Auto Accident

$575,000.00 Settlement

Quincy Illinois, Adam County

Drunk Driving Accident Causing Subtle Brain Injury


PARTIES:  Thirty-year-old man rear-ended at a high rate of speed by an intoxicated driver who was driving a vehicle owed by his Father’s automobile dealership, on the way to a party.

TYPE OF CLAIM:  Suit was brought for actual damages and punitive damages.  There is no insurance coverage for punitive damages and the punitive damage claim against the driver creates difficult issues and conflicts of interest for the insurers.  The situation, if handled properly creates pressure on the insurer to settle the claim for a fair amount or it may be the target of a judgement for “bad faith refusal to settle.”  Here there were three separate insurers that we brought into the claim.

Damages Alleged:  Our client sustained a closed head injury.  This type of injury is also known as an axonal shearing injury and/or a coup countre-coup injury.  At the cellular level injury occurs when the head is whipped or impacts an object at a significant velocity.  This causes the axons to sheer and break.  The brain must learn how to transmit nerve impulses through other axons.   We assisted our client in seeking proper neurological treatment in order to document the injury that may have otherwise gone undiagnosed and to obtain treatment and understanding of his condition.  We saw that he was referred to a neuropsychologist for a neuropsychological evaluation.  This type of evaluation (neuropsychological evaluation) is especially suited for detecting and measuring subtle injury to the brain in the higher cognitive and executive type brain functions.  These tests are very objective and reliable in the hands of qualified experts.

SETTLEMENT:  In light of the testing the insurers settled for $575,000.00, which was a very substantial settlement in light of the facts and circumstances of the case including the lack of any significant physical injuries and medical treatment.

Comments:  A layperson might believe that any lawyer can handle a case where a drunk driver caused an injury to an innocent


party.  This is just not the case if you want the case handled correctly.  In order to achieve the best settlements, all leverage must be used to force the insurers to do what is necessary to fully compensate those injured.  The proper procedures must be employed to create a “bad faith” situation for the insurers.  The insurer must act to protect the drunk driver from an excess judgment and from a punitive damage judgment if there is an opportunity to settle for a reasonable amount within the insurance liability limits.  We know how to do this.  The injuries must be understood an the lawyer must work with the client to ensure that the available medical resources will fully develop the damages from a medical-legal standpoint.

brain injury without direct head trauma