On July 22, 2012, Jewel Wicker was driving her Honda 2002 Accord to church when she was stopped on Camp Creek Parkway at a red light at the intersection of Old Fairborn Road close to the interstates of Georgia. While she was stopped at the red light, she was abruptly run over from behind by a commercial vehicle driven by Parker Owens that was owned by First Class Produce which is his parents’ company. The wreck was so severe that Ms. Wicker’s car was crushed underneath the truck as emergency responders removed her from her vehicle with the jaws of life. Luckily, Ms. Wicker survived the incident, but not without injury.
Mr. Owens, the driver, would tell police that he tried to apply the brakes to stop but nothing happened so he was not able to stop. The police would discover that there were no skid marks at the scene and that nothing was wrong with the brakes of the truck. Mr. Owens was cited for running a red light. Later, at trial, it would never be disputed by anybody on the defense or the plaintiff’s side that it was Owens who caused the crash. It would also not be disputed that Ms. Wicker was injured as a result of the crash.
What would be in dispute at trial, however, was how badly Ms. Wicker, the Plaintiff, was injured and whether or not she had made a full recovery. This would prove to be a difficult concept to prove to the jury since Ms. Wicker’s injuries were not external such as broken bones, a lost limb, scars, or other visible injuries. Instead, Ms. Wicker’s injuries were internal and in her brain.
To show the damage to the Plaintiff’s brain, at trial the Plaintiff would use many visual aids such as a video that was animated to show the anatomy of the brain and also diagrams showing the brain. The way the Plaintiff also described her injury to the jury was an injury compared to that of shaken baby syndrome where you would not necessarily see a fracture to the skull or a negative CT scan, but, nonetheless, a brain injury exists.
The Plaintiff complained that she suffered from frequent headaches, a sensitivity to light, memory difficulties, and a ringing that was constant in her ears. As a result of the light sensitivity, the Plaintiff stated that she had to change her career goals of being a broadcast journalist. The defense would argue that the Plaintiff changed her story to get more money from the jury since it was noted that prior to trial she stated that her career goal was to be a writer. The defense also called into question other facts about the Plaintiff that raised skepticism about the degree, if any, of her brain injury such as her ability to return to babysitting just six (6) months following the accident and also that she was successful as a graduate student at Georgia State University.
The jury did not seem to agree with the defenses’ arguments that the Plaintiff did not suffer a traumatic brain injury, although it might be minimal and not tangible, and the jury agreed that the Plaintiff had endured pain and suffering, as they awarded three million and one half dollars and No/00ths ($ 3,500,000.00) to the Plaintiff in a DeKalb County State Court proceeding. Interestingly, the verdict was ten (10) times more than what the defense thought the case was worth, and fifty-five (55) times more than the Plaintiff’s actual medical bills.
A Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law, & Affiliates our Personal Injury Lawyers are experts at representing clients in Motor Vehicle Accidents involving brain injuries whether the injury is mild, severe, temporary or permanent, or even deadly. If you or a loved one has been involved in a Motor Vehicle Accident that caused a Brain Injury, then please Contact Us as soon as possible to discuss the specific details of your case. We can be reached by any or all of the following means: By phone at (770) 865-8654, (813) 363-6664; by email at email@example.com; on the Contact Form on our Website; and/or on the the Contact Form on this Blog.
We look forward to hearing from you and speaking to you about the specific details of your case and assisting you so that you, or your loved one, receive all of the just compensation deserving under the particular facts of your case.
A Video of the Case can be found at the link below (Courtesy of Courtroom View Network):