$23,000 SETTLEMENT AWARDED IN PERSISTENT BACK PAIN CASE
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C.A. was rear-ended by a motorcycle following too close to her vehicle and suffered back injuries as a result of the other driver’s carelessness. C.A.’s injuries resulted in several months of treatment and over $13,000 in medical bills. To compensate her for her damages, she sought help from a personal injury attorney in Arizona. She ultimately received $23,000 in compensation to cover her medical expenses and pain and suffering.
C.A., a 60-year-old female, was out of town and driving a rental car in Cheyenne, Wyoming, on June 25, 2015. She was driving a 2013 Chevy Cruze Northbound on US-26 with a passenger. While preparing to take a left-hand turn onto a side street, she applied her brakes and was hit from behind by a motorcycle. The at-fault driver was riding his motorcycle with two other motorcyclists in front of him. When C.A. braked to turn left, the other two motorcyclists swerved to avoid a collision, but the at-fault driver was unable to stop or swerve in order to avoid hitting C.A.
The Wyoming Highway Patrol responded to the scene and conducted an investigation. Highway Patrol spoke to both drivers involved in the accident as well as the two other motorcyclists who were riding in front of the at-fault driver at the time. Upon conclusion of their investigation, the Highway Patrol cited the at-fault driver for following too close. C.A. refused medical treatment at the scene and was not transported from the scene to a hospital.
The at-fault driver was cited for following too closely, WY Stat § 31-5-210 (2013) “(a) The driver of a vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of the vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.
(b) The driver of any vehicle when traveling upon a roadway outside of a business or residence district, and which is following another vehicle shall, whenever conditions permit, leave sufficient space so that an overtaking vehicle may enter and occupy the space without danger.
(c) Motor vehicles being driven upon any roadway outside of a business or residence district in a caravan or motorcade whether or not towing other vehicles shall be so operated as to allow sufficient space between each vehicle or combination of vehicles so as to enable any other vehicle to enter and occupy such space without danger. This provision shall not apply to funeral processions.”
About a week after the collision, C.A. presented to Southwest Spine & Rehab, where she was diagnosed with a sprain of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar ligaments, reduced kyphosis of cervical curve, cevicalgia and segmental and somatic dysfunction of cervical, thoracic and lumbar regions, adolescent idiopathic scoliosis of thoracic region and muscle spasm of back. Southwest Spine & Rehab, treated her with a course of chiropractic therapy.
Treatment and Medical Expenses
After about two weeks treating with Southwest Spine & Rehab, C.A. presented to Dr. Pete Coury, where she was diagnosed with cervicalgia and backache. Dr. Coury suggested a course of physical therapy.
Per Dr. Coury’s recommendation, C.A. had an MRI of her cervical spine, which showed very minimal spondylosis. However, a second MRI of her lumbar spine showed degenerative disc disease, small annular disc bulges, and multilevel foraminal narrowing.
Additionally, C.A. started receiving physical therapy at 360 Physical Therapy, per Dr. Coury’s recommendation. 360 Physical Therapy diagnosed C.A. with cervical and lumber pain and treated her with manual therapy techniques, IASTM, dry needling, joint mobilization/manipulation, stretching and strengthening exercises, therapeutic modalities, joint mobilization and therapeutic exercises.
Several months after the accident, due to persistent pain, C.A. presented to Arizona Pain Treatment Center where she was diagnosed with neck pain, low back pain, lumbar facet syndrome, myalgia and sacroiliac joint arthralgia/pain. C.A. was administered four trigger point injections and ultrasound-guided lumbar medial branch blocks with radiofrequency.
C.A. treated with Arizona Pain Treatment Center twice over the course of one week. C.A. treated with Southwest Spine & Rehab for a total of 21 visits over the course of nearly three months. C.A. also treated with 360 Physical Therapy a total of 14 times over the course of two months and with Dr. Coury a total of 5 times over the course of about three and a half months.
Her medical expenses totaled $13,346.54.
C.A. did not make a claim for lost wages as a result of this accident. The estimated value of the repairs to C.A.’s vehicle was $1,433.64.
C.A. had health insurance at the time of the accident and used it to defray some of the cost of treatment. Her health insurance company ultimately received compensation from the settlement for the amount paid on C.A.’s behalf.
C.A. had car insurance at the time of the accident through Mutual of Enumclaw Insurance. C.A. did not use her own car insurance to supplement her bodily injury settlement.
The at-fault driver had car insurance through Crawford U.S. Property & Casualty Company. Crawford & Company accepted full liability in this accident.
Conclusion and Settlement
C.A.’s total settlement amount was $23,000 from Crawford & Company. It took around seven months to reach settlement in this matter.
C.A. was pleased with the results of this case. This accident occurred while she was out of town driving a rental car and was caused by another’s negligence. She was able to have the rental car repaired at no cost to herself, receive the treatment she needed to return to the state of well-being she was in prior to the accident, and receive compensation for her pain and suffering. C.A. treated for a total of four months as a result of this collision. She ultimately received around $9,800 for her bodily injuries in this settlement, the balance going to pay her medical bills and attorney’s fees and costs.
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