David N. Damick
THE IMPOSSIBLE CASE- Made Possible
What can be done when four witnesses say that your client’s car was completely at fault? You can examine the heck out of the facts and science.
Anna was a divorced single mother and employed professional. Her daughter was the most important thing in her life. So, when her child was ready for her first day of college, Anna accompanied her to a new town to help her get settled in. The most important day of their lives then became the worst. Anna’s Daughter was driving her small car, with mom in the passenger seat looking for maps and things in her purse. The light turned yellow, and not wanting to get a ticket her first day in town, daughter came to a stop just as the light turned red. The 85,000-pound semi-truck behind them did not stop. It didn’t even slow down. Thinking he would breeze through the yellow light, the truck driver (at the end of his day) slammed into the rear of the small car, crushing it and pushing it over 80 feet into the intersection. Daughter was, miraculously, only slightly injured, but she was beyond panic when she saw her mother unconscious in the broken passenger seat.
Another attorney first brought Anna to our office. The attorney met her socially, and knew this lady needed help, and knew what our office does. The first meeting was daunting. Anna had suffered a serious brain injury. She had been represented by two of the leading truck-accident attorneys in the state where this occurred, and both of these firms rejected her case. A third wouldn’t even meet with her because he heard about the facts. No wonder - there were four separate witnesses at the intersection who all felt that the daughter had pulled in front of the truck and then stopped suddenly, and there was “nothing the truck driver could do.” More importantly, the brain injury was so severe and so strange that Anna did not know what problem she had, and she was convinced that everyone else in her world had suddenly changed. It took us over a year of work with experts to understand the brain injury, and Anna likely never will.
But our staff pulled together and one of our paralegals, Shannon, sacrificed her time and own family obligations to safely escort our client around the country to medical professionals to help. We examined all of the facts of the accident in detail. We built models of the vehicles and put them on models of the road. We hired accident a reconstructionist. We took the sworn statements of the witnesses, two of whom were first-responder professionals who happened to be at the intersection. And we found that, if we looked at the timing of events, it was impossible for the daughter to have been at fault. When we matched up the timing to the sworn testimony of the trucker, it became clear that the trucker meant to go through that yellow light no matter what cars might be blocking his way. We showed that even the defense accident reconstructionist had to admit that this was the primary cause of the collision.
Convincing the defense of our damages was even more difficult, and we prepared for trial. It is not easy to plan a trial where your own client refuses to recognize how a brain injury has affected them. On the very eve of trial, the matter settled, at numbers that are confidential. Our client can live, and with our best hopes she will heal.