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$530K Settlement Obtained From $50K Offer With Documentary & Animation

Being a mother and the full-time caretaker of a child who is a cancer and transplant survivor is a round-the-clock job, but not usually a dangerous one. However, that all changed one fateful day.

While heading home with her daughter from another weekly doctor’s visit, Shawna’s vehicle was struck on the passenger’s side by another vehicle that pushed them into the carpool lane, where they were then hit by yet another car. Like the doting mother she is, Shawna decided not to go to the hospital, in order to spare her daughter a second exhausting visit in one day. However, in the days after the incident, Shawna began limping and experiencing severe pain along her neck and back - and the pain made it practically impossible to provide her daughter with the care she so urgently required.

Because of these difficulties, Shawna made the decision to try different medical treatments, including epidural injections and even spinal surgery. Mark Leonardo of Kuzyk Law came alongside Shawna to represent her and filed a claim against the Defendant and their insurance. However, because the insurance company grossly underestimated the severity of the collision, they only ended up offering an underwhelming $50,000.

To illustrate just how life-altering the collision was for Shawna and her daughter, Mark called on DK Global to create a “day in the life” video, which helped capture Shawna’s daily struggles to provide care for her loved ones, as well as an accident reconstruction animation which revealed how devastating the accident was, and a surgical animation that depicted the invasiveness of her spinal surgery.

The “day in the life” video walks the viewer through Shawna’s daily routine as both a caretaker and mother of her family. She gets the children ready for school and changes her youngest daughter’s ileostomy bag and lining, which is very difficult because of the severe back pain Shawna experiences when she moves. Soon after Shawna’s spinal surgery, her daughter was diagnosed with Stage III Hodgkin's Lymphoma. She needed to be hospitalized nearly 100 miles away, and Shawna was forced to make the difficult decision between fighting through the intense back pain to stay at the hospital with her daughter, or sitting through the drive home to give herself proper rest - only to drive another 100 miles back to the hospital later. The “day in the life” video captures just how much the collision has stolen from Shawna and her family,  as well as the daily struggles she experiences to regain her once-active self. Lastly, by using details from the traffic collision report, an accident reconstruction animation displayed the severity of both collisions, which disproved the Defense’s claim that the accident was a simple sideswipe.

Because Shawna’s day-to-day struggle was depicted in the “day in the life” video, and the surgical animations portrayed the extreme medical procedures she went through to seek relief from her injuries, Mark Leonardo successfully attained a $530,000 settlement for Shawna – more than ten times the Defense’s initial offer. 

Mark Leonardo has successfully tried cases in front of judges, juries, and arbitrators for the past 28 years in the areas of personal injury, real estate, employment, and appellate law. He is a member of numerous bar associations including the American Bar Association, the Los Angeles County Bar association, the Malibu Bar Association, and more. Mark has extensive civil litigation experience within personal injury matters and has had his cases featured on television programs such as “Celebrity Justice” and MSNBC.

"I was impressed with the two animations and the "Day in the Life" video, because it was new to me. DK Global guided me through the whole process."
Mark Leonardo - Kuzyk Law
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