Auto Accident Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury and Air Bag Injury Case
L.K. vs. State Farm Mutual Auto Insurance Company
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT – AIRBAG DEPLOYMENT – HEAD INJURY – NECK INJURY – TRAUMATICALLY INDUCED BRAIN ANEURYSM – $823,117.85 RECOVERY AFTER JURY TRIAL – FEDERAL BAD FAITH ACTION
L.K., a long-time State Farm Insurance policy holder, was rear-ended by an uninsured motorist causing her vehicle to be traumatically pushed into the vehicle directly in front of her.
Shortly following the accident, L.K. began experiencing severe headaches. She was initially diagnosed with a concussion and concussion related symptoms and was told that the symptoms would resolve in a short period of time.
Her severe head symptoms persisted and after numerous neurological examinations, including multiple brain MRI scans, she was finally diagnosed with a traumatically induced brain aneurysm.
After numerous consultations with her surgeon, L.K. decided to proceed forward with a surgical repair to the aneurysm in an effort to stabilize the blood vessel in her brain and to minimize her head pain.
The surgical repair to the vessel in the brain was a success, but that was just the beginning of L.K.’s challenges.
State Farm insisted that the brain aneurysm predated the accident itself and would not offer her compensation for her aneurysm surgical repair or any of the pain and symptoms she had related to her head injury.
The accident itself was unique in that the rear-end collision that pushed L.K.’s vehicle directly into the vehicle in front of her also caused L.K.’s head to be positioned very near the steering wheel when the frontal impact occurred. At the time of the frontal impact, L.K.’s airbag deployed, and her head was struck at very close range by the steering wheel airbag.
Emerson Straw retained a mechanical engineer, Rick Galdos, to perform an airbag deployment recreation. An exemplar motor vehicle was purchased, and an anthropomorphic crash test dummy was obtained in order to recreate L.K.’s position in the vehicle during the airbag deployment.
The recreation itself involved deploying an exemplar airbag capsule directly into the anthropomorphic dummy, which was positioned as L.K. was in the vehicle. The recreation was captured using specialized high-speed cameras and videotape equipment so that the jury could see the force of the airbag deployment and the resulting striking of L.K.’s head. The jury would then be able to evaluate the credibility of State Farm’s position that the airbag deployment itself could not have caused the brain aneurysm.
After over five days of testimony, the jury found in favor of L.K. However, in order to collect the verdict against State Farm, L.K. was forced to file a Bad Faith lawsuit against State Farm in Federal district court in the Middle District of Florida.
This L.K. case illustrates why if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident you should immediately consult with an attorney from Emerson Straw. Often times your injuries will be such that the insurance company will deny your claim or inform you that they do not believe your injuries were caused by the motor vehicle accident itself. You will need experienced, competent representation in order to maximize your compensation from the motor vehicle accident.