After a Hit & Run Accident, Preserve Evidence & Seek Medical Care
In July 2019, we were contacted by a veteran of three branches of the military who was injured in a rear-end collision caused by a hit and run driver in Clay County, Missouri. Our client was stopped at a stop light when a truck collided into the rear of his vehicle. The collision caused our client’s vehicle to go through the intersection, knocking him unconscious. When our client awoke, the vehicle that caused the collision had fled the scene.
Fortunately, our client had contacted our law firm soon after the accident; this quick action allowed us to obtain video footage from a nearby business that had documented the crash. The video footage showed that a white pickup truck collided into the back of our client's vehicle and pulled around our client's vehicle before quickly driving away from the scene of the accident. Our client sought emergency care soon after the accident. He reported feeling nauseous, having headaches/neck pain, and having issues with his memory and word-finding abilities.
In the days after the accident, he also noticed that he had balance issues and intense pain around the orbitals of his eyes. CT scans were done of our client's head and neck but did not find any traumatic injuries. He was diagnosed with post-concussive syndrome and ordered to rest, take ibuprofen and return if his symptoms worsened. Our client was told by his neurologist that his symptoms would likely improve over time. Unfortunately, they did not.
Do Not Ignore Symptoms of a Brain Injury After an Accident
In the weeks and months after the accident, our client began noticing increasing problems with his vision. He went to his optometrist for an eye exam and was diagnosed with abnormal findings characteristic of a brain injury. Specifically, our client had decreased peripheral vision. His left eye was turning in, causing his vision to be blurred. He was referred to a neuro-ophthalmologist at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Testing was conducted at Kansas Medical Center that lead to our client being diagnosed with visual defects. These tests indicated that his defects were caused by a left occipital tip lesion in his brain as well as alternating nystagmus and a skewed deviation which suggested a lesion in the posterior fossa, brainstem or cerebellum.
You May Need a Second Medical Opinion to Evaluate a Brain Injury
The CT scan from the emergency room was also reviewed by the neuro-ophthalmologist, and it confirmed that there were posterior hemorrhages in both of our client's occipital lobes. Our client was then referred to a neurologist for a second opinion due to his continued imbalance and problems walking with a tandem gait. This neurologist was able to confirm that our client had suffered a posterior circulation stroke involving his posterior cerebral artery and brainstem or cerebellum. Unfortunately, the doctor also opined that our client was at high risk of having further strokes and that the damage to his brain was permanent. Our client was referred to rehabilitation and given prescription medication.
Hit and Run Accidents Qualify for Uninsured Motorist Coverage
When this claim was presented to the insurance company, it was presented as a uninsured motorist claimdue to the hit and run driver and the fact that the identity of the driver was unknown. The insurance company initially low-balled our client and argued that there was a delay in diagnosis of his injuries and questioned whether they were caused by the accident. Specifically, the insurance adjuster attempted to argue that our client's preexisting condition of diabetes was the cause for his vision problems.
Fortunately, our law firm was able to use medical evidence from both before and after the accident to convince the adjuster that the injuries were caused by the accident. Ultimately resulting in the insurance company agreeing to pay the maximum amount available under the policy with the need to file a lawsuit.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a hit and run accident or suffered a brain injury, please contact The Law Office of Kevin J. McManus. Call us today at 816-203-0143 for your free, no obligation consultation.