Visualize Your Case
Car Crash Settles Pre-Suit for More Than Double Initial Offer by Leveraging Damages Animation

In September 2020, a thunderstorm echoed in the distance in Palm Beach County. The streets were slick with rainwater. A man sped westbound in his new white Range Rover, approaching the intersection in front of the I-95 exit ramp. He quickly passed several vehicles and barreled into the junction on a red light, crashing into the driver’s side of a large pickup truck at over 40 miles per hour. First responders arrived shortly and found the 50-year-old pickup driver barely conscious, bleeding from the left side of his head. He was loaded onto a stretcher and taken to a local hospital.

The man suffered a staggering number of injuries, including a large scalp hematoma, a collapsed lung, and multiple rib fractures. The collision caused a diaphragmatic rupture, forcing his stomach into his chest cavity. Despite being placed in a full-body brace, the man’s recovery was agonizing. In addition, he suffered excruciating headaches and other signs of a traumatic brain injury. Medical imagery revealed evidence of a diffuse axonal injury and white matter damage.

After he was released from the hospital, an attorney friend of the man referred the case to Richard D. Schuler of Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A. Richard discovered his client worked as a handyman for a large corporation in Missouri. Since the Ford F-350 he was driving was owned by his employer, he was covered under the company’s underinsured motorist policy. As a result, once he received the $100,000 policy from the other driver’s carrier, Richard shifted his attention to his client’s insurance. He arranged for the man to be evaluated by several medical specialists, including a surgeon, a neuropsychologist, and a physiatrist.

The man’s soft tissue and skeletal injuries healed remarkably well, to the point where — apart from surgical scars on his left side — he looked unharmed. However, his headaches worsened severely. A neurosurgeon took CT scans of the man’s brain and couldn’t believe what he saw: a massive buildup of fluid accumulated in his frontal cortex. The man underwent emergency brain surgery to relieve the pressure and siphon the liquid from his skull. While his headaches stopped, the brain damage was substantial and permanent. Richard knew his client would never be the same.

To illustrate the severity of his client’s damages, Richard looked to bolster his evidence with a visual demonstrative before filing suit. He brought on DK Global to collaborate with his experts, review the medical records, and create an animation summarizing his client's injuries.

The animation commenced with photographs of both mangled vehicles. Then, a picture of the man post-surgery showed his head riddled with staples, bandages, and tubes to remove the liquid from his brain. His likeness was recreated into a 3D model to depict his injuries. Next, his CT scans and MRIs were superimposed over the model to identify the location and gravity of his traumatic brain injuries. As each afflicted lobe was highlighted, the corresponding deficits were listed: severe PTSD, depression, hyperemotionality, and impaired memory. Finally, the animation concluded with his medical expenses amounting to over $800,000, revealing he would need permanent medical care.

Almost a year after the accident, Richard shared the presentation with the opposition during mediation. Initially, they argued over the severity of the Plaintiff’s injuries, with the defense offering to settle the case for $2M. However, after replaying the animation, both parties agreed to settle the case for $5.1M — more than double the Defense’s initial offer.

For nearly 50 years, Richard D. Schuler of Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A. has represented the victims of catastrophic injuries in Florida, resulting in nearly $1 billion in settlements. Voted by his peers as one of the “Best Lawyers in America,” Richard has tried over 200 jury trials in Florida. Notably, Richard represented the family of Robert Stevens, a local journalist who died from the 2001 Anthrax attacks.

"Between photographs and artistic depictions, the final product was beautiful. There's no question that it helped resolve the case faster."
Richard D. Schuler – Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A.
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