A Seattle attorney who works as an Arbitrator-Mediator, was a restrained driver of a vehicle moving through an intersection when another vehicle entered the interscetion from his right and crashed into him broadside. This is a 4-way stop. Legally, if both cars are entering the intersection at the same time, the vehicle on the right has the right-of-way. Liability was disputed.
He began having neck pain shortly after the accident. He went to his primary care doctor who ordered an MRI and an EMG. He has had prior problems with his neck. The EMG focused on possible carpal tunnel syndrome and was inconclusive. The MRI showed moderate degenerative disc desease and moderate stenosis in his neck (cervical spine). It was determined that conservative treatment would be appropriate. Physical therapy was ordered.
Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the open spaces within the spinal canal which puts pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves that travel through the spine. It is a condition that developes over time and not caused by an injury.
He continued physical therapy for several months with little relief.
Eight months afer the accident he was finally referred to the Orthopedics Department where another cervical MRI was done which revealed severe cervical stenosis. Surgery was recommended. My client wanted a second opinion which also recommended surgery.
One year after the accicent he retained MartinLaw to represent him. Our inititial evaluation was that this was going to be a difficult if not impossible case to win. Not only was liability a serious issue, but proving that the cervical stenosis was related to the accident seemed unlikely. But with his neck surgery looming it was imperative that he have legal representation for what could be a life-altering injury.
The surgery was performed one year and three months after the accident. He subsequently went through a prolonged and painful course of rehibilitation.
One year and eigtht months post-accident we bagan the process of preparing the case for possible settlement. We felt we could get passed the liability issue with statements made by the other driver that she did not see my client before entering the intersection.
We used a comparison study of the cervical MRI done immedicately after the accident as compared to the one eight months after the accident. This proved critical as the first MRI found “moderate” stenosis whereas the one done eight months later showed “severe” stenosis.
Two weeks after our demand package was sent, the insurance company called to inform us that they were offering policy limits to settle the case, a substantial six figure settlement.
For more information about how MartinLaw and attorney Chuck Martin will handle your car accident case, please go to the car accident page.