$1M Verdict Conveying Cervical and Lumbar Spine Surgeries After Highway Collision

Judd Allen, Olivier Taillieu, and Pamela Rodriguez, The Dominguez Law Firm, Los Angeles, CA

A father was driving down the highway with his two daughters sitting next to him when the hood of his pickup truck started to shake. He began to pull off to the side of the road when he was suddenly impacted from behind by a landscaping truck at 54 mph. The impact sent the Plaintiff’s vehicle down the onramp embankment, where it rolled and came to a rest on its driver’s side.

The Defendant conceded that he had not seen the Plaintiff because he was “looking at the radio” and distracted by his cell phone. When he looked up, he said, the Plaintiff’s vehicle was directly in front of him, and he collided into the truck at 54 mph without slowing. All four windows were shattered upon impact. The only thing that saved the structure of the truck and likely the Plaintiff’s lives was the metal frame that was bolted and welded to onto the bed and cab of the truck.

Everyone in the vehicle was rendered unconscious, but the most significant injuries were suffered by the driver, who sustained injuries to both his cervical spine and lumbar spine. They would require laminectomies at L4 through S1 and anterior cervical discectomies at C5 through C6. His medical treatments cost more than $367K. His daughters also suffered lacerations, bruising, and soft tissue injuries, which had been treated before trial at a cost of about $23K and $20K. At the time of trial, the total medical costs for the family amounted to $410,239.

Olivier Taillieu and Judd Allen needed jurors to understand why their client deserved more. To do that, they needed to show the full extent of what the father’s surgical experience entailed as he underwent laminectomies, foraminotomies, and disc fragment removal. They tasked High Impact with conveying this experience through both animation and illustration.

The following presentation helped Mr. Tailleu and Mr. Allen show jurors why their client deserved a $1M verdict for his pain, suffering, and ongoing recovery.

Judd Allen, Esq. of The Dominguez Firm, Los Angeles, CA
We received a $1M verdict and the great work that High Impact did played a huge part! Our medical expert walked the jury through the intricate procedures performed using your team’s incredible surgical animation. As always, High Impact was a large part of our presentation. And the jury loved the animations - saying that they felt like they understood it and the severity once they saw it.
Judd Allen, Esq. of The Dominguez Firm, Los Angeles, CA

Exhibit A: Animated Lumbar Spine Surgeries

The first exhibit demonstrates how L4-S1 bilateral laminectomies were performed. Walking the jurors through every step of this procedure helped them understand the totality of pain, suffering, and surgical recovery involved in this injury.

Lumbar Spine Surgery Animation

The animation first introduces the loose disc fragments present in the patient’s lumbar spine. A drill was used to cut away pieces of the laminae and a rongeur was used to remove the pieces and relieve pressure on the spinal cord. Disc fragments were then removed using a pituitary rongeur, and a probe was used to complete a foraminotomy. The animation concludes with an oblique perspective to give viewers unique context for how this injury affected the patient’s spinal cord nerves.

Olivier Taillieu, Esq., The Dominguez Firm, Inc., Los Angeles, CA
One of the things that I really appreciate about High Impact is the team of people that they have working behind the scenes. It's not just illustrators, but it's people who understand the medical terminology. People who understand post-op reports and can take those post-op reports and actually make graphics that are perfect. And when you show them to the doctors themselves, they're surprised at the quality of the work.
Olivier Taillieu, Esq., The Dominguez Firm, Inc., Los Angeles, CA

Exhibit B: Illustrated Lumbar Spine Surgeries

The next exhibit captures the most important chapters of the surgery animated above, providing Mr. Taillieu and Mr. Allen with powerful visual anchors for reinforcing further discussion about the patient’s injury and surgery.

Lumbar Spine Surgery Illustration

Similar to the animation, the illustration first introduces the loose disc fragments as the rongeur pulls a piece of lamina from the spine. The next snapshot shows the removal of disc fragments using the pituitary rongeur. Finally, the illustration concludes with the probe used to perform foraminotomies. Seeing each of these chapters adds powerful context.

Exhibit C: Animated Cervical Spine Surgeries

After we had established the patient’s lumbar spine surgeries, the next exhibit breaks down the proposed anterior cervical spine surgeries the patient would need to undergo, which would required discectomies at C5 through C6.

Proposed Cervical Spine Surgery Animation

The animation first introduces the incision and exposure needed to access the cervical spine. We then zoom into the C5-C6 herniated disc while highlighting the pressure it puts on the spinal cord. After removing the disc nucleus and disc material, the spinal cord underwent a decompression. Space was then carved out to place an interbody spacer graft in the opening, which was secured with the placement of plates and screwes.

High Impact’s team of visual strategists, artists and developers can build and customize your digital presentation for any case involving personal injury, medical malpractice, birth trauma - or any subject involving complex information.

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