$1,325,000 Settlement for Client Injured in Queens, NY Motor Vehicle Accident

In a Queens case, our client sustained injuries to his neck and lower back when his car was struck by a vehicle that abruptly pulled out of a parking lot. The collision, which was determined to be 100 percent the fault of the Defendant, exacerbated pre-existing lower back injuries and ultimately required our client undergo lumbar fusion surgery at the L4-5 level. Represented by Partner Jeffrey Block and Associate Daniel Seiden, our client received a $1,325,000 settlement.

Court and County
Supreme Court, Queens County

Age and Occupation of Plaintiff
At the time of the accident, our client was 49 years old and worked as livery driver for Lyft.

Description of Case
Our client was driving his vehicle in traffic on a Queens County roadway, when the Defendant suddenly and unexpectedly pulled out of a parking lot and collided with our client's vehicle. Liability was contested, as the Defendant claimed that our client had stopped his vehicle to make room for the Defendant to enter the roadway, and then accelerated into Defendant's vehicle. After discovery was completed, we filed a motion a seeking summary judgment against the Defendants on the issue of liability, arguing that the Defendant's version of events was irrelevant under the law. The court granted our motion and determined that the Defendant was 100 percent responsible for the accident.

Damages
After the collision, our client was taken by ambulance to a Queens hospital with complaints of neck and low back pain. After being examined in the emergency room, he was discharged home with an instruction to follow up with a physician if the pain persisted.

Over the next week, our client's pain worsened, so he visited a local pain management and rehabilitation specialist. He complained of severe neck and low back pain, which radiated down both legs. The doctor recommended that our client begin a course of conservative medical treatment, ordered x-rays, and later ordered MRIs of the cervical and lumbar spine. During the following months, our client underwent an extensive course of physical therapy, trigger point injections, and lumbar epidural steroid injections.

Unfortunately, these therapies only provided temporary relief. After months of failed conservative care, it became evident to our client's physician that our client's injuries may require surgical intervention. As a result, our client was recommended to see an orthopedic spine surgeon. The first surgeon our client treated with recommended that he undergoes additional injections, and then consider a lumbar fusion surgery. In an abundance of caution, our client sought a second opinion from another orthopedic spine surgeon, who confirmed the recommendation for surgery.

This accident was not our client's first motor vehicle accident. Approximately seven years prior, our client had been involved in another motor vehicle accident wherein he injured his neck and low back. Our client advised his doctors of his prior accident and injuries, which allowed the doctors to accurately diagnose an aggravation of our client's pre-existing low back condition.

Ultimately, our client underwent a L4-5 fusion surgery. Post-operatively, our client's condition improved. However, he continued to experience ongoing neck and low back pain. Due to his ongoing condition, he continued conservative care, including physical therapy and injections. Following the surgery, our client returned to work in a limited capacity.

Settlement Amount
The matter settled for $1,325,000 at mediation.

Handling Attorneys
This matter was handled by Partner Jeffrey A. Block and Associate Daniel M. Seiden.