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Back injury case from rear-ender settled

December 25, 2006

Plaintiff was rear-ended by defendants, both sisters, who were following each other. Plaintiff’s car was also pushed into a vehicle in front and sustained approximately $16,000 in property damage. Both defendants’ vehicles were totaled. Liability was not seriously contested but damages were.

Plaintiff went to the hospital on the day of the accident and followed up with a chiropractor for neck and low back and radicular complaints about six to eight weeks later and treated with the chiropractor for the next two years. After one year of chiropractic treatment, plaintiff decided on her own to seek a second opinion from her primary physician and obtained an MRI of her lower back, which revealed a disc herniation. Plaintiff continued treatment with the chiropractor for another year before seeing a neurosurgeon, who performed an ALIF fusion procedure with insertion of LT cages. Plaintiff claimed permanent injuries associated with her back and neck.

Defendants argued that plaintiff only suffered soft tissue strains to her neck and back that should have resolved after no more than three months after the accident. Defendants argued that plaintiff overtreated and her low back surgery was not related to the accident and that plaintiff did not suffer a herniated disc, despite the radiology report finding.

Video depositions were conducted of both experts prior to settlement of the case. The maximum insurance overage available was $175,000.