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Truck T-Bones Police Vehicle Resulting in Spinal Fractures for Police Officer

On the streets of Griffin, GA, in the early hours of the morning, a box truck raced toward an oncoming traffic signal. The inattentive driver was distracted, chatting on the phone with his boss rather than keeping his eyes diligently on the road. He carelessly ignored a red light, blasted through the intersection, and T-boned a passing police vehicle. The force of the crash sent the patrol car flying and gravely injured the officer sitting in the passenger seat.

A beloved Griffin police officer and integral part of her community, the woman riding shotgun was battered in the accident. She suffered an array of injuries, including cervical spine fractures that required her to undergo a one-level discectomy fusion, which is an invasive neck surgery.

Despite her surgical operations and pain management plan, it was clear the severely injured officer wouldn’t be able to return to active duty. Around a week after the accident, Darl Champion of The Champion Firm came on board to help the officer get the restitution she deserved. Despite pandemic restrictions limiting his access to the Plaintiff while she recovered in the hospital, Darl got to work immediately. He requested all the body and dash cam video from the accident and began to build his case around the compelling footage.

Darl sought out a team of star experts for the Plaintiff’s case, including an accident reconstructionist who did a momentum analysis to prove the speeds of both vehicles. He also hired a life-care planner who created a comprehensive care plan and established the Plaintiff’s need for lifelong medical care. Darl knew the key to the case was tapping into the visceral terror of the accident and the emotional response that potential jurors would have when put in the Plaintiff’s position. He approached DK Global to work on an animation of the accident and his client’s subsequent surgeries to use alongside the emotional accident footage.

The animation began with a depiction of the truck as it barreled down the road, ran the red light, and broadsided the Plaintiff’s vehicle. The next shot displayed the accident again, this time from the POV of the truck driver. The visual then showed the accident from another angle, focusing on the police vehicle. A short clip of the body cam footage played before the video transitioned to a 3D character depiction of the Plaintiff. The animation highlighted her cervical vertebrae to explain the Plaintiff’s cervical radiculopathy and spinal fractures. Then, a detailed animation of the officer’s neck surgery was demonstrated — from incision to placement of a bone implant and hardware, and finally to the Plaintiff’s steroid injections. Last, the Plaintiff’s bilateral cervical radiofrequency ablation was shown, where lesions were created on her vertebrae to treat her cervical spondylosis.

Darl and his firm prepped the case, ready to head to trial if necessary. Darl went into mediation with a compelling argument and convincing materials, including the animation. He was able to successfully settle the case and ensure that his client could afford the care she would need for the rest of her life.

Attorney Darl Champion is the owner of The Champion Firm in Marietta, Georgia, which focuses on personal injury cases of all kinds. His legal expertise has landed him several honors. Darl has been selected as a Georgia Super Lawyers Rising Star as well as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer in Georgia by the National Trial Lawyers Organization. He is a dedicated member of the Atlanta community. The Champion Firm has donated more than $500K to local charities and nonprofits and began its very own scholarship fund.

"It's incredibly helpful for me to get that perspective of working with an agency that's worked with so many clients on such a variety of cases."
Darl Champion - The Champion Firm
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