DeWitt Algorri + Algorri, PC, obtained a $2.4M verdict for two plaintiffs who suffered catastrophic injuries that required months of painful recovery after a drunk driver smashed their vehicle into a guardrail on the highway. The verdict was awarded exclusively for the victims’ pain and suffering - no punitive damages were involved.
The driver suffered a severely crushed ankle with bone protrusion through the skin, which required several surgeries over the course of a year. The passenger suffered a compression spine fracture, rib fractures, a right clavicle fracture, a finger fracture, and a dislocated hip.
Patrick Nolan and Carolyn Tan needed to show what these injuries and surgeries looked like in order to emphasize the magnitude of damages their clients suffered. They tasked High Impact with illustrating the painful devastation and complicated recovery.
“High Impact graphically illustrated the plaintiff's injuries and treatment. The diagrams were especially helpful during expert testimony. The judge visibly cringed as she used the diagrams to understand the various injuries and surgeries.”
The first demonstrative exhibit breaks down the driver’s severely fractured ankle and the first of five surgeries he would need to undergo. Color Diagnostics flank this surgical progression on the left and right, highlighting the injury in pre-op and post-op X-rays.
Surgical illustrations are powerful because they capture the entirety of your client’s suffering while simplifying complicated procedures down to the most defining chapters. Color Diagnostics highlight damages in radiographic films, using colorful realism to add brutal context over an otherwise mundane, black-and-white film.
Eleven days after having the external fixator placed, the plaintiff would need to undergo an open reduction and internal fixation to reduce fractures. Metal plates were screwed into the plaintiff’s fibula and tibia, the external fixator was removed, and the wound was sutured closed as necrosis began to set in.
The illustration introduces the plaintiff’s pre-op condition and then walked the audience through the ORIF surgery step-by-step. It concludes with a Color Diagnostic that highlights the metal hardware and fractured bone over a post-op X-ray.
After living a month-and-a-half with metal plates screwed into his tibia and fibula, the tibial hardware would be removed. During that surgery, a skin graft was harvested and meshed to rotate around and cover the open wound that refused to close.
The exhibit opens with the illustrated removal of the hardware. It then shows how surgeons used the plaintiff’s own skin to cover an unhealable wound. Skin graft illustrations are a powerful way to emphasize another otherwise underestimated chapter of the story.
Almost a year after the drunk driver crashed into the plaintiff, his ankle was still refusing to heal. Hardware was removed so surgeons could fix the non-union. Bone was harvested from the pelvis and placed in the non-union fracture site. The cortical window was screwed closed and plates were reattached to the plaintiff’s bone.
The custom illustration helped the audience understand the life-altering nature of this injury while demonstrating where and how the plaintiff’s body would be forever altered. A colorized post-op x-ray concludes the surgical walk-through with a gruesome Color Diagnostic depicting the brutal conclusion of the plaintiff’s damages he still lives with today.
The beauty of working with High Impact is that once we’ve created your visuals, we can reapply and organize them in whatever strategic outline you’re trying to convey. Here, we had already created Color Diagnostics depicting the five chapters of recovery - so our artists decided to reorganize them into a timeline that conveyed the entire experience in one visual.
The result was a powerful exhibit that concluded the driver’s damages with a dramatic story encompassing the plaintiff’s entire painful experience - using materials we had already created.
Once we had established the magnitude and progression of the driver’s damages, we needed to introduce the audience to the injuries and surgeries suffered by the passenger. This first exhibit summarizes her severely fractured phalanx, followed by the surgery needed to reduce it.
The Color Diagnostic highlights the injury in an X-ray, an illustration shows where K-wires penetrated her finger to reduce fractures, and a post-op Color Di reinforces a photo of the mangled finger after surgery.
The next exhibit highlights the plaintiff’s severely fractured clavicle by adding colorized context to an X-ray film. Comparing the Color Diagnostic with the original film in the bottom-right corner shows a clear amount of heightened context.
When you focus your case on the damaging details that matter most to your client’s pain and suffering, your audience will easily understand the points you’re trying to convey.
Once we had established how severely the clavicle had been fractured, we needed to show how it was surgically repaired through an ORIF. These snapshots illustrate important chapters of the plaintiff’s surgery that would help the audience understand the brutal reality of her experience. Similar to the driver’s surgery illustrations, we conclude with a Color Diagnostic of the post-op hardware in an X-ray. Color Diagnostics are the best way to familiarize your audience with radiographic films.
The final experience we needed to convey was the passenger’s dislocated hip and the complicated surgery needed to fix it. The procedure would entail a capsulotomy and an acetabuloplasty to repair the labral tear with sutures.
“The $2.4M did not include any punitive damages. The award was solely for the injuries the plaintiffs suffered, which were clearly depicted at trial by High Impact’s illustrations.”
The 10 exhibits collectively helped convey the full pain and suffering of Mr. Nolan and Ms. Tan’s clients. They also helped convince the audience to award them a $2.4M verdict.
High Impact’s team of visual strategists, artists, and developers can build and customize your trial graphics for personal injury cases – or any subject involving complex information.