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Full $20M Policy Recovered for Motorcycle Rider Struck by Truck Wheel on Freeway

A tractor-trailer cruised along the 101 freeway in Los Angeles. Lack of adequate maintenance had worn down the truck’s undercarriage, and the driver was oblivious to how bad it had gotten. Suddenly, the big rig’s dual-wheel hub assembly broke free from the truck, hurdling backward into oncoming traffic. Not far behind, a motorcyclist named Mark was making his daily commute to work. Mark tried to swerve away from the careening tires, but one of the wheels struck his left foot and ankle. Six months after the collision, Spencer Lucas of Panish | Shea | Boyle | Ravipudi LLP got involved in the case to help fight for Mark and recovered the full $20 million insurance policy.

After being struck by the wheel, Mark tumbled onto the freeway. His foot was mangled, but he managed to crawl to the shoulder and await medical services. Mark then began an arduous and painful recovery. Doctors informed Mark that even in the best circumstances, he would feel constant pain, going so far as to recommend amputating his foot. Fortunately, Spencer Lucas helped guide Mark through his medical care. They found a physician who could help Mark and, through multiple invasive orthopedic and plastic surgeries, saved him from losing his foot.

Throughout litigation, the Defense attempted to push liability off to other entities. For instance, they tried to blame repair shops that worked on the wheel hub assembly for the tractor-trailer. However, Spencer fought to hold the Defendants responsible for their negligent vehicle maintenance and lack of awareness of the faulty parts on their company vehicles. Spencer gathered and utilized a team of experts to determine the insurance carriers’ liability. After his first two demands for the full insurance policy were rejected, Spencer reached out to DK Global for a visual demonstrative.

DK Global worked with Spencer and the team of experts he built to animate the complex and invasive surgeries Mark underwent. The presentation began by depicting the medical free flap covering Mark’s injured lower leg. The bones of Mark’s foot came into view, showing the screws were placed in his tarsal bones shortly after the incident to piece his bones back together. Next, a scalpel cuts into Mark’s ankle. A bone saw sliced through his fibula, removing an 8 cm chunk to use a bone graft. Then, the bone saw removed the bottom of Mark’s tibia and ankle bone, replacing the joint with the bone graft. Last, a metal bar was fed up the bottom of Mark’s foot into his femur bones, held in place with surgical screws, to stabilize his rebuilt foot.

Spencer presented the visuals to the several layers of insurance adjusters, informing them that if they couldn’t reach a settlement, he would show the animation to a jury and let them decide. After viewing the animation, the Defense saw the case’s verdict value and accepted Spencer’s third demand for the full $20 million policy.

Spencer Lucas is a trial lawyer and partner at Panish | Shea | Boyle | Ravipudi LLP, specializing in litigating complex catastrophic personal injury, products liability, wrongful death, and sexual abuse cases. He has successfully recovered over $500 million for his clients and is ranked among the Top 100 Southern California Super Lawyers. He is also currently serving a leadership role in California, representing survivors of sexual abuse as Plaintiffs’ Co-Liaison Counsel in the Southern California Clergy matters.

"Working with DK Global was an absolute pleasure. Not only the end product, but the collaborative process, the feedback and the creative ideas."
Spencer Lucas - Panish | Shea | Boyle | Ravipudi LLP
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