One afternoon, our client traveled westbound on Leonard Road in her Ford Mustang. Defendant driver was in the course and scope of his employment that day for B.V.S Construction, Inc. and was operating a 2005 Peterbilt cement truck northbound on North Harvey Mitchell Parkway. Multiple witnesses confirm that the cement truck ran the red light at the intersection of North Harvey Mitchell Parkway and Leonard Road and smashed into the driver’s side of our client’s Mustang.
This narrative and diagram are taken from the investigating officer’s crash report.
Below are photographs taken from the scene of the crash. Fire department personnel used the jaws of life to free our client from her mangled car:
Summary of Physical Injuries
Our client sustained the following debilitating injuries in the crash:
Closed comminuted fractures throughout the left sacral area
Fractures of the left anterior acetabular column and left superior ramus
Fracture of the left inferior ramus
Acute hematoma in the left pelvic cavity
1cm laceration to the left shoulder
Separated left shoulder
Traumatic brain injury and loss of consciousness secondary to motor vehicle crash
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
When EMS arrived on scene, our client was trapped in her vehicle and had to be extricated. She reported that she had lost consciousness and could not remember events leading up to lunch that day. She was then transported immediately to the emergency room. At the time of her arrival, she reported lumbar, left clavicle, left shoulder pain and left hip pain. Her symptoms were worsening and constant. She reported not being able to remember all the events immediately surrounding the incident. Radiology images taken of the pelvis revealed acute, traumatic, closed, comminuted and displaced fractures throughout the left sacral area; closed and displaced fractures of the left anterior acetabular column and left superior ramus; minimally displaced and mildly angulated, closed, left inferior ramus fractures; and an acute hematoma within the left intrapelvic cavity.
Due to the nature and location of the fractures, our client opted to forego surgical treatment. Instead she underwent months of difficult physical therapy with ongoing pain in her sacrum, hips and left leg.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Our client also experienced anxiety and depression since the crash. For some time following the collision, she became anxious and upset every time she saw a cement truck. She avoided traveling near the intersection where the crash occurred and was anxious traveling in a car. She was diagnosed with anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. Her symptoms severely impacted her work and activities of daily living.
To evaluate and investigate further her traumatic brain injury, 3T MRI with DTI imaging was performed on our client. A neuroradiologist in San Antonio was retained and found that imaging performed on our client showed clear evidence of a brain contusion with coup-contrecoup injury as well as specific evidence of a shearing injury (also known as Diffuse Axanal Injury) due to rotational forces exerted on the brain. In addition he found numerous signal voids related to micro hemorrhaging in both the right and left frontal lobes, a known target area for white matter injury in the setting of brain contusion. The neuroradiologist testified that our client’s ability to navigate the complexities of day-to-day life would affect her mood, and cause increased irritability, withdrawal and damage to interpersonal relationships, both at home and at work.
We also recommended that our client undergo neuropsychological testing. Her residual symptoms more than one year post-crash included hypersensitivity to noise, inability to multitask, anxiety, dizziness, irritability, and problems with finding her words. The testing revealed that both verbal and visual memory were below pre-crash levels. The neuropsychologist recommended work accommodations to help keep our client’s work environment quiet and as distraction-free as possible. Throughout the testing, our client showed significant anxiety and the neuropsychologist thought she would benefit from continued counseling to learn different mechanisms to manage her anxiety.
Our client was an independent and very active woman. Following the crash, she was completely dependent on other people and moved back into her parents’ home during her recovery.
Our client’s co-workers and friends testified about the changes they saw in our client since the crash, and these changes included pain and impairment they witnessed of our client both in the office and away from the office, anxiety, sensitivity to noise, inability to concentrate and more.
Care for and attention to our client’s needs: Our first focus is on the care and comfort of our client. Her injuries and the mental and emotional toll on her family were difficult to overcome. We always put the immediate needs of our clients before any other steps are taken in their case.
Investigation: We investigated the facts of the case with independent experts.
Witness Interviewing: Part of our investigation involves interviewing witnesses and taking depositions. This also includes police officers and other first responders, medical experts, friends, family and coworkers.
Expert Witnesses: We engage expert witnesses who evaluate and testify as to the present and future prognosis and impairments, ongoing medical needs, and cause of our client’s injuries.
Settlement: We were able to settle our client’s case on the eve of trial for a significant sum.