Our client was driving east on a highway approaching an exit ramp. She apparently started to develop mechanical problems with her van and slowed to a very slow speed or a complete stop in the right hand travel lane. A commercial van carrying produce struck her van in the rear at highway speed and caused her severe brain injuries, including subarachnoid bleeding, an epidural hematoma, and shear injuries causing bleeding points throughout the brain. Brain surgery was performed at a local hospital and she was then transferred to another location for treatment and rehabilitation and was eventually released.
She was cared for by family and friends, as she was unable to live independently nor care for her three children, ages 5, 4, and 1. Investigation and discovery resulted in the downloading of the “black box” event recorder in the produce van showing that it had been speeding at 68 mph just before the impact and that no effective braking occurred prior to the crash.
A computer animation developed by our accident reconstruction expert showed that the crash should have been easily avoidable if the defendant driver had been paying attention. During the course of the litigation WKW arranged for her to be admitted to the Center for Comprehensive Services in Carbondale, Illinois for treatment in their NeuroRehabilitation program. Part of the present value of the settlement was used to fund a series of annuities to pay for her future care, in addition to the future cost of raising her three children.