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Motorcyclist Suffers Shattered Upper and Lower Jaw Bones, Skull Fractures, and TBI

A driver employed by the Central California Traction Company, a subsidiary of Union Pacific Railroad, was driving a company-owned Ford Explorer on a road in Stockton, California. The SUV failed to yield the right-of-way to a motorcyclist approaching from the opposite lane. The 30-year-old father was ejected from his bike and slammed face-first into the frame of the company vehicle. Even with a helmet covering his face, he suffered skull fractures, a shattered jaw, and a traumatic brain injury.

The motorcyclist was rushed to the hospital where he underwent emergency surgery. As doctors worked feverishly to stabilize his injuries, the motorcyclist suffered a stroke that led to permanent nerve damage and loss of vision in his left eye. Upon being released from the hospital, he could not return to work. Being the sole income earner for his fiancée and two children, he was referred to Shafeeq Sadiq of Sadiq Law Firm, P.C. to seek compensation for the catastrophic damage he sustained.

One of the most challenging aspects of the case for Shafeeq was that he wanted Union Pacific Railroad – Central California Traction’s parent company – to help compensate the motorcyclist for his life-altering injuries. However, the Defense claimed that Union Pacific was not the same entity as Central California Traction Company. The Defense also accused the motorcyclist of driving erratically and unlawfully lane-splitting. 

Shafeeq submitted a reasonable demand package of $10,000,000, but the Defendants declined. Preparing for trial, Shafeeq tackled allegations of his client's liability by assembling a team of experts, including an accident reconstructionist, an economist, and a lifecare planner. Additionally, he collaborated with DK Global to compile the evidence and expert testimony into a digital reconstruction of the accident and a medical presentation of the biker's injuries.

The accident reconstruction began with a bird's eye view of the two vehicles driving on opposite sides of the road. The Central California Traction Company employee was shown turning left into the intersection, cutting off the motorcyclist. Upon impact, a freeze frame highlighted the motorcyclist's face contacting the A-frame of the Ford Explorer.

In addition to the reconstruction animation, a 3D animated medical overview of the biker's injuries and treatment was presented to provide a comprehensive understanding of the damage and repairs he endured. First, surgical plates were depicted being installed into the motorcyclist's skull. Next, axonal shearing in his brain was recreated at a cellular level to visualize the damage the neurons suffered due to the force of the impact. The animation then transitioned to the interior of an operating room, where an external ventriculostomy drain was placed to remove excess fluids from inside the motorcyclist’s skull. Finally, CT scans of the damaged brain were superimposed over the 3D model, displaying where the internal injuries were sustained. The frontal, temporal, and parietal lobes were then highlighted alongside a description of the impact-induced psychological damage.

Several months after the initial demand package, a judge found Union Pacific liable for its subsidiary's actions. At this point, the Defense came forth with a $3,000,000 settlement offer. Shafeeq and his client declined. During a deposition of the Defense's medical expert, Shafeeq presented the animation. The expert praised it as the best animation he had seen in 30 years, emphasizing its accuracy and attention to detail. Consequently, the Defense tripled their initial settlement offer. Shafeeq and his client refused and prepared for trial, where the offer increased to $12,000,000 and then to $15,000,000. When his client chose to proceed to a jury verdict, the Plaintiff was awarded roughly $24,000,000 – the highest personal injury verdict in San Joaquin County. In addition, post-trial interest and expenses resulted in a final settlement of $29,0000,000.

Shafeeq Sadiq, founder of Sadiq Law Firm, P.C., has been practicing law since 2004. He worked as a Defense attorney for seven years and has been a Plaintiff attorney since 2011. He is multilingual in Spanish as well as several Indian and Pakistani dialects. Shafeeq's impressive track record includes receiving numerous awards, such as the 2022 "Advocate of the Year" award from CCTLA and the 2023 "Trial Lawyer of the Year" award from ABOTA.

"The more I started incorporating visuals into my presentation, the better results I've been getting."
Shafeeq Sadiq - Sadiq Law Firm, P.C.
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