Raymore Personal Injury lawyer Matt Hamilton of the Lees Summit law firm of Hamilton & Associates was awarded a fifteen million dollar judgment recently for an injury auto accident lawsuit  involving a motorcycle.  The judgment came from the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri at Independence.  Hamilton is a Pleasant Hill, Cass County, Missouri personal injury attorney that lives in Raymore, Cass County, Missouri.

The car crash north of Cass County, Missouri occurred on January 22, 2009 at the intersection of Highway 210 and Arlington Avenue in North Kansas City, Clay County, Missouri.  This is a location some twenty miles north of Cass County, MO and just north of law offices in Lee’s Summit and Jackson County, MO.  This auto accident occurred when defendant Earl McLaughlin drove his 1986 Chevrolet Caprice  automobile towing a flatbed trailer west on Highway 210 in Clay County, MO.  For reasons unknown, Mr. McLaughlin drove his automobile to the right (north) side of the highway and parked it on the shoulder.

Lauren “Sheehan” was an attractive young doctorate student studying Pharmacology at the University of Missouri at Kansas City.  She was well-liked and had friends from as far south as in Harrisonville, Cass County, Missouri law offices to lawyers in Lee’s Summit Jackson County, Missouri.  She was driving a motorcycle behind Mr. McLaughlin, also west on Highway 210 in Clay County, Missouri just north of Cass County and Lees Summit.  Miss Sheehan was traveling at highway speeds.  She had no pre-existing injury or conditions and a bright future ahead of her.

As Miss Sheehan on her motorcycle, pre accident approached the position where Mr. McLaughlin was parked in his automobile on the north/right side of the road, Mr. McLaughlin moved.  He drove his Chevy automobile left, headed south across the shoulder and across  two lanes of traffic abruptly through the intersection.  Mr. McLaughlin either did not look to check for the safety of upcoming automobiles and motorcycles or looked and chose not to heed the risk of an injury auto accident.  For Lauren, this effectively placed a thirty foot wide barrier in front of her motorcycle at a ninety degree angle to the road.  There was no time to react.

There was no manufacturing defect in the motorcycle.  There also was no design defect in her motorcycle.  Simply, the negligence of other driver gave insufficient time to react.

The motorcycle driven by Miss Sheehan struck the side of the Chevy Caprice automobile driven by Mr. McLaughlin causing a severe non Cass County auto accident.  Specifically, the motorcycle struck the rear door of Mr. McLaughlin’s automobile.  The Caprice automobile suffered property damage.  The motorcycle driven by Miss Sheehan was “totaled.”  Mr. McLaughlin was uninjured.  Lauren Sheehan received catastrophic life-altering injuries.

Missouri law requires the drivers of all automobiles who intend to turn left at any intersection to approach the intersection in the extreme left hand lane to the traffic moving in the direction of travel.  RSMo. 304.341.1(2).  Mr. McLaughlin failed to do this by turning left in his automobile from the extreme right hand shoulder of highway 210.  The purpose of that Missouri law is to prevent serious injury auto accidents.  Mr. McLaughlin violated Missouri law.

Missouri law requires the driver of an overtaken automobile to to “give way” to the right in favor of an overtaking automobile.  RSMo. 304.016.1 (2).  The purpose of this Missouri law is to avoid a car accident that causes death or injury.  Mr. McLaughlin violated this Missouri law by failing to yield his automobile to the motorcycle driven by Miss Sheehan, causing a car crash.

Missouri law requires an auto entering a roadway from a private area to yield to another vehicle approaching on the highway.  The purpose of this Missouri law is to prevent serious non Cass County but Missouri injury automobile accidents.  Mr. McLaughlin violated this Missouri law by choosing not to yield to the motorcycle driven by Miss Sheehan but rather to drive his automobile left across several lanes of traffic from a private area (the shoulder) causing a car wreck.

In addition, Missouri law dictates that the driver of an automobile is required to yield to another automobile if the other auto is so close to the intersection that it is an immediate hazard.  The purpose of this statute is to avoid injury auto accidents.  Here, Miss Sheehan was approaching the intersection on her motorcycle and was so close at the time Mr. McLaughlin turned left in his automobile that it posed a hazard.  Mr. McLaughlin failed to yield to Miss Sheehan and caused this very serious injury auto accident north of Lees Summit.

As a result of the auto accident, Lauren Sheehan had the following injury broken bones:

Pelvis Fracture in 4 places

A C-2 transverse process spine Fracture

R suprapubic ramus bone break

L Sacroiliac bone fracture

L acetabular bone fracture

L superior PR bone fracture

L inferior PR bone fracture with 2 cm gap

R inferior Pubic Ramus bone fracture

T-3 transverse process spine bone fracture

T-4 transverse process spine bone fracture

T-5 transverse process spine bone fracture

T-6 transverse process spine bone fracture

T-7 transverse process spine bone fracture

T-8 burst spine bone fracture with retropulsion (unstable)

T8 compression spine bone fracture

T8 height loss of 60-70%

T6 Compression spine bone fracture

T9 Compression spine bone fracture

Abnormal widening of T7-T8 spine bone both on L and R

T6-10 posterior arthrodesis

Posterolateral listhesis

L-1 transverse process spine bone fracture

R comminuted humeral shaft bone fracture

R ulnar Fracture

Radial ulnar Fractures

Radial Head Fracture

L upper ulnar Fx and radial Fxs

Multiple R side transverse process spine bone fractures

Bilateral comminuted forearm (wrist) bone Fractures

Multiple Thoracic compression spine bone fractures

Multiple rib Fractures, 3, 4, 5

Miss Sheehan also received multiple soft tissue injuries as a result of the auto accident.  She had the following soft tissue injuries:

Coma – 1/22/09 to at least 1/30/09

L knee ligament injury involving PCL and LCL

Severe Tongue laceration

4 cm Liver laceration

Ligament injury of posterior T8-T9 facet joints

Foraminal compromise at T8-T9

Acute Respiratory failure

Lung infection/inflammation

Acute Spinal Cord compression

Intracranial hemorage

Bilateral apical pneumothorax

Most significantly, the auto accident caused Miss Sheehan neurological injury.  This is a brain injury auto accident.  Specifically, she had the following brain injuries:

1 Shear type intracranial injury with multisystem drop

Axonal injury

R periventricular white matter

Cerebral edema

L cerebral peduncle

Involvement of corpus callosum secondary to collision

Central spinal canal stenosis T8 secondary to retropulsion

Encephalomalacia of the L basal ganglia

R hemiparesis with probable right neglect

Large intrusion on the spinal canal due to T8 Fx

Spinal cord contusion at T8, bone touching the cord

Disordered sleep cycle                   (6-7 hours as of 4-15-09)           (5-7 hours on 3-18-09)

Limb muscle spasms including PCL and LCL, and R UE flexors

As of the date of judgment, the injury medical bills Miss Sheehan incurred as a result of the car accident exceeded $821,083.76.  Her medical costs continue to increase and will increase throughout the course of her life.

Miss Sheehan will lose very significant loss of wages and earnings as a result of this injury automobile accident.  Specifically, the car crash will cost her the following employment loss:

Miss Sheehan had an expected median salary of $102,336.  She was expected to have a career lasting thirty nine (39) years, at least.  This accounts to an estimated work wage employment loss as a result of the injury auto accident of $3,991,104.00 (nearly four million dollars in damages from work loss alone).  Naturally, this would need to be adjusted for its present value and expected wage increases.

The lawsuit to recover the damages from the car accident was filed in the Circuit Court of Jackson County at Independence on October 30, 2009.  Cass County attorney and Raymore resident Matt Hamilton filed the lawsuit.  His website is www.lees-summit-attorney.com.  He is a Cass County, Missouri personal injury attorney who has his primary law office in Pleasant Hill, Cass County, Missouri.

This auto accident brain injury lawsuit was brought before the court on February 4, 2010.  The Honorable Judge decided the case.  Judgment was entered for the victim Lauren Sheehan and against the person that caused the car accident, Mr. McLaughlin.  Damages were calculated by the Court.  Judgment was entered for the plaintiff and against the defendant for fifteen million dollars ($15,000.000.00).