Injured driver recovers $245,000 from drunk driver in auto accident in Arlington County, VA
On 5/20/07, Plaintiff was traveling through an intersection when she was struck on the driver’s side by a drunk driver attempting to turn left from the opposite direction. The driver refused to submit to the required breath test at the station, but he failed the field sobriety tests at the scene. Defendant’s airbags deployed due to severe front-end damage to Defendant’s car, and there was moderate damage to Plaintiff’s front driver’s side. Plaintiff was unable to move in her car and was taken by ambulance to the hospital with complaints of neck pain and other complaints. Over the next eight months, Plaintiff treated with her family doctor, a pain management doctor and had physical therapy, including injections, cervical traction and use of pain patches for neck pain and radiating pain, numbness and tingling in her arms and hands. Plaintiff had a three-level neck surgery (anterior discectomy with fusion) in January 2008 with a neurosurgeon due to an MRI finding of a disc herniation at C4-5 and severe stenosis at C5-6 and C6-7. A titanium plate and screws were inserted in her neck after three discs were removed and the vertebrae were fused together and secured with a plate and screws. Plaintiff had over $67,000 in total medical bills and $5,200 in lost wages. Plaintiff made a good recovery with the expected residual limitations in range of motion and some residual neck pain. Defendant alleged that Plaintiff was suffering from preexisting cervical disease, based on pre-accident chiropractic visits, which the surgery was largely directed at resolving.