$1.3M Settlement: Illustrating Skull Fractures, Brain Injuries, and CT Context

Dan Christensen, Esq., DC Law, Austin, TX

After a woman was struck by a car in a parking lot, she sustained catastrophic skull fractures with traumatic brain injuries that included subarachnoid hemorrhaging and hematomas. Her eye socket and cheek were fractured deep into the skull while hemorrhaging permeated widely throughout her brain.

CT scans showed undeniable evidence of traumatic brain injury, but Dan Christensen, Esq., needed to maximize the impact of these black-and-white films heading into mediation. We colorized his client’s films, illustrated her injuries, and organized Mr. Christensen’s visuals into three exhibits that would achieve the following visual objectives:

  • Illustrate the Plaintiff’s skull fractures alongside colorized CT scans.
  • Show the Plaintiff’s brain injuries alongside colorized CT scans.
  • Provide visual context for how CT scans are captured and read.

The illustration series reinforced Mr. Christensen’s damage claims heading into mediation by providing maximum context for his client’s head injuries. He was able to negotiate a successful $1.3M settlement for the victim.

Exhibit A: Illustrated Skull Fractures

The first exhibit breaks down all the fractures throughout the Plaintiff’s skull. The primary visual on the left summarizes all the fractures on an illustrated model of the client’s head, while three Colorized CT scans along the right ground the visual depiction with radiographic evidence.

Illustrated Injury Summary of Fractures

The three radiographic films along the right highlight a lateral orbit wall fracture, maxillary sinus wall fractures with hemorrhaging, and a zygomatic arch fracture. The primary illustration on the left anchors the viewer’s understanding of all these brutal fractures with a realistic depiction of the damage totality.

Exhibit B: Illustrated Brain Damage

The second illustration uncovers the Plaintiff’s brain injuries. Similar to Exhibit A, we illustrated a model of the client’s severely damaged brain and used CT scans to highlight specific brain bleeds with radiographic context.

Illustrated Injury Summary of Brain Damage

The three radiographic films along the right show clear evidence of deep hemorrhaging throughout the temporooccipital sulci, along the falx at the vertex, and at right the right sylvian fissure. Similar to the previous exhibit, we illustrated the client’s head to personalize these injuries and anchor the viewers’ understanding of what these CT scans are depicting.

Exhibit C: Providing Context for CT Scans

Looking at a CT scan is similar to looking at a mirror. The right side of the brain is on the left side of the film, and vice versa. We created this visual to help attorneys explain this concept to people who are not experienced in analyzing CT scans. In this case, the visual helped Mr. Christensen specify the locations of fractures and hemorrhaging as he presented the films.

Illustrated Summary of Mirror-Image Reversal in CT Scans

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