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$2.3 Million Awarded for Bicyclist Injured by Construction Hose

When a construction company laid a large hose for water trucks across a developing Florida sidewalk, safety procedures stated they should have closed off the area to ensure the wellbeing of all passersby. However, employees left the walkway open. They irresponsibly positioned the unmarked obstruction across the concrete for four months, which eventually and inevitably caused a bicyclist to suffer a life-altering traumatic brain injury.

Jane Doe was enjoying a bicycle ride along Apollo Beach with her husband. Suddenly, the front wheel of her bike snagged onto the hose. She flipped over the handlebars and landed headfirst onto the concrete. Workers saw her fall, but no one came to her aid. The tumble fractured her skull, clavicle, pelvis, and several ribs. Soon after, Jane began experiencing severe brain injury symptoms that inhibited her ability to return to work as a realtor.

Jane’s husband contacted attorney Joseph Kopacz of Morgan & Morgan the day after the incident, seeking justice for Jane’s pain and suffering. It took some digging to find out whom the hose belonged to. However, once Joseph unearthed the responsible party and notified them of their negligence, the Defense argued that Jane had comparative fault for not being aware of her surroundings.

To combat these assertions, Joseph assembled a team of experts to testify that Jane’s injuries stemmed from the Defendant’s carelessness. First, he enlisted the help of a human factors consultant who confirmed Jane did not have enough time to react or notice the hose.

Next, a Florida Maintenance of Traffic (MOT) professional established that the adverse party breached their duty to close off the sidewalks, leaving them liable for Jane’s wounds.

To communicate the nature of Jane's damages, Joseph retained several medical experts who attested to the seriousness of her cognitive deficits.

Finally, to quantify the effects of Jane's disabilities, Joseph also engaged a life care planner who accounted for the income she lost while recovering.

Joseph then called on DK Global to create a reconstruction animation to illustrate the incident and Jane’s resulting impairments. DK Global’s team worked closely with Joseph’s group of experts to ensure the demonstrative was fact-based and publishable.

The presentation began with a satellite view of the accident’s location. Then, Jane’s fall was recreated and showed her coup-contrecoup injury as her head hit the ground. Next, the animation modeled Jane's bone fractures, underscoring the severity of her damages. Jane’s enhanced and colorized medical imagery highlighted the location of lesions and hemorrhaging throughout her brain. Finally, a list of Jane’s cognitive deficits verified the permanent and debilitating symptoms she will experience, including depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and headaches.

With Joseph’s trial in September delayed due to the pandemic, Joseph entered non-binding arbitration, armed with compelling evidence. He achieved a $2.3 million award to compensate Jane for the painful disruption to her life.

Before joining Morgan & Morgan, Joseph Kopacz worked as a Defense Attorney for numerous large insurance companies. He received invaluable experience and knowledge that now aids his current clients who suffered catastrophic injuries. Joe has received an “AV Rating” by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest peer rating given to attorneys who are ranked at the top level of professional excellence.

To illustrate the incident and Jane’s resulting impairments,

"DK Global helped out significantly in getting the experts and the animations to match... Honestly, the visual aids make the case much simpler, much more digestible – so the animations, and what DK Global offers, definitely help."
Joseph Kopacz - Morgan & Morgan
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