This case involves a client who was struck by a drunk driver, when she had several drinks with friends at a nearby restaurant and then drove home, crossing over the double yellow line and hitting our client head-on. Our client suffered serious injuries but is thankfully alive.
Our 42-year-old client was traveling home from work at approximately 10:30 p.m. He had just finished his shift as a cook at a local restaurant. He was properly belted and driving on a winding road. Suddenly and without warning, the defendant—traveling at a high rate of speed—crossed over the double yellow line and crashed directly into the front of our client’s vehicle, mostly toward the driver’s side door.
The impact forced our client’s vehicle into the metal guardrail and the impact was severe. The driver’s side front wheel of the defendant’s car came off of its axel. Our client’s car was totaled. Our client was trapped in the drivers compartment and could not get out of his vehicle. He was finally removed with the assistance of the jaws of life and taken emergently to the hospital.
The defendant in this case immediately fled the scene and drove almost a half mile down the road on three wheels until her vehicle could go no further.
The defendant finally stopped the vehicle and was immediately approached by two witnesses. The defendant began to misrepresent how the accident occurred in an effort to place blame on our client. She told another witness that our client ran away from the scene even though he could not even get out of his car. The defendant told another witness that our client had crossed over the centerline and hit her vehicle.
Finally, the police arrived at the scene and a detailed investigation was done. When the main investigating officer first contacted the defendant at the scene, he immediately noticed she smelled like alcohol and exhibited all of the signs and symptoms of being under the influence, He performed field sobriety tests that he ultimately had to stop because he feared that the defendant was so unstable that she might fall and hurt herself. She was also acting very inappropriately and was joking with the officers—all the while our client was unconscious and being removed by the jaws of the life. She even asked the investigating officer if he would like her to do a little dance for him.
The defendant was arrested and taken to the hospital where blood was drawn. Ultimately, the results revealed that she had a blood alcohol level of .22 which was significantly over double the legal limit.
At deposition during the litigation, the defendant committed perjury by testifying she only had one vodka tonic during the entire day of the accident. We hired an expert toxicologist that testified this was absolutely impossible. In fact, given the time of the accident, her blood alcohol level, and her weight, our toxicologist opined that she must have consumed at least 7-8 drinks in order to reach that level of intoxication.
Our client was taken to the hospital and was only partially conscious. The entire left side of his body was in intractable pain and he was bleeding profusely from a number of injuries. He was admitted to the hospital and remained there for seven days.
Our client sustained the following injuries:
-Grade 4 lacerated spleen with internal bleeding. The physicians performed an emergency laparotomy/splenectomy and evacuated significant blood that had pooled in the hemoperitoneum and pelvis. His spleen was removed, and they placed a drain in his chest and closed the surgical site with staples and sutures.
-Small bowel obstruction. This injury developed later, and he had to be readmitted to the hospital again.
-Numerous lacerations and scarring. He had a number of noticeable scars on his face that required scar revision. He had a huge laparotomy scar over 16 centimeters on his stomach from the surgical intervention.
-Numerous left sided fractured ribs.
-Disc injury to his lumbar spine. This injury resulted in yet another surgical procedure; specifically, a lumbar decompression at L4-5.
-Left hip trochanteric bursitis and left hip impingement syndrome.
-Left shoulder bursitis, impingement, hairline fracture of the clavicle and AC arthrosis.
-Left elbow epicondylitis and cubital tunnel syndrome.
-Disc bulging and soft tissue injuries to his cervical spine.
The case was aggressively litigated, and heavily disputed by the other side. The matter finally settled for a very significant amount after a full day mediation, and the client was very happy with the result.
If you have been injured in an accident by a drunk driver, get started on your case today by contacting The Schurmer Firm.