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Motorcycle Passenger Suffers Life-Altering Injuries in Commercial Vehicle Accident

A commercial vehicle approached a stop sign on a South Dakota highway. Instead of braking, though, the driver carelessly blasted through the intersection. Tragically, the operator’s irresponsible decision-making led to catastrophe for a passing motorcyclist. The large vehicle slammed into the bike, causing severe, life-altering injuries to the rider. A middle-aged woman, she suffered contusions, dozens of fractures, spine, and brain trauma. Her body would never be the same.

The woman sustained more than 30 different injuries as a result of the commercial driver’s inattention. She broke most of her ribs, had extensive internal bleeding, suffered a brain injury, and experienced sixth nerve palsy. Her immense bodily damages required multiple invasive surgeries.

To receive the compensation she deserved, the motorcycle rider contacted attorney Brad Lee, a partner at Beardsley, Jensen, and Lee in Rapid City. From the outset, Brad faced challenges. At first, he didn’t know if the commercial carrier would take responsibility for the driver’s negligence. Fortunately, the Defense quickly realized they had no grounds on which to stand. They pushed hard to settle the case in mediation as soon as possible.

Brad then turned to the damages phase. He wanted to present a case as overwhelming as the trauma to his client’s body. Essentially, Brad knew he needed to line up his experts and build a rock-solid package. He wanted to make it clear that he was prepared for trial if necessary — the Defense needed to make their best offer immediately to avoid years of litigation.

Thus, the Rapid City attorney engaged a lifecare planner and a forensic economist to determine all the damages his client suffered. Brad knew that illustrations would tell the story more effectively than medical records, X-rays, and MRIs ever could. The Plaintiff had dozens of injuries, some much more serious than others, and Brad wanted them all depicted.

He got in touch with DK Global.

Brad and his team of experts worked with DK Global to create an impactful demonstrative to present to the Defense.

The animation opened with a 3D recreation of the victim facing the camera. It began to catalog her extensive injuries, which showed them on her body juxtaposed with images from her medical record. Starting with her superficial trauma, the video depicted lacerations and abrasions to the Plaintiff’s right forearm and chin. Next, the perspective then went right through the skin into her body. The brain trauma she suffered was pinpointed on her cranial nerve. Then, her cervical spinal fracture was highlighted. Sixteen broken ribs were rendered, showing how fragile her chest was. Then came her splenic hematoma — the demonstrative continued by displaying the large laceration to her liver and contusion to the pancreas. It concluded with visuals of the injuries she sustained to the lower part of her body. A red glow focused attention on the sacral fractures, femur fracture, hip joint fracture, and tibia and fibula fractures.

Brad showed the animations to the Defense during mediation. Soon after, the Defense settled for a confidential sum that satisfied both the victim and her legal team. Brad said DK Global’s work saved years of litigation.

Attorney Brad Lee is a partner at Beardsley, Jensen, and Lee, a firm with more than a century of experience. Brad specializes in personal injury and worker’s compensation cases. He served on the board of directors for the Seventh Circuit’s Court Appointed Special Advocates Program (CASA). Additionally, Brad has represented the South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association as a delegate to the American Association of Justice in 2018. He’s also served on the Board of Bar Commissioners for the State Bar of South Dakota.


"When we have these larger cases now, I can't envision us using a demand package that doesn't include a DK Global animation."
Brad J. Lee - Beardsley Jensen & Lee
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