Plaintiff Awarded $1,250,000 Settlement for Back Pain After Rear-End Collision

A 41-year-old woman was driving on her way to work when she stopped at a red light in front of an elementary school per the instructions of a crossing guard. She looked in her rearview mirror and saw a car rapidly approaching, which hit her in the rear. The plaintiff suffered from intense back pain that radiated down to her legs and feet. She attempted to treat her injuries with physical therapy, but ultimately required cervical fusion surgery for herniated discs. Represented by Block O'Toole & Murphy, she was awarded $1.25 million.

COURT AND COUNTY

Supreme Court, Bronx County

AGE AND OCCUPATION OF PLAINTIFF

Plaintiff was 41 years old at the time of the accident and worked multiple jobs. She now works as a bank teller.

DESCRIPTION OF CASE

The plaintiff was driving her 2006 minivan while on her way to work. She was traveling on the East Mosholu Parkway North on the service road, a one-way road. The plaintiff was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident. She came to a stop in front of an elementary school, in compliance with the instructions of the crossing guard directing traffic in front of said school. Her vehicle was stopped behind one other car. The plaintiff was stopped for approximately one minute as children crossed through the intersection. As the plaintiff was waiting, another vehicle suddenly pulled up behind her and struck her car in the rear. The defendant exited the car and aggressively questioned the plaintiff on why she had stopped in the first place, not realizing the plaintiff was correct in doing so. The power of the impact caused the plaintiff to jerk forward, resulting in immediate, severe pain. The plaintiff was taken via EMS to Central Bronx Hospital following the accident.

INJURIES AND DAMAGES

At the hospital immediately following the accident, the plaintiff complained of neck and back pain. She was released, but later that day went to Webster Medical complaining of back pain, neck pain, right shoulder pain, and headaches. Following that visit, she started physical therapy three times a week at Webster Medical. The plaintiff continued to experience neck pain radiating into the right shoulder and right arm. The plaintiff experienced burning, numbness, and tingling radiating into her arm, hand, and fingers. The low back pain also radiated downward to both her legs and feet.

An MRI of her cervical spine revealed syrinx of the spinal cord at the C7 vertebrae and a central herniated nucleus pulposus at the C4-C5, C5-C6, and C6-C7 vertebrae. A separate MRI on the lumbar spine also revealed a bulge on the L4-L5 vertebrae. Multiple doctors recommended surgery but were hesitant to perform the procedure due to a complication caused by a preexisting condition. The injuries caused by the accident aggravated the preexisting condition. Ultimately, the plaintiff underwent a C4-C7 cervical fusion performed at Lutheran Medical Center. There was also a C5 anterior cervical corpectomy and bilateral foraminotomy on the C4-C6 vertebrae. After the accident, the plaintiff was out of work for a period of two weeks and then again after her surgery. She was unable to return to one of her jobs because it was too physically demanding, and she could not lift much weight or stand for extended periods of time.

SETTLEMENT

The matter was settled during a mediation for the entire $1,250,000 available through the insurance policy.

HANDLING ATTORNEY

The case was handled by S. Joseph Donahue.

The car accident attorneys at Block O'Toole & Murphy have extensive experience litigating rear-end collision cases and have obtained compensation for many clients who suffered back pain among their primary injuries post-accident. Select results include:

  • $4,250,000 settlement for a 42-year-old man who was rear-ended in Westchester County and suffered back pain that required two surgeries
  • $3,375,000 settlement for a delivery driver who was rear-ended at a red light by a company-owned vehicle and suffered back pain that required multiple spinal fusion surgeries
  • $2,500,000 settlement for a 26-year-old mail clerk who suffered an aggravation of former back pain, among other injuries, after she was rear-ended by a tractor trailer during a snow storm

If you have been injured in a rear-end collision and wish to explore your legal options, call 212-736-5300 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free, no-obligation legal consultation with an attorney today.