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Distracted Driver Causes Life-Altering TBI in a T-Bone Collision

A peaceful morning commute took a harrowing turn when a man in his new white Range Rover sped westbound towards an intersection in front of the I-95 exit ramp. He barreled into the junction on a red light, smashing into the driver-side door of a large Chevy pickup truck at over 40 miles per hour. When first responders arrived, they found the 50-year-old pickup driver barely conscious, bleeding from the left side of his head.

Upon arriving at the local hospital, the medical team assessed his catastrophic injuries: multiple fractures, a lung contusion, a ruptured diaphragm, and, most concerning of all, a traumatic brain injury. The impact was so direct and brutal that it forced the pickup driver’s stomach into his chest cavity. During recovery, he experienced headaches and memory loss, a sign of traumatic brain injury. A radiology report uncovered signs of a diffuse axonal injury and white matter damage in his frontal and temporal lobes.

Richard Schuler, a civil trial attorney at Schuler, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter, P.A, was referred to the case. He arranged for his client to be evaluated by several medical specialists, including a surgeon, a neuropsychologist, and a physiatrist. Richard learned his client was driving a company-owned vehicle covered by an underinsured motorist policy. After securing the $100,000 policy limit from the other driver’s carrier, Richard shifted his attention to his client’s company insurance. They were anything but eager to pay out the underinsured motorist policy.

The Defense was quick to point out the absence of a seatbelt on the victim at the time of the crash. However, Schuler, adept at navigating the intricacies of personal injury law, argued that wearing a seatbelt, in this case, could have been fatal due to the nature of the impact. The real challenge lay in conveying the profound and permanent effects of the brain injury, which belied the victim's seemingly normal exterior. To help illustrate the gravity of his damages, Richard reached out to DK Global to create a damages overview animation that augmented the medical evidence his team compiled.

The animation began with the aftermath photos of both vehicles crushed in the crash. Next, pictures of the Plaintiff post-surgery showed his head riddled with staples, bandages, and tubes to remove excess liquid from his brain. Then, his likeness was recreated into a 3D model to depict his internal injuries. His CT scans and MRIs were superimposed over the location of his traumatic brain injury. Each damaged brain region was highlighted, listing the corresponding deficits: PTSD, depression, hyperemotionality, and impaired memory. Finally, the animation concluded with the Plaintiff’s medical expenses of over $800,000 and an explanation that he would need medical care for the rest of his life.

Nearly a year after the crash, Richard sent the animations to the opposing counsel and prepared for mediation. The Defense made an initial offer of $2,000,000, contesting the severity of the Plaintiff’s damages. Richard, relentless in attaining proper compensation for his client, deliberated with the Defense for six hours using the animation. In the end, both parties agreed to a settlement of $5,100,000 — more than double the initial offer.

Richard Schuler, a founding partner of Schuler, Weiser, Zeller, Overbeck & Baxter, P.A., has dedicated over 50 years to representing Plaintiffs in civil trial litigation cases. He has successfully secured over $1 billion in settlements for thousands of his clients. His peers consistently recognize him for inclusion in the book, "Best Lawyers in America."

"It wasn't just my opinion. The mediator also agreed that the DK Global presentation would increase the value of the case."
Richard Schuler - Schuler, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A.
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