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$40K Offer for Minor Traumatic Brain Injury Results in Combined $1.14M in Settlements

When an inattentive driver rear-ended a 32-year-old woman, she suffered a minor traumatic brain injury. Consequently, she was unable to return to work as a graphic designer. Like a ticking time bomb, it was an eventuality that another trauma would reveal the true level of damage from her minor TBI. Misfortune struck again a year later when she experienced a second substantial collision after another driver carelessly turned in front of her. First responders cut her out of the vehicle and rushed her to Jersey Shore Medical Center. She suffered multiple orthopedic injuries and underwent surgery. While her fractures eventually healed, her brain injury from the first collision aggravated greatly, requiring neuro-psychiatric treatment.

As the woman pieced her life back together, she contacted William Wells of King, Kitrick, Jackson, McWeeney & Wells, LLC. William met with the woman and scheduled an evaluation for her at the Center for Brain Injuries JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute. While neuroradiologists found little evidence of objective injuries in the woman’s brain, she nevertheless experienced debilitating symptoms.

William filed his claims against both drivers’ insurance carriers and received an initial settlement offer totaling only $40K. He discovered the Defendant in the first crash was driving under the course of her employment and covered both by her insurance and her company's $2M policy. The second driver had minimum liability coverage. Thankfully, William’s client opted for an underinsured motorist policy after her first incident, increasing her case’s value.

However, because there was no significant proof verifying his client’s brain injury, he anticipated difficulty taking both cases to trial – which would happen via Zoom. How would he overcome the obstacle of communicating his cases to a virtual jury in a remote venue? After discussing his case strategies with other attorneys, he was referred to DK Global.

The woman’s treating doctor was retained to strategize with DK Global and create an effective way to explain her impairments. They determined that while there was no conclusive evidence indicating brain damage, both auto collisions would have caused coup-contrecoup injuries, and ultimately, axonal shearing. Therefore, William, the treating doctor, and DK Global collaborated to create a visual demonstrative simulating the mechanism of injury and a molecular view of the woman’s brain.

The animation began with a 3D model of the woman’s likeness before visualizing the cerebrospinal fluid protecting her brain from impact. Next, the neurons within her brain came into view, depicting the cell body, axons, and dendrites responsible for synaptic transmission. To simulate the rear-end collision, the woman’s head thrust forward and caused a coup-contrecoup injury, damaging both ends of the brain. In the end, both collisions’ rotational forces stretched and sheared her brain’s nerve cells, causing cognitive difficulties.

William obtained the entire amount of the initial Defendant’s $100K policy. Then, during mediation with the employer’s insurance carrier, he presented the animation and secured a $750K settlement, amounting to $850K. The second collision resolved pre-suit for $290K, resulting in a combined $1.14M in settlements.  

Partner William Wells of King, Kitrick, Jackson, McWeeney & Wells, LLC is an attorney with seven years of experience, representing the survivors of catastrophic injuries. Will obtained his first million-dollar settlement for his client at just 30 years old, earning him a spot on the prestigious Million Dollar Advocates Forum. As a trailblazing attorney in Manasquan, New Jersey, he has also been listed amongst The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 Under 40.

"It's really important, I think, for the jury to see ultimately what that mechanism is. It's best done through video and DK [Global] did a great job for me with that."
William Wells – King, Kitrick, Jackson, McWeeney & Wells, LLC
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