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Distracted Driver in SUV Ran Red Light and T-Boned Handyman at Intersection

A thunderstorm poured over Palm Beach County, slickening the streets with rainwater. A man in his new white Range Rover sped westbound towards a junction in front of the I-95 exit ramp. He failed to notice the red light ahead and proceeded into the intersection at 50 miles per hour. Tragically, he t-boned the driver’s side of a large company pickup truck, seriously injuring the 50-year-old driver. Richard D. Schuler of Schuler, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A. represented the Plaintiff and attained a $5,100,000 settlement. In Richard’s arsenal was a damages overview animation that outlined the severity of his client’s injuries.

First responders found the man in the vehicle, bleeding from the left side of his head and barely responsive. Medical staff identified numerous of injuries: a collapsed lung, multiple rib fractures, a diaphragmatic rupture, and a large scalp hematoma. In addition, the crash forced his stomach into his chest cavity. As the man recovered, he experienced symptoms of a traumatic brain injury, including headaches and memory loss. Radiologists found signs of a diffuse axonal injury and white matter damage in his frontal and temporal lobes.

Richard D. Schuler was referred to help the man obtain compensation for his life-changing injuries. During conversations with the man, Richard discovered he worked as a handyman for a large Missouri corporation. After learning the man was covered under his employer’s underinsured motorist policy, Richard built a strategy centered on maximizing the available recovery. The driver’s carrier quickly tendered the $100,000 policy. Then, Richard scheduled his client to be seen by a surgeon, a physician, a neuropsychologist, and a physiatrist to document his damages.

While the Plaintiff’s fractures and superficial injuries healed, his debilitating headaches worsened. A neurosurgeon ordered CT scans of the man’s skull. He discovered a large amount of fluid collecting in his frontal cortex. The Plaintiff underwent emergency brain surgery to relieve the pressure by removing the liquid in his skull. Unfortunately, while his headaches disappeared, his brain damage remained, leaving him unable to return to work.

Because his client looked unharmed, Richard needed to illustrate the gravity of his damages before filing suit. Thus, he and his experts worked with DK Global to create a damages overview animation that augmented their medical evidence.

The animation began with photos of both vehicles crumpled from the crash. Next, a picture of the Plaintiff post-surgery showed his head riddled with staples, tubes, and bandages. The man’s 3D model outlined his copious injuries. Then, his medical imagery was overlaid onto the model’s skull to reveal the location and severity of his traumatic brain injuries. Each damaged lobe was highlighted, listing the corresponding deficits: hyperemotionality, impaired memory, PTSD, and depression. Finally, the presentation calculated the Plaintiff’s medical expenses, totaling over $800,000, showing he would need medical care for life.

Nearly a year after the crash, Richard sent the animation to the opposing counsel and prepared for mediation. At first, the Defense continued to contest the severity of the Plaintiff’s damages, offering $2,000,000 to settle the matter. However, after deliberating for another five to six hours with the animation, both parties agreed to a settlement of $5,100,000 – more than double the Defense’s first offer.

For more than four decades, Richard D. Schuler of Schuler, 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.

"Working with DK Global was very seamless. Probably one of the easiest working relationships that I've had as far as putting together visuals are concerned."
Richard D. Schuler - Schuler, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A.
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