BRAIN INJURY

“CASE RESULTS DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE, AND DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE”

$1,000,000.00 Recovery For Pedestrian Suffering Brain Injury

Attorney: Gregory Sandler

Location: Norfolk, VA

What Happened:

At 5:00 p.m. in the parking lot of a Food Lion on Little Creek Road in Norfolk, VA, a driver pulled a van into the parking lot, traveling in the wrong direction, to park in an angled spot. He attempted to back into a space, but failed to look behind him. As he backed, he struck my client, a 62 year old man, who was walking toward the Food Lion to pick up a few things on the way home from work. The impact, while not high speed, caused my client to fall to the asphalt, where his head hit the pavement.

He was transported to the hospital by ambulance, bleeding from the head, and while being attended to at Sentara Norfolk General, he became unresponsive. Two emergency MRIs revealed a rapidly growing subdural hematoma within his skull, and he was rushed to surgery, where neurosurgeons saved his life by removing a portion of his skull to relieve the pressure.

I was called by his family to investigate the circumstances and to answer questions about what the client’s future might require, as no one knew whether the client would regain his mental or physical functions, at that time. I undertook prompt investigation of the client’s medical condition and of the circumstances of the crash, because we had little information. The client could not speak well, and had little memory, and there was no police report of information as the crash occurred on private property. Over the course of months, and a review of hundreds of pages of medical records, I was able to locate and meet several witnesses to the crash, we obtained aerial photos of the lot to pinpoint the scene, and to prove that the other driver had traveled the wrong way on an essentially one way parking aisle before the impact.

My client spent several months without a portion of his skull. The rehabilitation effort was remarkable, for speech, occupational and physical therapy, so that he could re-learn to walk and to speak. Ultimately his skull was repaired and replaced, leading again to a course of therapy designed to help restore his mental functions. The client had held a technical job for many years, and longed to return to work.

Amazingly, and to the client’s credit for a resolve to return to his life, within 4 months, the client returned part time to work. He continued therapy on his own, and with the help of his closest friend, he is well on his way to recovery.

In order to demonstrate the client’s deficits to the insurance company, I retained the expert services of a neuropsychologist, who tested the client for cognitive deficits. We learned through investigation that the negligent driver had an umbrella policy covering his liability with limits of $1,000,000.00. After delivering the results of the client’s testing, we were able to negotiate a SETTLEMENT for this deserving client, for $1,000,000.00.

BURN INJURY

“CASE RESULTS DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE, AND DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE”

$90,000.00 Infant Settlement For Scalded Child

Attorney: Gregory Sandler

Location: Hampton, VA

What Happened:

A 1 year old infant suffered scalding burns when her caretaker, a relative, attempted to place her into a bathtub. Immediately upon making contact with the water the child cried, and was removed, but her legs suffered scald burns. Our investigation revealed that the apartment complex in which the family lived, had recently replaced a hot water tank that served several units. The person making the installation was a maintenance person affiliated with the apartment complex, and did not set the temperature gauge on the hot water tank to the proper specifications according to the instructions.

The settlement for the child was approved by the Hampton Circuit Court under terms used often when a child is harmed. The proceeds were used to purchase a structured settlement annuity for the benefit of the child, to insure that her fund would be protected until she reached the age of distribution. In addition, the use of the annuity allows for all of the income growth of the fund to accumulate tax free for the child.

BRAIN INJURY

“CASE RESULTS DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE, AND DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE”

$350,000.00 Settlement For Brain Injured Tenant

Attorney: Gregory Sandler

Location: Norfolk Circuit Court

What Happened:

One day, my client, a long time tenant of a motel/apartment, came out of his apartment and down the wooden steps to leave for the afternoon. As his foot came down on one of the lower steps, the wood gave way. His foot went through the cracked stair and he pitched forward, propelled down the remaining steps. Unfortunately at the bottom of the staircase was a vertical metal pole supporting the second floor, and the client’s head struck the metal pole, causing a severe and profound injury.

He was transported to the hospital for emergency surgery, including the removal of a portion of his skull to address the swelling of his brain. The client remained in hospital and in rehabilitation for many months, receiving physical, speech, cognitive and occupational therapy, as he had lost most of his higher executive functions. Despite these efforts, my client was unable to return to his former life, and remains a resident at a skilled nursing facility, indefinitely.

The facts of this case presented a number of hurdles in our efforts to obtain compensation for him from the owners of the apartment building. The location of the building was in an area not known for prompt and regular upkeep by owners. Our investigation into the building and maintenance records revealed that the staircase, when installed, was not done in conformity with code or practices. I retained the services of an expert in wood science at Virginia Tech University, to examine the wood to determine the propriety of its use, as well as a Uniform Building Code expert to review and give an opinion on the construction of the stair.

Proving the unsafe condition of the staircase and the failure of the management to make regular and safe repairs allowed me to successfully mediate a SETTLEMENT of the client’s claim in the amount of $350,000.00. Due to the client’s diminished capacity, we qualified his children by Court Order, to act as his guardians. Additionally, in order to preserve the client’s eligibility for Medicaid funding for his nursing home costs, we deposited the client’s proceeds into an approved Special Needs Trust Fund established through the Commonwealth Community Trust, a Self Funded Pooled Disability Trust.

Lesson:

In order to properly represent a client, a Virginia personal injury attorney needs to be prepared to address all of the needs associated with the case. In this situation we were involved in securing guardianship for the client, in negotiating the liens against his recovery and in protecting his Medicaid eligibility.

BRAIN INJURY

“CASE RESULTS DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE, AND DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE”

$800,000.00 Verdict For Brain Injury Resulting From Auto Crash

Attorney: Gregory Sandler

Location: Hampton Circuit Court

What Happened:

My client was a very pleasant married woman, who had worked in the banking industry for a number of years. She was traveling on Interstate 64 in Hampton, VA one day, when traffic ahead started to back up. She slowed to a stop, and while she was waiting for traffic to begin to move, she saw, from behind her, a work truck travelling towards her, in her lane. As she watched, powerless to escape, the truck failed in its attempt to slow or swerve. The truck struck the rear of her car with such force as it flipped over on the roadway, causing enormous damage to my client and my client’s vehicle.

Although my client didn’t suffer a fractured skull in her many injuries, she did suffer the effects of a closed head injury, or traumatic brain injury. This type of injury presents a multitude of problems for the patient, including cognitive dysfunction, emotional issues and depression, loss of physical functions, all depending upon the part of the brain injured and the level of harm to the brain. Despite years of treatment, this client continued to report difficulties with performing many of her activities that had been done without thought before the crash. In addition, the impact of watching what could have been her death, helpless to escape, left her with post traumatic stress disorder, requiring psychiatric care for a considerable length of time.

The case was tried to a jury for several days in Hampton, VA. The client had been subjected to a two day battery of neuropsychological tests administered by an expert in the field, who testified about the resulting deficits that the client was still suffering from even as long as the date of the trial.

A very compassionate jury returned a verdict for my client in the amount of $800,000.00.