Mrs. C was driving to a family reunion when she was involved in a serious car wreck. She suffered a “bucket handle” injury to her intestines, an injury to her spleen that required it to be removed, and a broken wrist and ankle that both required surgeries. BBGA Attorneys Michael Ruppersburg and Alex Hughes secured a $1,135,000 settlement days before the case went to trial. The settlement is notable because it was in a small, rural county without a history of significant verdicts and settlements and was over three and a half times Mrs. C’s medical bills.

View the Video Below that Details How Michael Prepared Complex Illustrations to Tell a Jury the Story

The Wreck

Mrs. C was driving south on U.S. 1 in Louisville, Jefferson County, Georgia. Another driver turned left in front of her. Mrs. C didn’t have time to stop and crashed into it. This is what Mrs. C’s car looked like after the wreck:

Car Crash Leads to Broken Ankle, Broken Wrist, Severe Intestinal Injuries

The wreck broke Mrs. C’s ankle, wrist and also caused a bucket-handle injury to her intestines. A bucket-handle injury is where the force of the seatbelt restraining you during a wreck causes a part of your intestine to separate from the abdominal wall. When it separates, it looks like the handle of a bucket, which is where the name comes from.

EMS life flighted Mrs. C to University Hospital in Augusta, Georgia. Doctors placed her on a ventilator and performed emergency surgery to repair the injury to her intestines. The surgery involved removing 22 inches of her small intestine and then stitching the ends together. During the surgery, doctors discovered her spleen was badly injured and decided to remove it. She lost so much blood from her intestinal injury that she required nearly 9 pints of blood transfusion. Doctors later performed surgeries to repair her broken wrist and ankle, which involved fixing the fractures with a metal plate and screws.

Diagram courtesy of Case Imagery

The surgeon who performed the emergency surgery testified by video and we made exhibits of his testimony to show the jury:

Photo: Envato Elements

Sensitive and confidential information has been redacted and stock photography used to protect our client and experts. 

We prepared illustrations of her ankle injury after the wreck and after surgery to show the jury at trial:

Diagram courtesy of Case Imagery

Mrs. C was in the hospital for over a month and then confined to bed for several months while she recovered from her injuries. She required a wheelchair, then a walker, and then a cane to walk as she healed. She also required months of physical therapy to help her recover.

We prepared this exhibit to show the jury how much Mrs. C had been through as a result of the wreck:

Photo: Envato Elements

Sensitive and confidential information has been redacted and stock photography used to protect our client.

Unfortunately, Mrs. C developed post-traumatic arthritis in her ankle. Her ankle is often painful and she has difficulty walking and going up and down stairs. According to her orthopedic surgeon, she will likely need ankle replacement surgery, which involves removing the bottom portion of the tibia and the top portion of the talus and replacing it with an artificial ankle joint. The surgeon testified by video, and we made exhibits of his testimony to show the jury:

Photo: Envato Elements

Sensitive and confidential information has been redacted and stock photography used to protect our client and experts. 

Photo: Envato Elements

Sensitive and confidential information has been redacted and stock photography used to protect our client and experts. 

Photo: Envato Elements

Sensitive and confidential information has been redacted and stock photography used to protect our client and experts. 

We also prepared illustrations of the future ankle replacement surgery to show the jury at trial:

Diagram courtesy of Case Imagery

Trial & Settlement

The defendant driver had only $25,000 in insurance, which the insurance company quickly agreed to pay. Mrs. C. had several car insurance policies with uninsured motorist coverage, which we filed a lawsuit to pursue.

The case had several twists and turns before trial. First, COVID hit, delaying discovery and trial. Second, the defendant driver passed away from a medical condition unrelated to the wreck. When this happens, Georgia law automatically “stays” the case until an administrator is appointed for the estate and the administrator is substituted as a defendant. We filed a petition with the local probate court to establish an estate for the defendant, had the county attorney appointed as administrator, and then substituted the county attorney as the defendant.

Next, one of the insurance companies that provided uninsured motorist coverage filed a motion arguing that its policy did not apply to the wreck. We responded and the judge ruled in Mrs. C’s favor. The case was then set for trial. The Saturday before the trial, we were able to secure a fair settlement for Mrs. C, ending the case. 

We are pleased to have helped Mrs. C and we wish her the best in her ongoing recovery. 

RATE THIS POST
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
(No Ratings Yet)
Loading...