Confidential Traumatic Brain Injury/Truck Accident
Type of Case: Traumatic Brain Injury/Truck Accident
Name of Case: Withheld Pursuant to Agreement
Result: $2,000,000 settlement
Date of Settlement: March 22, 2010
Facts: Plaintiff, a twelve year old boy, was a passenger in his mother's car which was hit by a fourteen wheeler at an intersection. The plaintiff sustained a severe traumatic brain injury, visible on both CT scan and MRI and was in a coma for over a month after the accident. His mother was also killed in the crash. He returned to school approximately eight months after the accident and received virtually no treatment or special services after that time. Remarkably, without any significant accommodation by the school system he consistently achieved high grades and at the time of the settlement was receiving A's and B's in Honors College prep classes and it was anticipated he would attend college.
The police concluded, based on two witness statements that the plaintiff's mother was to blame for having darted in front of the fourteen wheeler. Accordingly, the defendant driver and his employer denied liability and also claimed that the plaintiff had no significant effects from his brain injury.
By working with highly qualified experts in accident reconstruction and truck safety, we were able to demonstrate that the accident was caused by the truck's failure to have properly working brakes, together with the driver's excessive speed.
Similarly, we were able to demonstrate that although the plaintiff did well in school and scored well on standardized test, that his traumatic brain injury had a significant impact on his social functioning and ability to make friends. At the time of the settlement, we were prepared to present before and after witnesses who could describe the difference in the plaintiff due to the accident. This was also supported by citation to relevant medical literature and the anticipated expert testimony of a neuropsychologist and a life care planner with extensive experience with the needs of brain injury survivors.
The case settled after an all day mediation session at which we also used computer animation to demonstrate that the accident was the fault of the truck. The settlement also included claims for the mother's wrongful death.