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Bus Overturns Onto Unsuspecting Woman; Settlement Reached via Zoom

It was supposed to be just another beautiful, quiet, normal autumn morning in Atlanta, Georgia. Two public service vehicles — a school bus and a waste management truck — were both traveling southwest along Metropolitan Parkway. At the same time, Audrey Carson was traveling east along Casplan Street on her way to work. What happened next would change Audrey’s life forever.

As the bus prepared to make a right turn, the waste management truck sped toward the same intersection. Suddenly, the truck veered into the right lane, on a collision course with the turning bus. The trash truck slammed into the school bus’s rear-end, launching it forward. Its wheels turned, the top-heavy bus tipped over, landing on unsuspecting Audrey Carson’s 1998 Toyota. The driver’s side of her car was flattened below the headrest.

Carson had been waiting at a red light when the unthinkable happened. She glanced to her left to find the shadow of the school bus looming over her. An instant later, the roof of her car crumpled above her. Miraculously, Carson not only survived, she was able to walk out of her car. She was disoriented and confused, but once the reality of the incident set in and the adrenaline dissipated, Carson began experiencing severe pain.

Carson was taken to the hospital for medical treatment. Imagery indicated that she had suffered significant head, neck and back injuries. Diagnostic imagery taken of her brain showed no evidence of any hemorrhaging, but, soon after being discharged, Carson faced a whirlwind of symptoms that uprooted her life.

Three years after the crash, Carson’s physical injuries healed, but she continued to suffer from PTSD and chronic pain syndrome. She experienced debilitating symptoms such as daily headaches, emotional outbursts, episodic disorientation and confusion, and bilateral tinnitus.

Both Defendants vehemently denied responsibility for the accident. The City of Atlanta, which was responsible for the school bus, stated the trash truck veered out of its lane. The trucking company claimed the school bus performed too wide a right-turn, crossing into its lane and causing the accident. Ultimately, both parties retained accident reconstruction experts who rigorously outlined how the other party was responsible.

Meanwhile, Michael Braun of The Law Office of Michael R. Braun joined Carson’s legal team to assist the complex litigation. During discovery, the Defendants were deposed, and they shared the bus's surveillance footage showing the trash truck making a last-minute lane change. Shortly after, the City of Atlanta agreed to settle the case, leaving the primary focus on the waste management truck.

While preparing for mediation between the two parties, Michael brainstormed his presentation of the incident. He found there was no way to easily articulate what had happened without visual aids, prompting him to contact DK Global. Michael provided his evidence and newfound footage of the accident to DK Global’s artists to create a reconstruction animation that would clarify who was at fault.

The presentation begins with a view of the school bus driving southwest in the right lane with the dump truck following. Suddenly, the truck is pictured making an erratic maneuver into the right lane, striking the school bus. Then, the camera shifts its view, showing the school bus overturning onto Carson’s Toyota before rebounding onto all four wheels. Finally, to demonstrate the grave and extensive damage Carson continued to suffer from after the accident, two custom slides listed her PTSD and chronic pain symptoms.

With such a strong presentation showing both Defendants’ liabilities for the accident, Michael secured a confidential settlement for Audrey 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, speaking to trial lawyer groups on the topic of trials and depositions.

"As I tried to explain the wreck to other people, other lawyers... I realized that there really was no clear way to articulate what we believed happened. Going to [DK Global] to get the animation became a no-brainer, because it puts in front of the jury what we were trying to explain."
Michael R. Braun - Law Office of Michael R. Braun
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