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Young Driver’s Error Ends Veteran’s Retirement Dreams – $500,000

After building his Navy career for more than 30 years, our client looked forward to his impending retirement and the new life it promised of pursuing a second career with his former crew. Having spent 11 deployments apart, his future retirement also included extensive plans to spend more with his wife of 20 years.

However, all his dreams were cut short when a young man rear-ended his vehicle at more than 55 mph. The young, inattentive driver, who was texting on his phone while driving, failed to brake and stop at the intersection where our client waited for cross traffic to clear. 

Upon the driver slamming his vehicle into our client’s SUV, the rear gate crushed toward the front, creating a substantial intrusion into the vehicle cabin where our client sat virtually unprotected. The collision had been so powerful, the windows blew out, the seatbelt retractors broke on impact, and his airbags went un-deployed. The crash spun our client’s car twice, causing a steel crate in the rear to fly forward and lacerate the area above his right eye. Without the seatbelt restraint, his head shot forward into the dashboard, causing blunt force trauma.

Once the vehicle stopped spinning, our client stepped out of his car and awaited the paramedics who noted the bleeding laceration and severe head trauma. They immediately transported him to the hospital, where doctors discovered back and neck injuries, and the severity of his head trauma. Memory loss, loss in concentration, divided attention, dizziness, vertigo, and depression resulted from the accident injury. 

Unable to cope with his chronic neck and back pain from the car accident, he became increasingly anxious and depressed as he struggled with coordination and memory loss in doing his job as he once did. The positive relationships with his crew and social circles deteriorated as did his prospects for a second career. His anxiety and depression, and related anger issues, also affected his strong, stable marriage leaving his wife feeling distant and alone. 

Because there were no objective signs of brain injury, the possibility of obtaining the full insurance policy limit of $500,000 was uncertain. To ensure the full limits of compensation could be achieved, Dunnion Law hired neuropsychology experts to evaluate his cognitive issues, stating his losses were permanent. In addition, our attorneys argued that the substantial changes in his life, not only as a worker, but as a man, warranted the full policy amount. Upon reviewing the arguments, the insurance company tendered the full $500,000 without the usual step of our attorneys filing suit.