Tragedy struck a San Antonio family in late 2012. And finally, a jury has helped the family by awarding justice in the amount of a $124.5 million judgement.
Just before the Christmas holidays on December 18, 2012, Jesse Rivera, was driving his 2005 Audi A4 Quattro with his two sons, Jesse Jr. and Patrick as passengers. At one point, Mr. Rivera stopped his vehicle behind a school bus unloading children south of San Antonio when another car slammed into the rear of his car.
The force of the impact caused Mr. Rivera’s driver seat to collapse backward into the rear seat resulting in Mr. Rivera’s head collided with the head of his seven year old son, Jesse Jr. The young boy sustained a life-altering traumatic brain injury as a result. In March of 2016 a Bexar County jury awarded the Rivera family $124.5 million, assigning primary responsibility to Audi and Volkswagen Group of America.
Out of Date Standards a Factor in the Rivera Accident
The younger Jesse, who is now eleven years old, suffered a depressed skull fracture and now has partial blindness and paralysis, requiring lifelong care.
According to the San Antonio Express News:
Attorney for the Riveras’, Joseph Dunn, criticized the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s out of date safety standards for testing seat back strength, set in the 1960’s.
“It’s completely out of date,” he said. “NHSTA (the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration), which is supposed to be monitoring our automotive safety and promulgating standards for auto manufacturers to follow, is asleep at the wheel.”
Cost analysis by the NHSTA holds back progress in testing this type of accident. NHSTA spokesperson Gordon Towbridge cites the lack of data for rear end accidents, accounting for only 3% of deaths, and the even more sparse fatality data from seat back failure.
Meanwhile the real world for the Riveras is a son who “will never be the same” according to Dunn, but with the settlement, “will never be institutionalized, which was the family’s greatest fear.” Although a collapsing seat may be somewhat uncommon, rear end collisions are not, and as this video shows, the toll on the human body can be terrible.
Traumatic Injuries Require Specialized Legal Help
Traumatic brain injuries can happen in many scenarios, whether by auto crash, workplace accident or from the failure of a defective product. In an instant a loved one’s life, dreams and prospects are devastated.
If you have a loved one who has suffered a traumatic brain injury, that individual may be entitled to justice including compensation that can help with long term care. The Callahan Law Firm has the experience, skill and resources to successfully represent those suffering from traumatic brain injury resulting from the negligence of another.
Contact The Callahan Law Firm for a free case evaluation with an experienced Texas traumatic brain injury lawyer. We handle all our personal injury cases on a “no fee if no recovery” basis, which allows us to represent people who have limited financial resources to pursue the case.