The Nix Law Firm has provided dedicated, client-committed, experienced representation for victims of accidents in Wichita Falls, Lawton and the Texoma region of Texas and Oklahoma for decades.
The personal injury law firm handles plaintiff cases, primarily injuries of different types, due to liability and negligence. Ben Hoover joined The Nix Law Firm in 2012 after serving as a felony prosecutor in the Wichita County District Attorney’s Office for 5 years. Ben is an experienced trial lawyer who dedicates his practice to injury, wrongful death and criminal law cases, and has recently started using Axial3D to print 3D models of his client’s injuries.
“A 3D model is something that the insurance adjusters can hold and see, and it’s something that the jury is going to be able to see with their own two eyes and even touch the injury.” Ben explains when discussing the use of 3D modeling.
“In one particular case, I have a client who was involved in a rollover motor vehicle accident, where he injured his cervical spine, and had a severe herniated disc in his cervical spine. The surgeon did a double spinal fusion on two different discs, removed the discs and inserted plates. The client was in incredibly severe pain before the surgery, but unfortunately even afterwards he was still having quite a lot of pain even after the hardware and the disc replacement.”
Typically in cases like this, Ben would have a detailed medical illustration produced, however the tactile nature of using precision 3D anatomical models to explain these complex injuries appealed to him. Rather than trying to explain the injuries to jurors while a doctor is pointing to an MRI or X-ray film 20 feet from the jury, Ben tried a new approach.
“It was around this time when I came across Axial3D and the anatomical models. I thought it would be very helpful to have a spine model produced, which showed in 3D imagery to proportion, my client’s actual spine with the hardware that was attached to the front of it in a contrasting colour.”
“It’s a step beyond having the 2D images, which can be helpful in many cases, but this is definitely an enhancement and allows the jury to see exactly what the doctor is describing. I had never seen a product like this before, used in this way. I’ve used color illustrations in the past, and even in this case. But, the novel application is what drew me to the 3D printing aspect.”
Having access to the model has supported Ben to elevate his case and help explain to the jury the severity of his client’s injuries.
“A 3D print like this takes that 2D black and white scan that the average person could not decipher anything from and transforms it into something the doctor can use to explain the injury and let the jury see it and actually touch it.”
Not only are the models incredibly detailed and accurate, but Axial3D can produce and ship a customized 3D anatomical model within 48 hours, giving attorneys more time to plan and prepare their cases.
“I’ve recommended Axial3D to my partners and our other staff at the office. Now, when we’re drafting demands and preparing for mediations, our staff know that we can order illustrations and 3D models for when we have serious injuries just like in this case.”
Over the last 32 years, Rubenstein Law has grown from a Miami-based plaintiffs’ personal injury firm, to over 45 attorneys in 8 cities across Florida. Today, the firm represents Clients throughout the state in all manner of personal injury claims including product liability, catastrophic injuries, premise liability, medical negligence and dangerous drugs cases, in addition to auto accidents and slip and fall injury cases.
In this case, their Client suffered a severe brain injury caused by negligence and faulty equipment while being transported for treatment to a dialysis center. Upon arrival at the dialysis center, the driver began the process of unloading the patient from the vehicle via a connected wheelchair unloading device/ramp. A stoppage device on the back of the wheelchair ramp would prevent an individual from rolling backwards. However, the stoppage device had been malfunctioning in previous days, and ultimately malfunctioned while their Client was being unloaded. This resulted in the Client rolling off the back end of the ramp and landing on the back of his head. The patient was found unconscious, with 3 fractured ribs, a fracture in his thoracic vertebrae, and permanent damage to his brain.
“I think there’s a big difference between reading about a brain hemorrhage on a piece of paper versus being able to see and touch the exact hemorrhage. The visual, tactile 3D model for trial purposes is so much more powerful than using 2D images, and in this case clearly shows the extent of the damage done to my Client’s brain.”
The Client’s attorney, Aaron Feuer, wanted a visual representation of the specific trauma sustained to his Client’s brain, which is where Axial3D came in.
Aaron is well used to the varying degree of negligence cases that come his way, but with the current closure of many courts across the country due to COVID-19, adapting presentations to online hearings and Mediation sessions has become increasingly important. As such, 3D segmentations or on-screen 3D adaptations have become a powerful substitute for a physical 3D printed model. While they don’t have the tactile properties of a physical model, a 3D rendering can be interactive on-screen, and used to highlight key areas of anatomy and injury to a judge and jurors.
“I look forward to in-person mediations and trials resuming so I can bring the 3D models into trial so the jury can actually see and touch them. When attorneys use animations and 3D models they are giving the jurors the best possible visualizations of the Client’s injury and helping them to understand the trauma inflicted upon them.”
Not only do the 3D models and visualizations support better understanding of the impact of the trauma, but allow for medical witnesses and attorneys to explain key anatomical regions and traumas without having to resort to grainy, 2D scans or complicated drawings.
“The 3D models give such an excellent visual representation of the actual trauma impacted to the person and they paint a picture of the overall impact to the Client. When I am explaining to a jury, for example, about a three-centimeter hemorrhage in the back of a Client’s head, I’m not sure many would have a visual representation in their mind of what that looks like. So, these models enable us to show them these complicated medical injuries with powerful and strong imagery.”
Critically, with these cases, timing is everything. Rubenstein Law relies on fast turnaround for their visualization tools. “I can’t wait ten days for a response,” Aaron says, “Working with Axial3D means I get a response quickly, and a model created from my Client’s medical images in a matter of days, not weeks, giving me more time to prepare my case.”
Andy Henry2021-10-27T14:51:27+00:00October 24th, 2020|