• Our client, a 14-year-old girl, was a front-seat passenger traveling with her mother and 9-year-old brother northbound on Newport Way NW near NW Holly Street in Issaquah, Washington.
• The defendant driver was stopped on Newport Way NW and NW Holly Street when he suddenly turned left to in front of our clients’ vehicle to head east on NW Holly Street.
• This caused a high-speed head-on collision into defendant’s vehicle.
• The airbags deployed on impact and struck our client in the face.
• The Issaquah Police Department responded to the scene and found our client had already been transported by ambulance to Swedish Hospital.
• The officers spoke with defendant and a witness and found defendant to be clearly at fault for the accident. He was issued a citation for an improper left turn.
• Both vehicles were towed from the scene and were determined to be total losses.
INJURIES AND TREATMENT
• Our client was taken by ambulance to Swedish Medical Center and placed in the critical care unit of the emergency department.
• She reported significant pain in her nose with swelling and numbness, burning in her eyes, pain with opening her eyes, difficulty seeing, and a headache after being struck in the face by the airbag.
• The examining doctor noted her pain increasing while in the emergency room, profound swelling to the periorbital area and over her nose, ecchymosis forming in the right nasal field of her eye, and persistent bleeding.
• He diagnosed a nose bone fracture without question, ordered a CT head scan and lab work, provided pain medication via IV, examined and irrigated her eyes, and discussed her condition with her parents.
• Following several hours of observation and pain management, she was given Valium due to anxiety with getting into a vehicle to go home and discharged to her parents with instructions to see an ophthalmologist and an ear, nose and throat doctor (ENT), and given prescriptions for Augmentin, Lortab Elixir, and Zofran.
• She was seen the next day by the ENT specialist with severe facial swelling, difficulty opening her eyes, and associated nasal congestion.
• The examination confirmed severe periorbital, malar, nasal, and frontal edema and ecchymosis, severe edema along the nasal root and external nose with bloody discharge, and septum hypertonicity.
• Reviewed of the CT scan and advised her to return for a repeat evaluation in one week for consideration of a closed nasal bone reduction.
• Due severe pain, breathing problems through her fractured nose and vision difficulties, our client returned to the emergency room two additional times.
• Isabella returned to the EMT doctor with persistent swelling around her nose.
• The examination identified widening of the middle third of her nose and recommended another week of continued observation.
• On her next visit our client reported flattening of her right nasal bone after the edema had subsided.
• The doctor offered the option of a closed nasal bone reduction surgery and our client elected to consider the procedure and follow up by telephone.
• Our client reported to the ophthalmologist, and it was noted she had vision loss in one eye, eye irritation, light sensitivity, blurry vision, nasal congestion, nosebleeds, poor balance as a result of vision loss, and depression and anxiety while riding in cars and recommended follow-up in six months for repeat testing.
• Our client sought another opinion from another ENT specialist.
• He observed flattening of her right nasal bone with lateralization of her left nasal bone in keystone area and concurred with the original ENT doctor’s recommendation of a closed nasal bone reduction.
• She was also advised she may require additional surgery, including rhinoplasty, to address any persistent deformity.
• Our client underwent a closed nasal bone reduction under general anesthesia.
• Our client returned for post-operative care. It was noted she healing appropriately, and was directed to return in six weeks.
• On a return visit for post-op evaluation, it was noted she had a deviation of dorsal septum at keystone region to the left and internally high dorsal deflection of septum to the left.
• He recommended a re-evaluation when she turns 16 for possible surgery on her dorsal septum deviation both externally and internally.
• Our client consulted with the ophthalmologist and discussed continuing enlargement of her left pupil compared to her right, light sensitivity, and blurred vision.
• His exam was notable for anisocoria with her left pupil greater than her right and sectoral palsy of her left pupil from 12:00 to 4:00 on the pupillary margin.
• He advised that while her pupil would likely get gradually smaller, it would never react to light as fully as the right pupil.
• He directed her to wear sunglasses for light sensitivity and follow-up with her eye care provider.
• Her optometrist proceeded with a comprehensive eye exam. She reported blurry vision worse in one eye when looking long distances. She prescribed glasses and instructed her to return in one month to re-check her eye pressure.
• Our client sought consultation with plastic surgeon and discussed a substantial dorsal hump over her nose over the past two years since the accident.
• The examination confirmed the existence of a dorsal hump and recommended addressing it through cosmetic rhinoplasty.
• Our client was been advised by the plastic surgeon that her appearance can be improved with a revision cosmetic nasal contouring rhinoplasty once she turns eighteen or nineteen years old and her bones have stopped growing.
• Our client’s injuries in this collision were devasting and required lengthy healing. For weeks after the accident, her face was so swollen, she was unable to open her eyes. The pain from her swelling and trauma caused difficulty sleeping and breathing.
• Once she returned to school approximately a month after the accident, she wore a hat every day to hide her disfigured face, was called names by teachers and students alike, dealt with lowering of her grades, and became humiliated and depressed.
• Her volleyball season was cut short requiring full payment by her parents as a contractual agreement and dashing her hopes for a college career playing volleyball.
PRESENT CONDITION AND PROGNOSIS
• To date, our client, now eighteen-years-old, remains self-conscious of her deformed nose and dilated eye. She isolates, avoids activities that could potentially result in injury to her nose or eyes, and shies away from meeting people not in her immediate family or small circle of friends. She has never had a boyfriend or a date.
• She experiences severe anxiety and fear while driving and will not drive at night, on the freeway, or on any busy roads.
• When the accident occurred, she was playing volleyball on her school team and receiving recruitment inquiries from colleges. Due to her lack of playing time and poor performance following the collision, she has received no further scholarship offers or inquiries.
• Her left eye is permanently dilated with only partial ability to regulate light.
• She has no idea what her nose will look like after next surgery or what her future prognosis may be.
After several weeks of intense negotiations, attorney Chuck Martin was able to obtain a substantial mid-six figure settlement for our client.
If you or a loved one is injured in a motor vehicle accident, you need to call attorney Chuck Martin of the law firm of MartinLaw PLLC for a free evaluation of your case. Chuck will use his 40 years of experience to guide you through the frustrating process of dealing with the insurance companies and obtain the best possible settlement for you in the least amount of time. Call Chuck now at 206-360-8141.