For the last three and a half years, Tom Crosley and the team at Crosley Law have been working tirelessly on one of our most significant brain injury cases. Our client, a young man on a bicycle, was run over by a delivery truck. During the truck-bike collision, he suffered a skull fracture, massive intracranial bleeding and swelling, and was in a medically induced coma for a month. By the time of trial, his past medical bills were nearly $840,000, and the lifetime cost of his future medical needs was projected to be $12,000,000.
Earlier this year, about one month before a 2–3-week jury trial was scheduled to begin in San Antonio, the parties reached a confidential settlement. The settlement money funded a trust that will take care of Raymond’s long-term care and needs.
We poured our hearts into this case, and despite setbacks and delays due to Covid, we kept it moving forward when many other cases in the legal system stagnated. We took over 30 witness depositions, interviewed more than 40 other witnesses, hired a dozen top expert witnesses specializing in the fields of medicine, neuroscience, biomechanics, crash reconstruction, GPS telematics, life care planning, and economics. We conducted nine mock jury focus groups to better understand how a real jury would decide the issues in the case. Over the past three and a half years, we invested more lawyer hours into this one case than any of the 200 active cases in our law firm, and we advanced several hundred thousand dollars of our own money to build the best case possible for our client.
Our hard work paid off. Insurance companies and corporate in-house legal departments do not voluntarily pay large settlements in legal cases unless they are convinced that the other side is ready, willing, and able to try the case and win big. Crosley Law has built a reputation trying big cases and obtaining spectacular results. Fortunately for our client and his family, he did not have to suffer the stress and uncertainty of a full-blown trial, and we were able to obtain a settlement that guarantees his financial security for the rest of his life.
Raymond’s Story: A Bike Crash Derails a Bright Future
Raymond* was a young man with a full, bright future ahead of him. He was a star pupil in his high school culinary class and the sort of person friends and relatives confided in.
In a matter of seconds, that bright future was taken from Raymond when a delivery company truck hit him while he was riding his bicycle on a sidewalk in broad daylight. The injuries he sustained that day were traumatic and altered the course of the rest of his life.
A Careless Exit Almost Kills Raymond
It was lunchtime in early April, and Raymond was riding his bicycle on the sidewalk of Military Drive.
At the same time, a delivery company driver finished making a delivery at a local paint store and hopped back into his company van in the parking lot. He approached the driveway without stopping, saw a gap in the quickly moving traffic, and accelerated to merge while looking over his left shoulder.
If the driver had stopped and ensured the sidewalk to his right was clear (as he’d been repeatedly trained to do over his years of employment), he would have seen Raymond about to cross the driveway.
But the driver did not stop. In trying to “shoot the gap” and quickly jump into 45-mile-per-hour traffic, the driver plowed into Raymond at nearly 10 miles per hour. This might not sound like a dangerous speed, but for a person on a bike, it’s enough to be catastrophic.
Raymond was immediately knocked down, and the truck’s front passenger-side tire ran over his bicycle. When the paramedics and police arrived, he was unresponsive.
Emergency Intervention Saves Raymond’s Life
Raymond was rushed to the hospital with a life-threatening head injury. Emergency room doctors performed an emergency craniectomy to relieve the pressure in and around Raymond’s brain. Without this surgery, he would have died. That necessary intervention left Raymond with a structurally compromised skull.
A month after the emergency surgery, Raymond moved from one rehabilitation center to another for various treatments. About four months after the delivery driver committed his negligent actions, Raymond was ready for reconstructive surgery to rebuild his skull.
Considering the severity of Raymond’s head injury, it was amazing that he was alive and regaining many of his abilities. However, his injuries were extensive, and the doctors, as well as Raymond’s friends and family, were only just beginning to understand the impact the delivery driver’s negligence would have on his life.
A Life Tragically Altered
Before the accident with the delivery truck, Raymond was an avid reader and enjoyed a rich, vibrant life.
In fact, Raymond won a student-of-the-year award in his high school culinary arts program and was the driving force behind a festival booth that earned money for his school. He had dreams of becoming a chef and hoped to join the military. The world held a lot of promise for Raymond, and he had so much to offer back.
After the accident, Raymond’s linguistic capabilities were diminished. He struggled to find the right words and spoke differently. While recovering at the hospital, Raymond made confabulations where he filled in gaps in his memory with fabricated and misinterpreted information. He subconsciously created a memory where he believed his injuries were from an assault and stabbing, rather than a vehicle accident.
Raymond started struggling with short-term memory issues and filtering his thoughts. He also had headaches and even experienced violent seizures.
These disconnections and discomforts understandably frustrated Raymond, and his irritability led to further isolation from his siblings and peers.
Worse, Raymond was at least partially aware of how much his life had changed. At certain times, Raymond realized what he was missing and that he simply couldn’t communicate the way he used to.
According to his medical team, Raymond was not going to improve as time went by, nor would he truly grasp his own limitations. This can be dangerous if, for example, he tries to use a stove or attempts to control his own finances.
For these reasons, it was recommended that Raymond should not be left without supervision. Based on advice from one of his doctors, Raymond should have continuous home health care or live in a residential facility with professional care.
Crosley Law Helps Raymond Secure a Life-Changing Settlement
The costs of Raymond’s care are clearly massive. He will have great difficulty attempting to resume his education. His prospects of meaningful employment have been taken from him, and he will always be dependent on his caretakers.
Often, such catastrophic injuries lower a person’s life expectancy, but this is not the case for Raymond. He could easily live another 55 years as his need for care continues to increase over time. Raymond also now has a much higher likelihood of developing early-onset dementia.
This level of financial loss is in the millions of dollars. Even if Raymond hadn’t gone on to earn a college degree, he could have made enough to support himself and contribute to a family.
As expected, the delivery company fought back against our demands for this aspect of compensation. Not only did the company want to shift some of the blame for the accident onto Raymond himself, but their defense advocated for a living arrangement that would provide him with less therapy than what his doctors and therapists recommend.
Raymond Endured Massive Social and Emotional Losses
While Raymond’s medical expenses and lost future earnings are huge, they pale in comparison to his emotional and social losses. He’s already feeling the distance from his friends. Raymond’s high school culinary teacher saw a noticeable difference in Raymond when the teacher first spoke to him about three years after the incident.
In the decades to come, Raymond will probably not graduate from college, pursue his passion in a career, enjoy new hobbies, get married, have children, have grandchildren, or relax into retirement. The cost of all this is, quite simply, immeasurable.
Ultimately, the delivery company understood the damage created by its driver’s negligence and how his actions shattered Raymond’s life. The company also realized the amount of exposure this case could have, and how sympathetic a jury could be to Raymond and his family.
Crosley Law Helps Injured People and Their Families Get Justice in San Antonio
Crosley Law has extensive experience handling cases involving traumatic brain injuries (TBI), from ordinary concussions to catastrophes such as Raymond’s. In every case, our focus is always on getting justice for injured people and their families.
If you or a loved one need legal guidance after an injury that wasn’t your fault, contact us to get started with a free case evaluation. You can call (210) LAW-3000 | (210) 529-3000 or use the easy contact form on our website.
*Our client’s name was changed to protect his privacy and the confidentiality of his settlement.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.