On July 22, 2012, Jewel Wicker was driving her Honda 2002 Accord to church when she was stopped on Camp Creek Parkway at a red light at the intersection of Old Fairborn Road close to the interstates of Georgia. While she was stopped at the red light, she was abruptly run over from behind by a commercial vehicle driven by Parker Owens that was owned by First Class Produce which is his parents’ company. The wreck was so severe that Ms. Wicker’s car was crushed underneath the truck as emergency responders removed her from her vehicle with the jaws of life. Luckily, Ms. Wicker survived the incident, but not without injury.
Mr. Owens, the driver, would tell police that he tried to apply the brakes to stop but nothing happened so he was not able to stop. The police would discover that there were no skid marks at the scene and that nothing was wrong with the brakes of the truck. Mr. Owens was cited for running a red light. Later, at trial, it would never be disputed by anybody on the defense or the plaintiff’s side that it was Owens who caused the crash. It would also not be disputed that Ms. Wicker was injured as a result of the crash.
What would be in dispute at trial, however, was how badly Ms. Wicker, the Plaintiff, was injured and whether or not she had made a full recovery. This would prove to be a difficult concept to prove to the jury since Ms. Wicker’s injuries were not external such as broken bones, a lost limb, scars, or other visible injuries. Instead, Ms. Wicker’s injuries were internal and in her brain.
To show the damage to the Plaintiff’s brain, at trial the Plaintiff would use many visual aids such as a video that was animated to show the anatomy of the brain and also diagrams showing the brain. The way the Plaintiff also described her injury to the jury was an injury compared to that of shaken baby syndrome where you would not necessarily see a fracture to the skull or a negative CT scan, but, nonetheless, a brain injury exists.