certified “Civil Trial Lawyer” through the National Board of Trial Advocacy, is “AV Preeminent Rated” by Martindale-Hubbell, and has been selected by his peers as a “Super Lawyer” for seven consecutive years. Outside of the courtroom, Michael prides himself on being a guest lecturer, sharing his expertise with attorneys on the topic of trials and depositions.

"I'm a big believer that in today's day and age, people want to see things – they don't just want to hear it. [Animations] go a long way toward showing just how serious we are in taking the case to trial if we can't get it settled."
Michael R. Braun – Law Office of Michael R. Braun
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