Dave was rear-ended by a distracted driver while driving for a damage restoration company. Despite the accident occurring at a relatively low speed, Dave struck his head on the rear window of his old truck. The crash report noted that he felt sick to his stomach, a potential indicator of a brain injury.
Laurence Stinson conducted a follow-up interview with Dave and observed unusual impulsive decision-making and a change in his character. Recognizing these as classic signs of brain injury, the team decided that further analysis and potential legal action were warranted to get Dave the support he needed for the brain injury he had now been living with for over a year.
This action would involve retracting the previous settlement and reopening the case.
I don’t think you could find a better law for them to represent you and your family. This law firm goes above and beyond anything I could’ve imagined.
What stood out for me the most was being taken in by the Stinson Law firm and treated like I was family.
The law firm did everything it could possibly do for me and my family and then some.
Brain Injury from Passenger Motor Vehicle Crash
Dave was in a car accident that resulted in a brain injury. However, he was not aware of that for a year after his accident. He initially settled, believing that the low-speed car crash was not worth taking to court and hiring an attorney for. Months later, friends and family noticed his behavior had shifted. He reached out to our team to see if there was something going on doctors had missed.
After some digging, we realized that it was a brain injury case. Brain Injury Law is a complex and nuanced area of legal practice, one in which our experienced team excels. It is not uncommon for cases like this to come to us months or even years after the initial crash. Doctors do not always catch nuances of MIST right after the crash, so we needed to get our experts on the case to get our client the support he needed.
We were able to use our motor carrier case strategy here even though it was a passenger vehicle crash. Being able to pivot for unique needs and cases of clients is something we are very familiar with. We have been dealing with a variety of cases for over 20 years, so we are able to piece together the puzzle even if the image isn’t clear at first glance.
What is MIST?
MIST stands for ‘Minor Impact Soft Tissue,’ and it is a categorization lawyers and insurance companies use to identify brain injuries like Dave’s. MIST cases can be tricky to work on because they are difficult to diagnose; they do not appear on X-rays but can have a severe impact on daily life. The most common MIST injuries occur from auto-collisions but can also be caused by slip-and-falls and whiplash.
Insurers have been successful in getting many lawyers to reject these cases rather than try them, dramatically reducing the number of tort claims filed and causing auto claim values to plummet. In a MIST case, having the right legal representation is absolutely essential. The insurance company will be vigorously working to minimize their payout on your claim, so having an experienced attorney on your side is crucial.
Addressing our Client’s Needs
The biggest challenge for this case was that no one caught the brain injury early. It went unnoticed by both the initial responding officer, who lacked specialized training to identify such issues and the doctors he saw immediately after the accident. Unfortunately, this kind of oversight is not uncommon with brain injuries like Dave’s.
Dave’s wife noticed odd behavior in the weeks and months following the crash. He was still talking and walking and performing normal daily tasks, but his personality had shifted. He was impulsive and even aggressive compared to before the crash. Concerned and sure something was amiss, Dave turned to Stinson Law Group.
We knew that a case like this would be a challenge due to the nature of Dave’s injury; it wasn’t obvious to the average person he interacted with that anything was wrong. However, Dave and his family needed more than the original settlement to properly care for his brain injury and help support them in the challenging years ahead.
Dave did not have experts on his side when he was first in the crash. We knew he needed specialists to move forward. We connected Dave with a brain injury specialist, who was able to properly diagnose him for the first time. With the expert diagnosis and support from this board-certified specialist, he had a long road ahead, but now he had a plan.
Actions We Took:
- Evaluation by a brain injury specialist
- Sent to board-certified brain injury specialist
- Set a strategic legal plan in motion
Stinson Law’s Legal Strategy
Our approach focused on ensuring Dave received the necessary care to comprehensively address his condition and build his case around the anticipated life-altering challenges ahead. For example, because of the brain injury, Dave’s potential for developing balance and vision issues as he aged increased dramatically. We aimed to convey to the jury that despite his outward appearance, Dave was facing profound challenges.
Our objective of seeking financial compensation was to alleviate the fear of uncertainty. By securing monetary damages, Dave and his wife could access the resources required to address any future needs, thereby providing them with a sense of security in the face of the unknown.
Challenges We Faced
Throughout this case, we encountered a formidable defense strategy aimed at discrediting Dave by labeling him as a liar, a faker, and a cheat, all based on his outward appearance of normalcy. This tactic was not a surprise to us, but difficult to combat nonetheless. We knew we needed to go above and beyond to prove the true impact of Dave’s condition.
This involved hours of research, digging, and investigative work. We dedicated considerable effort to contacting and interviewing people who could testify about Dave’s personality both before and after the accident. His coworkers unanimously attested to a noticeable shift in Dave’s demeanor following the incident. These “before and after” witnesses spoke to Dave’s personality. Before the crash, he was known and well-loved as a reliable, good-natured man. After the injury, people noticed a shift; he was more impulsive and aggressive, which was very unlike him.
We contacted legal and medical experts, who are often difficult to bring into cases like this due to the time commitment required. We even tracked down the old truck he had the accident in (which had since been sold) and created a model to show how the crash happened.
In this end, our hard work paid off.
Closure Without a Trial
Despite a fierce fight from the defense, our strategy paid off. Shortly before the trial was set to take place, the defense made an unprecedented offer, increasing the settlement amount by tenfold. This outcome marked a decisive victory.
Results & Outcome
Money was never the end goal of this case; the goal was to get Dave and his wife the support they needed to secure his future care. Brain injuries are life-altering and traumatic, with the potential to impact vision, balance, intellectual functions, and more.
In the end, we were able to settle out of court for over 12 times the original offer that was made. We settled, and Dave was able to secure future care.
Even though Dave grew up in Bozeman, he wasn’t sure who he could go to. He started asking around local law firms but didn’t get a response. Stinson Law was the only firm that called back. Here’s what Dave had to say about working with Stinson Law Group:
“Scott called me back and booked an appointment for a consultation within a few days of the phone call. They were extremely accommodating, and I liked him right out of the gate.”
“In the beginning, I was working with Scott, who is absolutely wonderful, extremely cool dude, very personable, but professional, but not too professional, if you know what I mean. He was casual, and that’s why I like him. Laurence , his brother, wanted to get involved in the case, which I said was no problem because, at this point, I trusted Scott, and then I started dealing with them both.”
“It was a hell of a learning experience. Laurence, Scott, and their team are extremely thorough. They were outstanding to work with, and I honestly miss talking to them now that the case is over.”
“The law firm did everything it could possibly do for me and my family, and then some.”
“What stood out for me the most was being taken in by the Stinson Law firm and treated like I was family. Another stand-out moment was when Laurence came to my home to visit with us to get to know us a little bit better, that was a real curveball. I couldn’t believe that he actually did it.
“It’s one thing to talk about it, but the guy actually showed up. He delivers what he says he is going to deliver.”
“What I would want someone to know would be that I don’t think you could find a better law for them to represent you and your family. This law firm goes above and beyond anything I could’ve imagined. I’ve been in the service business for some of the largest car dealerships in the northwest. My job was to make sure that all of the employees in the dealership, whether it was 300 of them or 500 of them, delivered beyond our customers’ expectations, so I know a thing or two about customer service and delivering results to your customers. Stinson Law knocked it out of the park.”
Dave’s case was a testament to the intricacies and challenges often encountered in personal injury litigation, particularly in matters involving brain injuries. The journey from a seemingly minor accident to a successful resolution underscores Stinson Law’s ability to navigate complex litigation on behalf of our clients.
Early Detection of Brain Injury: Dave’s case highlighted the critical importance of early detection and specialized medical evaluation for brain injuries, which can often go unnoticed immediately after an accident.
The Power of Expertise: With the help of a brain injury specialist, we were able to provide Dave with a proper diagnosis and a clear path for his recovery, illustrating the profound impact of expert knowledge in complex cases.
Resilience in the Face of Defense: Despite a fierce defense strategy that sought to discredit Dave, our dedicated team persevered, conducting extensive research and interviews to support his claims.
Securing Dave’s Future: Our strategy was not just about money; it was about securing Dave and his wife’s future care needs, demonstrating our commitment to the well-being of our clients beyond financial settlements.
At Stinson Law, we understand that every case is unique, and our ability to pivot for our client’s unique needs sets us apart. We have a proven track record in handling diverse cases, piecing together puzzles even when the image isn’t clear at first glance.
If you or a loved one has experienced a situation similar to Dave’s, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our experienced team is here to help you navigate the complexities of the legal system and secure the support you need.
Contact Stinson Law today to schedule your free consultation and take the first step toward achieving the justice and support you deserve