Auto Accident Victim Recovers $1,750,000 for Lower Back Injury

COURT AND COUNTY
Supreme Court, Suffolk County

AGE AND OCCUPATION OF PLAINTIFF
Plaintiff was 22 years old at the time of this accident and 24 years old at the time of settlement. Both prior to the accident, and at the time of settlement, Plaintiff worked as an administrative assistant at a nursing and rehabilitation center in Suffolk County.

DESCRIPTION OF CASE
Plaintiff, who was driving her Mitsubishi, was struck in the driver's side by a bus that ran a stop sign.

INJURIES/DAMAGES
Plaintiff sustained low back injuries. After undergoing physical therapy and a series of lumbar epidural injections, Plaintiff ultimately underwent a surgery consisting of a decompression with fusion at the L5/S1 level. Plaintiff refused medical attention at the scene of the accident, and made her first complaint of low back pain two days later. Plaintiff returned to work three days after the accident, and was working at the time of the settlement. As such, Plaintiff made no claim for lost earnings. Plaintiff sought damages for her pain and suffering, as well as past and future medical expenses.

The defense retained experts in the fields of radiology, physiatry and neurology, who all concluded that Plaintiff's low back injuries existed before this accident. Notably, Plaintiff had been involved in a prior 2004 accident in which she hurt her lower back. The defense experts also concluded that Plaintiff had reached a near full recovery following her lumbar surgery, and only needed minimal future medical treatment. Finally, the defense hired an investigator who captured surveillance video of the Plaintiff engaging in a rigorous workout after her surgery, which included Plaintiff running up and down bleachers.

VERDICT/SETTLEMENT AMOUNT
$1,750,000

NOTE
This case was handled by Stephen J. Murphy and David L. Scher.