TWO-YEAR SETTLEMENT OF $30,000 SATISFIES WRIST INJURY CLAIM AFTER INTERSECTION COLLISION
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C.K. suffered a fractured wrist and soft-tissue injuries when she collided with another vehicle who failed to yield the right of way in an intersection. Following a liability dispute, C.K. was ultimately awarded $30,000 for six months of treatment, medical bills, lost wages, and the total loss of her vehicle.
C.K., a 23-year-old female, was approaching the intersection of Stapley and East Broadway in Mesa, Arizona, on the evening of November 25, 2014. Driving her 1998 Ford Escape, she was northbound on Stapley in the number two lane. As she entered the intersection, her light turned yellow and the at-fault driver in the southbound left-turn lane turned directly in front of C.K.’s vehicle.
C.K. attempted to avoid hitting the at-fault driver but was unable to prevent the accident. The Mesa Police Department responded to the scene of the collision and conducted an investigation. After interviewing both drivers and two uninvolved witnesses, Mesa Police cited the at-fault driver with failure to yield when making a left hand turn and driving on a suspended license. Both drivers were treated at the scene by the fire department for injuries. Both vehicles were towed from the scene of the accident.
The at-fault driver was cited at the scene with violating A.R.S. § 28-772, failure to yield right of way, and A.R.S. § 28-3473C, driving on a suspended license.
A.R.S § 28-772 states “The driver of a vehicle within an intersection intending to turn to the left shall yield the right-of-way to a vehicle that is approaching from the opposite direction and that is within the intersection or so close to the intersection as to constitute an immediate hazard.” http://www.azleg.gov/ars/28/00772.htm
A.R.S. § 28-3473 states “A. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, a person who drives a motor vehicle on a public highway when the person’s privilege to drive a motor vehicle is suspended, revoked, canceled or refused or when the person is disqualified from driving is guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor. If the suspension is pursuant to section 28-1601 and the person presents to the court evidence that the person’s privilege to drive has been reinstated, the court may dismiss the charge of driving under a suspended driver license. B. Except for a suspension pursuant to section 28-1601 or 28-3308, on receipt of a record of the conviction of a person under this section, the department shall notify a person who is eligible for a restricted privilege to drive pursuant to this section that the person is eligible… C. On application, the department shall issue a driver license that restricts a person’s privilege to drive pursuant to subsection B of this section and that is valid for one year only if all of the following apply: 1. The person has completed all requirements of the sentence imposed by the court. 2. The person has satisfied all suspension periods imposed on the person’s driver license as a result of the conviction of or a finding of responsibility for a violation of any provision of this title except this section. 3. The person pays the applicable reinstatement fee prescribed by section 28-3002.” http://www.azleg.gov/ars/28/03473.htm
The day after the collision, C.K. underwent X-rays of her sinuses, cervical and thoracic spines and wrist. The X-ray of her neck revealed spasms and X-ray of her wrist showed acute fracture of her distal radius.
Treatment and Medical Expenses
About a week after the accident, C.K. presented to FXRS Orthopedics & Bracing where she was diagnosed with a closed fracture of the radius, injury to radial nerve and contusion of forearm. C.K. was placed in a padded thumb spica cast for right distal radial styloid. She was recommended ICE/RICE activity modification. On a follow-up visit, FXRS Orthopedics & Bracing recommended occupational therapy for C.K.’s right hand/wrist with gentle stretching and strengthening with a home exercise program.
As per referral, C.K. presented to Rehab Arizona – Centennial and was diagnosed with pain in her joint and hand. She was treated with occupational therapy with the modalities including therapeutic exercises, manual therapy, cryotherapy and hot packs.
Due to C.K.’s continued pain, she presented to Arizona Pain Treatment Centers where she was diagnosed with cervicalgia, myositis, muscle spasms, wrist joint pain and median nerve injury. She was recommended for trigger point injections. On a follow-up visit at Arizona Pain Treatment Centers, they administered an ultrasound-guided trigger point injection to C.K.’s right C4-7 segment. C.K. was advised to continue her pain medications and home exercises.
C.K. treated with Arizona Pain Treatment Centers for a total of 3 visits over the course of three weeks. She treated with FXRS Orthopedics & Bracing a total of 8 times over the course of six months and with Rehab Arizona – Centennial twice over the course of two weeks.
The amount of C.K.’s total medical expenses was $4,431. 72.
C.K. made a claim for lost wages because as a result of this accident she was forced to take significant time off work due to her pain and suffering and in order to receive the treatment she needed for her injuries.
C.K.’s vehicle was deemed a total loss as a result of this accident. She received approximately $1,857.08 as compensation for her totaled vehicle.
C.K. had health insurance at the time of the accident but did not use that health insurance while treating for her injuries.
C.K. had car insurance at the time of the accident through American Family Mutual Insurance Company. She used her own car insurance’s medical payments policy and underinsured motorist policy. C.K. received $15,000 from her underinsured motorist policy to supplement her bodily injury settlement. C.K.’s premiums did not go up as a result of using her own car insurance policy. The underinsured motorist settlement was reached after the at-fault settlement, around two years after the accident occurred.
The at-fault driver had car insurance at the time of the accident through Commonwealth Casualty Company. Commonwealth disputed liability in this matter due to questions raised regarding whether C.K. had entered the intersection while the light was yellow or red. Due to this dispute, C.K. was forced to initiate litigation in order to reach settlement. C.K. entered into litigation with Commonwealth eight months after the accident occurred and reached settlement with Commonwealth six months after litigation began.
C.K.’s total settlement was $30,000. This settlement includes $15,000 paid by the at-fault driver’s car insurance and $15,000 paid by C.K.’s own underinsured motorist policy. From the time of the accident, it took nearly two years to reach total settlement.
Despite the time it took, C.K. was pleased with the results of her case. She was able to receive the treatment necessary to return her to the state of well-being she was in prior to the accident with limited out of pocket cost. She received compensation for her totaled vehicle and her pain and suffering. C.K. treated for six months. Ultimately, C.K. received over $10,000 for her bodily injuries in this settlement, the remainder going to pay her medical bills and attorney’s fees and costs.