Car Accident Causes PTSD in Children

  • Our client was driving with her two boys ages 6 and 4 in the back in carseats down a busy thoroughfare in Bellevue when a vehicle suddenly pulled out from a shopping mall exit directly in front of them.
  • She was traveling about 25 to 30 mph and had no time to stop before crashing head-on into the other vehicle.
  • This was a severe impact as the airbags deployed and the vehicles were totaled.
  • She began having persistent neck and back pain and stiffness. She sought treatment with her primary care provider.
  • She was diagnosed with cervical and lumbar strain and referred for physical and massage therapy.
  • The initial evaluation noted that she was unable to carry her other young son age 1½ for longer than 5 minutes.
  • It was also noted that she experienced left hip pain when walking and generalized aching pain across the scapulae and cervical musculature with tenderness and spasms from L3-L5. Every time she took a step with her left leg it caused a sharp pain in her left hip.
  • Additionally, she was having difficulty performing her job duties in her language translation business.
  • She continued her treatment for approximately 5 months during which time she suffered pain as a result of this accident.
  • The boys suffered mental distress as a result of the accident. A traumatic event like this is very disturbing to a young child.
  • Due to the boys’ ongoing symptoms and fear of riding in a car, or that the car was driving too fast, their mom sought assistance from a child psychologist.
  • Both boys were diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The treatment consisted of the mother going to the psychologist to learn techniques to help the boys get passed their PTSD symptoms. It was felt that they were too young to get direct treatment and that going to a psychologist’s office would traumatize them further.
  • The 6 year old’s PTSD was manifested with anxiety, irritability and hypervigilance. He is constantly telling his mother or father that the vehicle is going too fast even when going slow.
  • The 4 year old’s PTSD was manfested with anxiety, irratibility, withdrawal, nightmares and difficulty sleeping.
  • The clients had a very limited amount of medical treatment.

In spite of the limited medical treatment, the law firm of MartinLaw PLLC was successful in negotiating substantial 5-figure settlements.

  • To find out how MartinLaw, PLLC and attorney Chuck Martin will handle your car accident case please visit the car accident page.


Driving Instructor Causes Car Crash

  • A driving instructor, who had a student in the vehicle with him, failed to yield right of way at 20th Avenue and Yesler, and turned left into oncoming traffic crashing head-on into our client’s vehicle.
  • Our client hit his head on the steering wheel causing a concussion and blurred vision.
  • Due to headaches and neck and lower back pain he went to the emergency room at Swedish Medical Center where it was noted that he had contusions on his forehead and left knee, acute cervical strain, lower back pain and a closed head injury.
  • He was given CT scans of the head and cervical spine which revealed head atrophy and degenerative disc disease in the cervical spine.
  • He was prescribed pain medications (Norco) and muscle relaxants (Robaxin) and discharged with diagnoses of closed head injury, acute cervical strain and acute knee contusion. He was advised to see his primary care doctor without delay.
  • He did visit his primary care doctor who prescribed physical therapy.
  • The physical therapy records note degenerative disc disease in his cervical spine, osteophyte formation in the lumbar spine, disc space narrowing at L2-3, lumbar facet arthropathy, anterolisthesis and excessive lumbar lordosis. These are medical conditions that develop over time and are not immediately caused by a traumatic injury. They would be considered preexisting conditions.
  • The physical therapist observed guarded walking and excessive eye movements to avoid cervical rotation and continually using his arms for support. Pain level is 8 out of 10. Also noted, pain can cause migraines.
  • He was unable to continue physical therapy as his wife had a stroke and he is her caregiver.

Despite that fact that our client’s medical treatment was intermittent and of short duration, and his primary diagnoses were for preexisting conditions, Chuck Martin was able to negotiate a substantial five figure settlement.

  • To find out how MartinLaw, PLLC and attorney Chuck Martin will handle your car accident case please visit the car accident page.

Runaway Truck Causes Fire & Destruction In Downtown Seattle

  • Our client, a lady in her mid-forties, was walking down James Street with her fiance in downtown Seattle heading for the Ferry Teminal with the intention of taking a scenic ferry ride across Puget Sound to Bremerton. Suddenly a large truck came careening down the hill, slammed into several parked cars causing one of the cars  to burst into flames. Several other cars then caught fire.
  • Our client ran down the hill to get away from the truck and the flames. She lost her balance and slammed into a nearby building.
  • A television news report on this accident was shown on KOMO 4 news.
  • Although mentally distraught, she decided to make the planned ferry trip to Bremerton, hoping that it would help calm her mental state. It is about a three hour round-trip. By the time she got back to Seattle she was in severe pain. She was also experiencing nausea, anxiety, vomiting, crying and an asthma attack.
  • She went to the emergency room at Northwest Medical Center. She was treated for her back pain with a narcotic injection and advised to return to the ER if she experienced increased pain.
  • The next day she did experience increased pain and returned to the Northwest Medical Center ER. She was again treated for her low back pain and instructed to follow-up with her primary care doctor.
  • She returned to the ER at Northwest Medical Center with sharp lower back pain radiating down her legs and reporting that it was painful to walk. The doctor suspected myofascial pain or possible herniated disc. She was discharged with pain medication.
  • She reported to the ER at Highland Medical Center. Her pain level was 7/10. Radiology reports indicate disc narrowing at L2-3, anterior osteophyte at L3, arterolisthesis at L2, sclerosis and hypertrophy at L3-4, L4-5 and L5-S1.
  • She was back in the ER at Northwest Medical Center a few weeks later for severe low back pain. This time she was referred to a neurosurgeon for evaluation for possible low back surgery.
  • She was finally able to get an appointment with her primary care doctor who noted leg weakness and shooting pains into the legs. She also reports that when she coughs it feels like she’s been “tazed”, pain shoots across her hips, her legs feel frozen and give out and pain shoots down both thighs. She was referred her for physical therapy.
  • Physical therapy started  about eight weeks after the accident. Her pain level was noted at 7/10. She continued with physical therapy for three months. The PT notes document the continuation of her pain, muscle spasms and radiculopathy throughout this period.
  • Although she had pre-existing lower back conditions, the records make it clear that these conditions were exacerbated by the accident.
  • She also had preexisting anxiety problems which were exacerbated by this accident with PTSD symptoms.
  • The case proved difficult as it appeared our client never had any physical contact with the truck that caused the accident, or any other object projected by the truck. We were finally able to determine through video footage and medical reports that she was struck on the ankle by an object from one of the exploding vehicles.
  • Another problem was the fact that nearly all of her diagnoses preexisted the accident.  However, we were able to show that the symptoms were exacerbated by the accident.
  • Despite the difficulties with he case we were able to recover a substantial five figure settlement for our client.
  • To find out how MartinLaw, PLLC and attorney Chuck Martin will handle your car accident case please visit the car accident page.