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Michael van der Veen Wins $1.35 Million For Boxer Injured By Drunk Driver

Victor Ellis∗ was a boxer. After a promising 12-0 record as an amateur, he turned professional and won his first two bouts without a defeat. Unfortunately, Victor’s boxing career never advanced beyond that point. In the early hours of a foggy, rainy fall morning, Victor’s SUV was rear ended and forced off the highway by an intoxicated, undercover narcotics police officer. Victor was knocked unconscious at the scene and later diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury, which not only ended his boxing career, but also dramatically altered the course of his life.

The police officer had been drinking substantially at his local FOP lodge (an after hours drinking establishment) when he climbed into his work issued vehicle, a large pick-up truck, and headed north on the highway. Driving at more than 90 miles per hour, the officer changed lanes without warning and struck Victor’s SUV from behind forcing him off the road. At the scene, the state police investigating the accident were of the opinion that the undercover officer was visibly and seriously intoxicated. Although he refused to submit to alcohol testing, the undercover officer later pleaded guilty to Driving While Intoxicated.

In the meantime, Victor Ellis was struggling to deal with the consequences of his misfortune. At the time of his crash, Victor was also a young entrepreneur and the owner of a profitable clothing store, which he was never able to resume running. The crash left Victor with head and spine injuries that caused learning and memory problems, depression and great physical pain. Victor sought legal counsel to help him navigate the medical and legal issues caused by the crash. This attorney, however, failed to do much to help Victor, and he was floundering.

That’s when Victor Ellis met attorney Michael van der Veen, who immediately took charge of Victor’s legal and medical affairs. van der Veen had Victor examined and treated by the leading brain injury rehabilitation clinic in the country. After extensive rehabilitation and treatment, Victor was able to heal as much as possible and he learned to manage his injuries.

van der Veen also filed a lawsuit on Victor’s behalf against the government entity, the FOP lodge, and the undercover narcotics officer. Multiple expert reports were prepared that detailed the extent of Victor’s anticipated loss in earnings, his future medical needs, and the living expenses that his injuries would necessitate. With all the relevant information at his disposal, van der Veen was able to negotiate a combined settlement of $1.35 million dollars for Victor Ellis securing that his future financial and medical needs will be satisfied.

One of the unique aspects of being a professional athlete, and a boxer in particular, is learning how to manage and overcome pain. The pain of long hours of training, sparing, and of course the actual boxing matches. Boxing was a passion for Victor Ellis and all the hard work to excel at his craft was his choice. Having that dream wiped out by some one else’s hand was not Victor’s choice and one he never would have made. The fact is, however, Victor’s boxing career was taken against his will and replaced with a pain that brought no personal reward; no satisfaction.

If your health has been compromised by someone else’s negligence, if something has been taken from you or a loved one, you need a strong, compassionate and decisive advocate by your side.

In the years following Victor’s injury not only did Michael van der Veen become his lawyer for life and all of life’s problems, but his friend. A person Victor calls for counsel, guidance and advice. The value of a true relationship with your attorney is that it can last a lifetime.

One of Philadelphia’s foremost personal injury, criminal defense and commercial litigation law firms, van der Veen, O’Neill, Hartshorn, and Levin combine nearly a century of passion-driven comprehensive law practice and client-centered representation for the full benefit of their clients. Their experience fighting for clients, serving the community and excelling in litigation has earned them the reputation as one of Pennsylvania’s toughest, hardest-working law firms.