Minami Tamaki Senior Associate Seema Bhatt obtained $2,675,000 in settlements for two of our clients who were injured while walking by a truck that failed to yield.
“May,” a 36-year-old woman was walking across a street when she was struck by a truck that failed to yield to her, injuring her and her aunt “June”. Initially, May complained mostly of pain on her head where she struck the pavement. However, in monitoring her symptoms over the next several months, we noted that she developed symptoms of post-concussive syndrome, including dizziness, slurred speech, and inability to focus.
We referred May for treatment and for further diagnosis with experts in traumatic brain injury. May also complained of soreness in her hip, which suggested a more serious injury than originally reported. We encouraged further workup of this condition, and her doctors found she had a tear in her hip cartilage.
May worked in a startup company in customer relations and quality assurance, but her symptoms made her job too difficult for her to handle and caused her to take a less stressful job. May underwent arthroscopic surgery on her hip, and may require another surgery in the future. However, her concussion symptoms continued to interfere with her job and her relations with her husband and children.
May’s doctors diagnosed her with mild traumatic brain injury and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because of the collision. However, the experts hired by the driver’s attorneys claimed May was simply depressed, and that her emotional problems were due to causes other than the collision. We rebutted these defense claims with the testimony of a world-recognized expert on PTSD and, at mediation, Seema settled May’s claim for $2,250,000.
May’s aunt June, a 74-year-old woman, suffered fractures of her left ankle and right wrist, trauma to her left wrist, and injury to the soft tissues of her left thigh. Complicating June’s injuries was a preexisting cyst in her left wrist due to an autoimmune condition, dermatomyositis, which made the wrist especially susceptible to inflammation due to trauma.
As a result of her wrist being injured in the collision, this condition flared up to the point June required surgery to remove the cyst. This was followed by a procedure to drain the wound, and hand therapy to restore function of her left hand. At mediation, Seema obtained a settlement for June in the amount of $425,000, bringing the total settlement for our two clients to $2,675,000.