John A. DeGasperis Recovers $2 Million for Victim of Ulster County Car Wreck

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Basch & Keegan partner, John A. DeGasperis, recovered $2,000,000.00 for an Ulster County-woman who was seriously injured in a car wreck that occurred in Saugerties. John handled this case with the assistance of paralegal, Katherine R. Farley.

To understand the impact of this car crash, a little history is required. John’s client had joined the workforce at the young age of fourteen, and she worked two jobs through high school, college, and graduate school. After receiving her Masters Degree she held a career in her field for six years before resigning her position due to fertility issues.

Our client and her husband had tried for years to conceive children naturally. After several failed IVF treatments, her OB/GYN suggested her stressful work environment might be hindering their efforts. Her desire to get pregnant compelled her to tender her resignation. She did however take less stressful positions with two small businesses, which were owned and operated by her parents. She went on to give birth to twins.

The car accident happened one year after their birth.

John’s client was traveling alone in her car when a man operating a pickup truck on behalf of a major auto parts retailer fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into her head-on. Her SUV spun 180-degrees upon impact and came to rest on the shoulder of the road. The impact was devasting and caused extensive damage to all vehicles involved. Our client hit her head against the airbag and headrest. Both knees hit the underside of the dashboard. Her left arm went numb. She had difficulty breathing. She was bleeding from her mouth.

She was transported by ambulance from the scene of the accident to the Emergency Room. She complained of headaches, chest pain, lower back pain, left shoulder pain and numbness and tingling in the left arm. For weeks after the accident our client had extensive bruising throughout her chest, breasts, clavicle, and left wrist. The medical evidence demonstrates that as a direct result of the accident our client suffered extensive injuries to her cervical spine, lumbar spine, central and peripheral nervous systems, joints, and musculature.

Four weeks after the accident, our client went back to the Emergency Room for, “a headache that had been ongoing for approximately 1 month.” Something was obviously wrong.

Our client sustained a multitude of injuries, the greatest of which was a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). This case was challenging because the diagnostic images did not detect a TBI, but there was other proof to show the client had suffered with cognitive dysfunction, vertigo, memory loss, and visual problems after the accident. Our client is a well-educated woman who was no longer able to function at her previous intelligence.

Her TBI necessitated an exhaustive workup and extensive medical treatment. She consulted with multiple specialists including neurologists, optometrists, neuropsychologist, and psychologist. John was ready to put them all on the stand to testify. Collectively, these specialists confirmed that our client had sustained a concussion, post-concussion syndrome, post concussive headaches and dizziness, post-traumatic stress disorder, visual disturbances, anxiety, and depression.

In addition to the medical issues she faces, our client was stripped of the early joys of motherhood and has been forced to rely heavily on her mother and sister-in-law for childcare. She struggles to effectively care for two small children alone. These limitations in this regard have caused her a lot of emotional problems. She carries a lot of stress and feelings of inadequacy. These emotional responses were only compounded by the guilt associated with burdening her family with no ability to pay them for their assistance.

This case was hard to prove because the client’s injuries were invisible, but these challenges did not stop John. He was determined to go to trial with the support of multiple experts. After extensive negotiations, the corporate defendant offered to settle the case for $2 million dollars. This recovery will change the life of our client and her family.

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