Peter Thompson
Peter Thompson

Example of a Head-On Collision Case We Handled

The accident occurred in 2010 when the defendant illegally passed two cars and ran head-on into our client’s vehicle. It was a miracle that our client was not killed given the damage to her vehicle, but fortunately the airbags deployed properly and saved her life.

Immediately after the accident our client went to her primary care physician due to severe pain in her back and left knee. After a thorough examination it was determined that her lumbar flexion had decreased and that there was tenderness in the lumbar area of her spine. Her PCP’s initial diagnosis was simply “inflammation.”

Two months later our client went back to her primary care physician for a follow-up appointment. She had not experienced any improvement and her physician ordered x-rays of her spine that were negative.

After living with ongoing pain for several more months, our client returned to her doctor who continued to reassure her that the pain would go away and that it was simply due to ongoing inflammation. Fortunately she requested a referral to an orthopedist (a doctor who specializes in musculoskeletal injuries and disorders). Recognizing that our client’s pain should have gone away within a few months and knowing that x-rays often do not reveal disk damage, the orthopedist ordered a CT scan. The CT scan showed a herniated disk that was causing inflammation of the surrounding tissue and radiating pain. Surgery was performed which resulted in some improvement, but, unfortunately, our client was left with residual pain and discomfort, along with limitations due to the damage to the disk that impacted her ability to do many of her day-to-day activities and pastimes. Her work restrictions also caused problems with her ability to do her job, which required occasional fairly heavy lifting.

The other driver’s insurance company claimed that our client’s disk herniation pre-existed the accident and that the accident merely worsened the condition. We hired an expert consultant to review our client’s prior medical history and the post-accident CT scan to assess whether the disk herniation pre-existed the accident. He determined that, while client may have had a slight disk herniation prior to the accident, the accident clearly caused damage to the disk sufficient to require her to need surgery. To support this opinion, we obtained a statement from our client’s long-time co-worker who stated that he had never once observed our client have difficulty lifting heavy objects or complain about back pain. We were also able to show through our client’s attendance record at work that she had not called out sick once in the year prior to the accident, something she was forced to do many times after the accident due to the pain she was in. Faced with this evidence, the other driver’s insurance company abandoned the argument that the disk herniation pre-existed the accident and agreed to settle the case for a fair and reasonable amount. Our client was very happy with result and, in the survey she completed after her case settled, rated our firm 5 out of 5 stars for overall satisfaction, stating she “would recommend” our firm to others.