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A Complex Series of Car Accidents Results in Amputation for Good Samaritan

Truck drivers have a duty to remain vigilant behind the wheel. In the darkness of a Texas highway, a semi-truck driver raced carelessly toward an accident further ahead. He failed to brake and barreled into vehicles and pedestrians on the road, including a good Samaritan who had stopped to help. The force sent the good Samaritan flying into the air, causing life-altering injuries that resulted in the amputation of both his legs.

This devastating event occurred after a complex series of car accidents. The good Samaritan, a mechanic and single father in his 20s, came upon a fender bender on the roadway. An SUV had been rear-ended by a sedan, and both vehicles were at a standstill in lanes four and five of the freeway. The good Samaritan noticed children standing among pedestrians. He stopped to help and called 911. While on the phone with emergency responders, a subsequent crash took place involving a pick-up truck. The man behind the wheel happened to be a commercially licensed driver who lost control of his pick-up. He was, however, able to react quickly, avoiding the other stopped vehicles. Eventually, the pick-up came to a halt after hitting the side rail of the overpass.

Shortly after, an 18-wheeler traveling in lane five approached the stopped vehicles. The driver failed to react, sending his massive semi into the road’s shoulder, hitting all the crashed vehicles and several pedestrians. The good Samaritan was brutally struck by the semi — his legs were crushed and twisted. Additionally, the impact catapulted him 45 feet into the air. He was ejected beyond the freeway overpass and injured from head to toe.

About 48 hours after the accident, Muhammad “Mo” Aziz, a partner at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner in Houston, Texas, took the case. He faced many obstacles: first, a problematic police investigation completely cleared the semi-truck driver of any wrongdoing. Next, the police faulted the other drivers involved in the crash.

The Defense argued that the semi-truck driver could not have stopped because of the limited visibility of a nighttime event. They also pointed out that the good Samaritan had been wearing dark clothes and was hard to see. Moreover, because the good Samaritan appeared functional in court, the Defense argued that the damages weren’t serious — even though the Plaintiff experienced dozens of medical procedures, multiple hospital stays, and was confined to a wheelchair. Aziz and his team argued that the driver of the semi-truck could have in fact stopped, and that if he applied his brakes the way the pickup truck had, he would not have plowed into the good Samaritan.

Aziz knew the good Samaritan’s damages needed to be visualized for the jury to understand the gravity of what happened to his client. He wanted to display the traumatic amputations in an animation to show the jury the surgical perspective of removing the single father’s legs. Aziz assembled a team of 14 medical experts and reached out to DK Global. Together, they collaborated to create a series of animations that displayed the damages sustained by the victim, as well as medical animations of the multiple surgeries.

The damages video portrayed the areas of the good Samaritan’s body that had been severely injured. The visuals included animations of the victim’s nasal spine fracture, orbital fracture, traumatic brain injury, right shoulder tear, fractured ribs, scapula fractures, and lung hemorrhage. The video continued by showing the damage sustained to his spleen, liver, pelvis, legs, and feet.

The medical animations graphically but effectively depicted the amputation of the good Samaritan’s legs, followed by visualizing the osseointegration surgery, which showed the placement of a metal implant into his femur in order to eventually receive a prosthetic. The video also displayed when stimulators were surgically implanted into the victim’s back to help with pain.

The animations were remarkably detailed and compelling. Aziz was able to secure his client a favorable settlement that not only covered the cost of his medical care but also provided for him and his family throughout the rest of his life.

Muhammad Aziz is a partner and personal injury attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner. He has obtained settlements exceeding $800 million, representing clients nationwide. Aziz represents more than 5,000 veterans and service members in the 3M Combat Arms Earplugs Products Liability Litigation. He also represented victims of the 2021 Astroworld festival tragedy, Westlake Chemical Explosions, and Lyondell Basell Chemical Plant Explosion. Aziz may be most well-known for representing the 23 sexual abuse survivors in their claims against Larry Nassar, USA Gymnastics, and Michigan State University.

"My goal was to have a series of animations that would show the entirety of the story, that would show all of his injuries, and I know that the end work product was something that was extremely effective."
Muhammad S. Aziz - Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner
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