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Damages Summary Aids in $16M Settlement for Woman Struck by Large Tanker

On a late night in Springfield, Missouri, the driver of a tractor-trailer towing a large tanker rushed towards a red light. The truck barreled through the intersection and hit a family vehicle, injuring all six occupants. Virginia, the mother’s, life was permanently altered, sustaining fractures to nearly every rib in her body as well as a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Chandler Gregg of Strong-Garner-Bauer P.C. secured a $16M settlement before trial using an animation outlining the overwhelming number of injuries and surgeries she endured.

Virginia was taken to Mercy Hospital – her broken ribs caused labored breathing. Doctors placed chest tubes into her torso to reinflate her collapsed lungs. Medical imagery identified a litany of fractures, including to her spine and clavicle. However, despite the force of the collision, brain scans only revealed mild symptoms of brain damage. Tragically, as Virginia languished in the hospital, she accidentally extubated herself, suffering an anoxic brain injury, and ultimately, encephalopathy.

As Virginia and her family recovered from the crash, they sought help handling their legal recourse. In their search for an attorney, Jason Smith of Spencer Fane, a former co-counsel of Strong-Garner-Bauer P.C.'s Chandler Gregg, referred him to take on the case together and help the family

During discovery, Chandler obtained surveillance footage capturing the Defendant running the red light. Additionally, body camera footage from first responders showed the crash’s brutal aftermath. With enough evidence to prove the driver was liable, Chandler centered his strategy on communicating Virginia's damages. Chandler met with Virginia and her family and learned how her brain injury changed everything. She felt her former self had died in the crash. To understand and communicate Virginia’s condition, Chandler discussed her medical records with her physicians.

Because Virginia’s brain scans only found signs of a mild traumatic brain injury, Chandler sought further evidence. He scheduled various medical experts to evaluate Virginia, including the first neuroradiologist who examined her. After another evaluation, the neuroradiologist found additional evidence of brain damage linked to her anoxic event.

Chandler retained a trauma surgeon who created a life care plan to alleviate her future medical needs. As Chandler prepared for trial, he needed a visualization of all of Virginia’s injuries and his experts’ opinions so a potential jury could comprehend the severity of her damages. Thus, he worked with DK Global to augment his evidence into a 3D medical animation.

The animation began with a recreation of Virginia’s likeness. Then, an internal view of her injuries was recreated alongside her medical imagery, revealing her collapsed lungs and the staggering number of fractures. Metal rods, screws, and plates were shown drilling into her ribs and spine to depict the agonizing and invasive road to recovery. Finally, the findings from her DTI evaluation were shown, highlighting her afflicted lobes and the corresponding deficits.

Chandler shared the damages animation with the opposing counsel at mediation, two weeks before trial. After reviewing the presentation, the Defense opted to settle the case for $16 million before a potential jury awarded a larger verdict.

For 19 years, Chandler Gregg of Strong-Garner-Bauer P.C. has focused his practice on personal injury, products liability, and wrongful death. Listed as one of the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” by The National Trial Lawyers, Chandler was recently named Springfield, Missouri’s “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers for his products liability specialization. Since 2013, he has been consecutively recognized as a “Super Lawyer.”

"We were incredibly happy with the work product and how it came out. We believe it helped us get the resolution that we did."
Chandler Gregg - Strong-Garner-Bauer P.C.
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