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Man Run Over in Flashing Crosswalk Awarded Settlement Using Accident Reconstruction

It was twilight in La Jolla, California, as a distracted driver cruised towards a lit crosswalk. He failed to notice the rectangular rapid-flashing beacons beaming, notifying a crossing pedestrian. Consequently, he struck Glen Ruknaitis, a local artist and beloved fixture in the coastal community, who was traversing the intersection. Glen was hurled onto the windshield and the street, suffering a staggering number of broken bones. Frederick Schenk of CaseyGerry and Jillian Hayes of Hayes Law, APC, took on the case and helped Glen obtain justice. Crucial to the confidential settlement they attained was an accident reconstruction that illustrated the Defendant’s negligence.

At the hospital, radiologists found 16 fractures throughout Glen’s body. Three days into his recovery, a friend discovered what happened and contacted Jillian Hayes, a former associate at CaseyGerry. Jillian and partner Frederick Schenk visited Glen to offer their help navigating his legal recourse and medical examinations. At first, Mr. Ruknaitis was apprehensive, but he quickly recognized their sincerity and agreed.

First, Jillian and Fred focused on establishing liability. They hired an accident reconstructionist and several investigators to gather evidence at the intersection where the crash occurred. Jillian and Fred located witnesses who saw the impact and documented their testimonies. Then, after obtaining the traffic collision report, they uncovered that the Defendant was an accountant working under the scope of his employment during the incident. As a result, the two looked to hold the Defendant’s employer accountable, increasing the available recovery.

To deflect responsibility, the Defense attempted to frame Glen as a transient who drunkenly jumped into the Defendant’s path of travel. Thus, Jillian and Fred realized they needed an animation that showed the truth. They contacted DK Global to collaborate with them and their accident reconstructionist to produce a 3D animated reconstruction of the crash using the evidence and the vehicle’s black box data.

The animation began by showing the intersection and the lighting conditions at the time of the crash. Glen was brightly illuminated under the streetlamps. After he activated the beacons in the crosswalk, he waited for the nearby cars to stop and yield. Then, as he proceeded, the Defendant was shown zipping down the street, hitting Glen at 35 miles per hour without braking. Finally, the Defendant’s point-of-view was illustrated using the expert’s testimony, revealing Mr. Ruknaitis in clear view and the driver distracted by his cell phone.

The Defense filed a motion for summary judgment which Fred and Jillian overcame. After sharing the presentation with the opposing counsel during pre-trial mediation, Fred and Jillian secured a favorable, confidential settlement for their client.

For over 42 years, Frederick Schenk, a Partner at CaseyGerry, has focused his practice on class-action lawsuits, mass torts, personal injury, and representing the survivors of asbestos poisonings. Since 2006, Frederick has been recognized as one of the “Best Lawyers in America” by Best Lawyers and was selected as a “Super Lawyer” for over 12 years.

Jillian Hayes, owner and Managing Partner of Hayes Law, APC, specializes in personal injury and sexual assault litigation. She was recognized as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers and listed amongst the "Ones to Watch 2021" by Best Lawyers. Notably, Jillian was one of the lead attorneys who successfully attained a monumental appeal for a woman burned by a defective battery in the Bolger v., LLC matter.

"Everyone knows it's one thing to read about a case, but it really is something else to see it and see it come to life, and we knew early on we would need DK Global's help in accomplishing that."
Jillian F. Hayes - Hayes Law, APC
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