On May 23, 2011, our 45-year-old client was driving her child and three other children to school when tragedy struck. She had parked by the curb on Killion Street in Encino, California so her son could put his shoes on. After being parked for about a minute, her Honda Odyssey Minivan was violently struck from behind by a 16-year-old driver who had his driver’s license for less than a month.
The negligent teen had just made a right-hand turn from Encino Avenue onto Killion Street. His vehicle hit the left rear corner of our client’s minivan with enough force that it moved forward several feet, causing over $9,000 in damages to the vehicle. At the time of the crash, our client’s head was jerked back forcefully into the headrest and then forward from the force of the impact.
Our Client Suffers a Permanent Traumatic Brain Injury—Changing Her Life Forever
Right after the accident, our client experienced head pain and felt dizzy, tired, and foggy. However, she was able to walk her son and the other children to school. When she arrived at the principal’s office, she collapsed and was transported to the hospital by ambulance. Once there, she reported head pain, a headache, dizziness, and pain that radiated from her shoulders and neck down her spine into her back. She was allowed to return home, where she spent the remainder of the day in bed.
Our client continued to experience neck and back pain as well as headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. She also had difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and handling the day-to-day activities of her husband and children that she organized as a stay-at-home mom. Over the next three years, she had numerous MRIs and treatments by a neurologist and a concussion center. She was diagnosed with a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), attention deficit disorder, and post-concussive syndrome caused by the accident. Unfortunately, her brain damage is most likely permanent.
Treatment for our client’s traumatic brain injury has included extensive cognitive rehabilitation therapy and psychotherapy to learn coping skills to deal with her memory, concentration, and organizational problems. Our client is also required to take daily medications. Even with these treatments, our client continues to suffer with the symptoms of a TBI, especially at night when the effects of her medicine wear off. She has also continued to receive treatment for her chronic back, shoulder, and neck injuries, but dealing with the TBI has completely overshadowed these other conditions.
Our client had been completely involved in her children’s schooling and extracurricular activities and took on leadership roles at their school. She was also the household manager who took care of all the day-to-day activities and paid the bills as her husband is a busy actor and producer. All that changed after the accident, and our client became a completely different person.
As with many TBI victims, our client’s personality and cognitive abilities have dramatically changed as a result of her brain damage. She used to be a sweet, calm, and organized person. Now, she is aggressive, frustrated, and frazzled. She can no longer concentrate enough to even go to her children’s conferences with their teachers or be involved in school activities. It is easy for our client to forget to pay the bills and she has difficulty making meals, so her husband has had to take on these tasks. She now relies on her iPhone to keep her schedule, take notes, and to provide reminders.
Steinberg Injury Lawyers Aggressive Litigation Pays Off
The legal team at Steinberg Injury Lawyers knew they had to prove the negligent teen’s liability to obtain a favorable settlement for our client. The teenager lied at the accident scene and in written discovery answers, claiming our client had caused the crash by stopping suddenly in the middle of the roadway—15 feet from the curb. When pressed by Steinberg Injury Lawyers at his deposition, his version of what happened changed to claiming she was stopped 3 ½ feet from the curve. The Steinberg legal team did not give up. They sent formal requests for admissions to the negligent teen and his insurance company, forcing them to completely admit liability.
Even with this issue resolved, it took Steinberg Injury Lawyers’ tenacity and willingness to litigate this case—all the way through mediation—to convince the teen’s insurance company to settle this case for $600,000. While this will never bring back the person our client once was, it will help pay for her ongoing medical care, medication, and assistive tools she will need for the rest of her life to help her deal with her injuries.
If you were injured in a rear-end collision or other car accident, our experienced and compassionate attorneys are here to help. Call us at 800-989-6385 or start an online chat to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.