Posted On: December 16, 2011 by Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser & Zoeller

Rear-Ended by 18 Wheeler in Jacksonville, FL, Victim Suffers Profound Brain Damage

Across the country, tractor trailer accidents are happening at an increasingly alarming rate, and the consequences can be very devastating for the unsuspecting victims.

The victim in this Jacksonville truck accident case was a husband and father of three children at the time of this accident. He was traveling southbound on U.S. 1 and slowing down as he approached a red light at the intersection of State Road 104 when he was violently rear-ended by the driver of an 18 wheeler.

According to an accident reconstructionist, the other driver was traveling 53 miles per hour and did not hit his brakes at all prior to the impact with the victim’s vehicle. At the speeds calculated, the other driver would have needed only 2.5 seconds to stop his vehicle prior to the impact with the back of the victim’s vehicle. As a result of his complete failure to activate the brakes, he struck the rear of the victim’s vehicle with such force that the Delta V was 40 miles per hour. This is the equivalent of being dropped off a six floor balcony. The impact was so great to the victim’s vehicle that it traveled 1700 feet, or 1/3 of a mile, and then struck a wall at 15 miles per hour.

Additionally, it is estimated that the line of sight for the truck driver leading up to the impact was approximately three miles of visibility. The impact and Delta V were so great, that there is little doubt that even with the utilization of a seatbelt, the victim would have suffered severe and catastrophic injuries such as he did. The victim was rendered unconscious for approximately three minutes as a result of the impact, which bent the steering wheel and broke the dashboard. He was treated on scene by EMS who observed him to be confused and responded slowly to questions. He was transported to Shands Medical Center as a result of his traumatic condition, where a head CT noted a midline shift with fluid collection, left cerebral hemisphere. The victim suffered a grand mal seizure overnight.

The head injury suffered by this victim required him to undergo a craniectomy at Shands Hospital. Subsequent to his surgery, the victim underwent intensive rehabilitation at both Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital and the Florida Institute for Neurologic Rehabilitation. Additionally, the victim suffered a torn labrum that was surgically repaired.

A final comprehensive medical evaluation was performed by a neurology specialist, and at that time the victim was noted to have continued expressive aphasia with moderate perceptive aphasia. He was unable to count from 1 to 10 and required verbal cues when answering simple questions. He was experiencing headaches approximately three times per week which lasted 1 to 2 hours and ranged from a 4 or 5 out of 10 on the VAS scale. He was continuing to complain of right shoulder pain, which also was a 5 out of 10 on the VAS scale.

The neurologist concluded that the victim suffered a traumatic brain injury and also suffered a stroke with intercranial hypertension, all as a result of the motor vehicle accident in question. He was experiencing seizure activity and of utmost importance, he was suffering from severe expressive aphasia and cognitive deficits as a result of his traumatic brain injury. He had a pulmonary contusion with acute respiratory failure, including a right hemothorax.

The victim’s medical expenses were well over $300,000.00 and his loss of earning capacity was computed to be over $500,000.00. The victim’s severe traumatic brain injury and his prognosis for a future recovery remains guarded at best. The neurologist’s opinion is that the victim does not have the functional capacity to work four hours a day and is not employable.

The victim’s family sought the assistance of Attorney Jason D. Weisser during these difficult times and he was successful in obtaining a settlement without the necessity of a trial in this matter. The victim’s road to recovery is a long one, but now, thanks to Mr. Weisser, he will be able to receive the help and comfort he needs in his future rehabilitation.