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Crash & Surgical Animation Assist in $1.5M Settlement on $500K Open Policy

In West Los Angeles, a woman stopped at a four-way intersection in her Subaru Impreza. For reasons unknown, she accelerated into the junction while her light was still red. Her car collided with the driver’s side of a Nissan Juke, driven by a gentleman named Mr. Alsina. Afterward, the woman insisted she had the right of way, accusing Alsina of running the red light. Mr. Alsina refused ambulatory services at the scene of the accident and declined to visit a doctor. However, over the following two weeks, he developed numbness and radiating pain in his lower back, forcing him to seek medical care.

Justin Effres of Effres & Effres was referred to help Mr. Alsina attain justice for his injuries and prove he was not liable for the crash. Justin filed a pre-litigation demand for the carrier’s $500,000 policy limit; they retorted with a mere $7,000 settlement offer. Next, Justin filed a lawsuit and sent a 998 offer to settle for $100,000. However, the carrier refused, paving a path to trial. Justin identified the need for an accident reconstruction and surgical animation.

MRIs of Mr. Alsina’s back revealed the collision dislocated and herniated his L4-L5 vertebrae, causing anterolisthesis. Doctors recommended spinal epidural injections to manage his pain and numbness before resorting to invasive surgical procedures. Unfortunately, the injections only provided relief temporarily, forcing Alsina to undergo a hemilaminotomy and spinal fusion to decompress the nerves in his spinal canal.

Meanwhile, the woman and her carrier continued to deny responsibility for the accident vehemently, refusing to compensate Alsina sufficiently. They stated that several firsthand witnesses would back her claim. However, after Justin deposed their witnesses, he revealed that none of them saw the incident in its entirety. Soon after, Justin found an independent third-party bystander who testified the Defendant ran the red light.

Building on his case, Justin retained an accident reconstructionist to interpret the information from both vehicles’ event data recorders. The Defendant’s vehicle indicated she had stopped at the intersection and accelerated shortly before the collision, contradicting her claim entirely.

In preparation for trial, Justin brought his experts and DK Global together to recreate the accident and Alsina’s spinal surgery.

The animation began with an overview of the intersection, showing both the Defendant and the third-party witness stopped at the red light. Then, using inputs and information from the Defendant’s black box, the animation showed her driving forward, colliding with Alsina’s SUV. Then, the collision replayed from the interior of Alsina’s vehicle, highlighting his injured vertebrae as he was broadsided. Finally, Alsina’s hemilaminotomy was recreated with the help of his physician’s direction, illustrating the invasive surgery he endured to manage his pain.

With Justin’s trial postponed due to the 2020 pandemic, he included the animations in a reinforced demand package for $1.5 million. He stated the policy was open due to the Defense’s lack of cooperation. Justin explained that if the case reached trial, the jury would watch the animations and evaluate the value of the damages for themselves. On the day before the demand expired, the Defense contacted Justin and agreed to settle the case for the requested $1.5 million.

Justin Effres was recently named Partner at Effres & Effres and is a “Rising Star” trial lawyer in Southern California. In addition, he was recently recognized by The National Trial Lawyers as one of the “Top 40 Under 40 Civil Plaintiff Lawyers” due to his role in securing numerous multi-million-dollar settlements. Justin prides himself in attaining justice for his clients whose lives have been affected by catastrophic injuries.



"I love working with DK Global. They get it done, and we get results when we work with them."
Justin Effres – Effres & Effres
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