$412.5K Verdict: Illustrating Hyperextended Neck, Pain Management, Spine Surgery

Kevin M. Camp, Esq., and John Roven, Esq., Camp Trial Firm, Houston, TX

Hyperextension is a neck injury caused by the abrupt forward-to-backward movement of the head and neck. It is commonly referred to as “whiplash” because the abrupt movement resembles the cracking of a whip.

In this case, a locomotive engineer wearing a hardhat was exiting a train when he hit his head on an area of the door frame where there was no rubber protection. The sudden force caused him to hyperextend his neck backward, severely damaging his cervical spine.

The injury caused major herniations, which put painful pressure on his spinal cord. He would need epidural steroid injections to manage the pain radiating through his neck, and he would ultimately undergo C4-7 anterior cervical discectomies with a fusion.

Kevin M. Camp, Esq., needed a visual presentation that would show how this injury occurred, the painful impact it had on his spine, the pain management procedures he underwent, and the spine surgery he would ultimately need as a result of this injury. We delivered a series of three illustrations that would achieve the following visual objectives.

  • Show the mechanism of injury alongside a colorized MRI highlighting the disc herniations.
  • Illustrate the two epidural steroid injections the patient needed to manage his painful symptoms.
  • Demonstrate the anterior cervical discectomy and fusion the patient would ultimately undergo.

The following illustrations helped jurors understand how this injury occurred, the damage it caused, and why the Plaintiff deserved significant compensation for his surgical experience and ongoing recovery. They awarded Mr. Camp’s client a $412,500 verdict.

Exhibit A: Showing the Mechanism of Injury

The first exhibit shows how the whiplash injury caused hypertension in the Plaintiff’s neck, which resulted in major disc herniations throughout the cervical spine.

Whiplash Mechanism of Injury

The illustration anchored the jury’s understanding of how the injury occurred while the colorized MRI grounded the impact of this injury with radiographic evidence.

Exhibit C: Illustrating Pain Management

Finally, after establishing the injury and walking jurors through the surgery the Plaintiff needed, the third illustration summarizing the patient’s many pain management procedure he would continue to need on his ongoing road to recovery.

The larger image on the left shows the entire cervical spine to provide maximum context for where these needles were injected. Two snapshots along the right show where these injections were performed from an aerial perspective of the vertebrae.

Exhibit B: Demonstrating the Discectomies and Fusion

The final illustration breaks down the C4-7 anterior cervical discectomies and fusion the Plaintiff would need to relieve pressure on his spinal cord from the herniated discs, and reinforce his vertebrae.

C4-7 Anterior Discectomies and Fusion

Simply explaining these complex procedures with words doesn’t do this surgical experience justice. The illustration anchored the jurors’ understanding of each step in this process with a graphic visual depicting the most important chapters of this story. The final image concludes the presentation with an MRI showing the metal hardware the patient must now live with for the rest of his life.

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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