• Our client was driving her brand-new Chevrolet Volt on I-405, moving only about 20 mph due to heavy traffic, when she was struck in the rear by an uninsured vehicle going approximately 40 to 50 mph. Her car was shoved into the car in front of her. She was taken by ambulance to the ER where it was noted that she had neck pain as well as pain across her shoulders and upper back. She was released within a few hours.
• Her car was severely damaged. The repairs cost over $10,000.
• The next day she also began having pain in her lower back and sought additional medical treatment. She was referred for orthopedic consultation. She reported tingling and numbness in her upper extremities and headaches. She also reported pain and weakness down her lower extremities and into her feet causing her to trip on stairs.
• She had MRIs of the cervical and lumbar spine. The lumbar MRI revealed L5-S1 disc degeneration, and an L4-5 left laminectomy, which was done three years previous. The cervical MRI revealed a fusion at C4-5-6, which was done seven years previous, and mild stenosis at C3-4, C6-7 and T2-3.
• She then had an MRI of the thoracic spine which revealed paracentral disc herniations at T2-3, T3-4, T7-8 and lower thoracic facet joint arthrosis, greatest at T10-11.
• Her past medical history included the following spinal procedures:
Cervical discectomy and fusion at C4-5;
Cervical discectomy and fusion at C5-6;
Lumbar discectomy at L4-5, no fusion.
• She continued to have significant neck and back pain and was unable to perform the activities that she was able to do before the accident. This includes household activities such as cleaning and gardening and recreational activities such as yoga, palates, weight training and aerobics. She was pain free and actively engaged in all these activities before the accident.
• She works as a property manager which requires significant physical activity inspecting houses, which she has been forced to curtail. Before this accident she was having no problem performing these activities.
• Initially she only received conservative treatment such as physical therapy and pain medication. She was forced to discontinue medical care due to lack of funds.
• MRIs revealed disc lesions at C6-7 and L4-5 encroaching on the nerve root and the spinal canal and foraminal stenosis at C6-7. The doctors indicate this correlates with her pain symptoms.
• The doctors recommended surgical intervention which would be performed on the cervical as well as the lumber spine.
Due to her extensive pre-existing conditions, which included three spinal surgeries, the insurance company insisted that the accident was not the cause of her current pain and disability. They gave the client a final offer of $15,000 prior to her retaining MartinLaw. Attorney Chuck Martin was able to obtain a favorable medical report from an orthopedic specialist. Within two months of Mr. Martin’s involvement on the case, he was able to procure a settlement for policy limits of $100,000 from the client’s uninsured motorist coverage. He was also able to recover an additional $6,000 for the diminished value of the client’s vehicle. He then persuaded the insurance company to waive their PIP (medical bills) subrogation of $10,000, bringing the total value of the settlement to $116,000. Again, they made a “final offer” of $15,000 to the client prior to MartinLaw’s involvement.
If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, it is imperative that you obtain a lawyer as soon as possible. People with lawyers recover, on average, three and a half times more money in settlement than people who attempt to handle their claim themselves. This is why insurance companies try to quickly settle with you before you have a chance to retain a lawyer.
To find out how MartinLaw and Chuck Martin can help you obtain a significant settlement on your car accident case please visit our car accident page. To contact Chuck Martin please call 206-360-8141 or submit the contact form for a free evaluation of your case.