Our daughter was in a serious car accident that resulted in TBI (traumatic brain injury) and ongoing medical issues close to a year and half ago in NC – person who hit her is a resident of Georgia – could you please get in touch and will fill you in. Thanks. S.
My first thought was the injured daughter was a kid – maybe a teenager. I reached out to S and learned her daughter’s name was J and she was a 40-year-old married, mother of two.
I met S and J on New Year’s Eve morning at Grind Café coffee shop in downtown Morganton, North Carolina – a small city on the outskirts of Sugar Mountain. S came from Virginia. J from Charlotte. Me from Atlanta.
This story started for J several years earlier when she was involved in a bad car crash. She told me:
-She was traveling home from school when a speeding vehicle veered across multiple lanes of traffic, hit her car and drove her into a concrete barrier.
-Her memory was limited to hearing a squealing sound and then airbags going off and then being outside of the car. She did not know how she got out of the car and had no memory of paramedics assessing her. She remembers asking to lie down on the highway because her head hurt so badly.
-She was taken via ambulance to the ER. She was dazed and confused and covered in cuts from the shattered glass and, not long after, bruises from the impact.
-She was seen by her primary care doctor and then a neurologist and ultimately a vision doctor.
-It was 18 months post-crash and she was still suffering from headaches and with the ability to concentrate. She was having problems sleeping, was sensitive to sound, had short term memory loss, and personality change including emotional lability and irritability.
-She had not been able to complete her graduate studies in Archeology
-Her marriage was falling apart because her husband was unable to deal with how she had changed since the crash.
-She was considering moving to Virginia to live with her parents.
S reached out to me because J had just been fired as a client by her previous personal injury attorney because her attorney felt there was not enough evidence to support a brain injury claim and the statute of limitations was set to run in a few months and he didn’t want to file a lawsuit.
I immediately liked J and felt she was a person who had a lot going for her before the crash and who now seemed depressed and desperate and lost. I told them we would look into her case and help if we could.
J provided contact information for family, friends, work colleagues and professors to call in support of her story. We called these people and were told very consistent stories of the struggles J had suffered since the crash and the changes they saw. We compiled pictures showing the stark contrast in J before vs. after the crash. At this point, we felt we had a compelling story to tell on how this car wreck totally changed J’s filed.
We began working on the case and filed a lawsuit in the State Court of Dekalb County dead set on proving she had suffered a brain injury in the wreck.
-we had J make updated visits to a vision specialist and neurologist. We compiled evidence of poor eye movement, poor tracking, inaccurate focusing and reduced depth perception and had prism lenses prescribed to improve her symptoms. We coupled this with testing which objectively found abnormalities consistent with post-traumatic vision syndrome, caused by a TBI.
-we obtained an updated MRI report from a neuroradiologist which showed objective evidence of traumatic brain injury in the form of a hemosiderin deposit in J’s left frontal lobe, injury to the corpus callosum and evidence of axonal shearing. This was consistent with where her head hit the windshield.
-J underwent a neuropsychological test which showed cognitive proficiency losses.
We then educated the other insurance company on all of this.
-we sent them medical records and notes,
-we took trial depositions of J’s vision specialist.
-we took impactful trial depositions of J’s professors who provided testimony of her struggles in school and who testified that she was an engaged, valued, high performing member of the student body before her injury – and that everything about her abruptly changed after the crash. They testified she would have finished her graduate program if the crash didn’t happen and testified about the struggles they anticipate she will face in employment going forward.
-we obtained a narrative from her neurologist.
-we obtained statements from her son about her changes at home.
The insurance company for the at fault driver took J’s deposition and then suggested a mediation to try and resolve the case as we had clearly proven our case. At mediation, we were able to resolve the case for $2,500,000.
My meeting with J after the case resolved was far different from our first meeting! J’s mood and spirts were very positive and we introduced her to financial tools which she will be able to use to get her life back on track. With some smart planning and she will have financial security for life.
Wonder if J ever told her first attorney who dropped her because he didn’t believe in her injury and didn’t want to file a lawsuit how the case turned out??