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City Landscaper Suffers Serious TBI After Being Hit by Out-of-Control Truck

A serene day in sunny Los Angeles took a turn for the disastrous when a truck driver lost control of his vehicle and careened into the road median. He crashed directly into an unlucky landscaper operating a skip-loader on the foliage. The force of the collision ejected the landscaper onto the asphalt, causing a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). Attorney Olivier Taillieu of BD&J represented the landscaper and secured a confidential settlement only moments before trial.

The landscaper was rushed to the hospital for an emergency craniectomy to relieve the pressure on his skull from life-threatening brain edema. The crash had caused hemorrhaging in the landscaper’s brain, as well as a subdural hematoma in the frontal and temporal lobes. While the doctors were able to save the man’s life, his trouble had only just begun. His brain swelling had hardly subsided a month after the accident, and as more time wore on, MRI and CT scans revealed serious atrophy within his brain tissue. Even without scans, the effects of the collision were evident in the man’s daily life. He walked with a cane due to balance issues and suffered from random emotional outbursts. Previously his daughter’s caretaker, he now needed help caring for himself.

In desperate need of legal aid, the landscaper’s family reached out to Olivier Taillieu, a personal injury attorney and partner at BD&J. Olivier was well-known and regarded for cases involving traumatic brain injuries. The family knew that Olivier’s expertise was essential for their situation. Olivier’s first step was to secure quality, comprehensive care for his client. He wanted to be sure that the doctors were able to properly identify, diagnose, and treat the man’s TBI and monitor his progress.

Olivier wasn’t worried about proving liability; the crash had been entirely captured on camera. He focused instead on the details of his client’s brain injury and its consequences. The Defense aimed to dispute the nature and severity of the brain injury in order to minimize their responsibility for the Plaintiff’s damages. They also disputed that the Plaintiff’s brain injury was progressive — that it continued to worsen over time. Olivier made sure his client received follow-up brain imaging to document his worsening condition. In addition, Olivier recruited a team of expert neuroradiologists, neurologists, and neuropsychologists to consult on the case and provide testimony. 

The timeline of the case was essential to Olivier; he wanted to demonstrate how his client’s initial TBI led to years of proven accumulating brain damage. As the legal team worked with the medical experts, Olivier realized that a visual aid could help him develop the case further and strengthen the case at trial. He reached out to DK Global for ideas on how to best demonstrate the progressive nature of his client’s injuries. DK Global worked with Olivier and his medical experts to create a video using the Plaintiff’s brain scans alongside compelling animation to explain the case.

The video began with a depiction of the Plaintiff’s facial and scalp lacerations following the accident. Cross sections of the Plaintiff’s animated head were used to display his CT scans following the accident. Various cross-sections highlighted his epidural hemorrhage and frontal-temporal subdural hematoma, as well as the severe edema and swelling resulting from the injuries. Further cross-sections displayed MRIs from the following year to indicate the atrophy, tissue loss, and scarring in the Plaintiff’s brain due to the accident. The next segment of the video used a diagram of the brain to highlight each lobe affected by atrophy. Finally, the video showed the areas of the brain suffering from diminished blood flow three years following the crash.

Olivier used the animation to show the Defense his commitment to pushing his client’s case forward, even if it meant going to trial. The attorneys attempted several mediations but were unable to come to an agreement. However, on the day that Olivier was prepared to pick a jury for the looming trial, the Defense reconsidered and settled the case for a confidential amount.

Olivier Taillieu is a distinguished attorney and partner at the personal injury firm BD&J. He is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, and The Consumer Attorney Association of Los Angeles (CAALA). Olivier was a nominee for CAALA’s prestigious Trial Lawyer of the Year Award from 2017 through 2019, and has been a designated California Super Lawyer since 2015. Outside of the courtroom, Olivier is a talented competitive cyclist. An avid skier as well, Olivier volunteers for Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra as a ski instructor for persons with disabilities.

"The designers work with you in obtaining the type of graphics and images that you need to put together a successful presentation."
Oliver Taillieu - BD&J, PC
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