$1,175,000 Settlement for Client Injured in a Multi-Car Rear-End Crash in Nassau County

COURT AND COUNTY:
Supreme Court, Nassau County

AGE AND OCCUPATION OF PLAINTIFF:
At the time of the accident, our client was 51 years old and worked as an administrative assistant at a bank.

DESCRIPTION OF CASE:
Our client was driving her vehicle in traffic on a Nassau County roadway, at a slow rate of speed, when she was hit in the rear by the Defendant. The impact caused our client to strike the rear of the vehicle in front of her.

During the case, a motion was filed seeking summary judgment against the Defendant on the issue of liability. The court granted our motion and Defendant was found to be 100 percent responsible for the accident.

The matter was scheduled for a damages-only trial.

DAMAGES:
In the aftermath of the accident, our client was taken by ambulance to the hospital with complaints of head pain, dizziness, blurred vision, neck and low back pain, and leg pain. She underwent a series of X-rays and CT scans, which came back normal. She was discharged from the hospital with a recommendation to follow up with medical providers if her symptoms persisted.

Approximately one week later, with continued complaints of neck and low back pain, our client sought the care of a musculoskeletal specialist. She was also experiencing pain radiating from her neck into her right arm, with numbness, tingling, and weakness in her right hand, as well as pain radiating from her lower back to her right leg. She began a course of conservative care, including physical therapy, chiropractic care, and acupuncture. Despite ongoing pain, our client returned to work.

When she continued to experience pain, she underwent further diagnostic testing. MRI studies revealed disc herniations in the cervical spine at the C4-C6 levels and disc herniation in the lumbar spine at the L3/4 level.

Unfortunately, conservative care did not alleviate our client's symptoms. Ultimately, she was recommended to undergo surgery for both her cervical and lumbar spine. She underwent an Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion at C4-C6, followed by a Posterior Lumbar Fusion at L3/4.

This was not the first instance our client had suffered injuries to her spine. Several years prior to this accident, our client had suffered neck and low back injuries in another motor vehicle accident. Similar to her injuries in this accident, she had experienced neck pain radiating into her upper extremities and low back pain radiating into her lower extremities. Prior MRIs showed disc bulges and herniations in both the lumbar and cervical spine. Due to her injuries, she had undergone approximately six months of physical therapy. Following conservative care, the symptoms were alleviated. As a result of the motor vehicle accident in our case, our client's prior injuries worsened.

Post-operatively, our client's condition improved. However, she continued to experience ongoing neck and low back pain. Due to her ongoing condition, she continued conservative care, including physical therapy. Unfortunately, following surgery, she did not return to work.

RESULT
The matter settled for $1,175,000 prior to trial.

HANDLING ATTORNEYS
This matter was handled by Partners Jeffrey A. Block and S. Joseph Donahue.