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Animations Increase Offer from $500K to $3.5M After Contesting Severity of Injuries

After another exhausting 16-hour shift in Pasadena, California, a man awoke from his few hours of rest and hurried back to work in his pickup truck. As he approached an intersection and began to turn left, he failed to yield the right-of-way to Roberto Segura, who was commuting to work on his Vespa motor scooter. Roberto was struck, sustaining severe and permanent injuries. However, he made a significant recovery and eventually returned to his job as a security officer. In turn, the Defense underestimated and undervalued the severity of his damages, prompting Roberto’s attorneys to use several animations to convey the truth: Roberto’s injuries disrupted and significantly diminished his quality of life forever.

Roberto was knocked unconscious by the accident and taken to a nearby emergency room with injuries from the neck down. He fractured several ribs, inducing a flail chest, a life-threatening condition that constricted and reduced his lung capacity. Even after his recuperation, these injuries made it extremely difficult for Roberto to sleep and exercise. Additionally, the collision lacerated his spleen, weakening his body’s ability to defend itself from infections. To recover, Roberto endured several corrective surgeries, including a splenic embolization and the fixation of 42 screws along his ribs.

Initially, Roberto retained an attorney who was unsuccessful in attaining the carrier’s $1 million policy, receiving an offer of only $500,000. The attorney referred the case to Ted Wacker and Michelle Hemesath of TBW Law - Law Offices of Ted B. Wacker. After filing their claim, Ted and Michelle discovered the carrier had an additional $4 million excess policy, amounting to $5 million. The two attended their first mediation, where the opposing party looked to settle the case for $1,050,000. Ted and Michelle refused the offer knowing Roberto deserved greater compensation given the severity of his damages. To get the opposition to comprehend the devastating impact of Roberto’s afflictions, the two called on DK Global to create animations that visualized his multitude of injuries and subsequent surgeries.

The damages presentation began with a 3D model of Roberto, highlighting his orthopedic fractures, lacerations, and disc bulges. His skin turned transparent, revealing the tremendous pain and suffering caused by his flail chest and ruptured spleen. Blood spread throughout his abdominal cavity. Then, Roberto’s open reduction internal fixation surgery depicted the decortication of his ribs to allow his lungs to expand, followed by a hemothorax removal. The animation then showed doctors inserting seven surgical plates and drilling dozens of screws into his ribs to repair the fractures. Finally, a catheter was inserted into his right femur and advanced to embolize his splenic arteries, demonstrating the great lengths Roberto went to recover.

Once presented with the visual aids during their second mediation, the opposing party realized it would be in their best interest to resolve the case before a jury potentially awarded Roberto a larger verdict. The opposition offered $2 million, but Ted and Michelle refused. Shortly before trial, the two attended a third mediation and agreed to settle the case for $3.5 million, an amount to assist in Roberto’s lifetime of recovery.

For over 25 years, trial attorney and Golden Advocate Award winner Ted Wacker of TBW Law - Law Offices of Ted B. Wacker has represented the victims of catastrophic injury cases. A member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Ted has also been recognized as a "California Super Lawyer" and a “Top Trial Attorney” by The National Trial Lawyers.

Michelle Hemesath has extensive experience representing victims involved in catastrophic accidents, graduating in the top 20% of her class and receiving awards in complex litigation and alternative dispute resolution. She served as President-Elect of the Women Lawyers of Long Beach and is a member of the Orange County Asian American Bar Association and Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA).

"With medical records and things like expert testimony, there's no context to it. But when you put those words into a video or animation, then people can see it with their own eyes."
Ted B. Wacker - Law Offices of Ted B. Wacker
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