“Is it better to accept an insurance offer or go to trial?”
May 06, 2019 | 7973 views | 0 0 comments | 513 513 recommendations | email to a friend | print

A forty-year-old yellow taxicab driver was struck head-on by a three-ton ambulette van. As a result of the impact, the driver lost consciousness. The police and an ambulance came to the scene. The injured driver was immediately transported to a hospital where he reported pain to his dominant right hand, wrist, and neck. He could not return to work because of his injuries.

As a result of this accident, he sued the company that owned the vehicle that struck him, as well as the driver, for damages sustained as a result of the accident, including pain and suffering. The injured driver argued that the defendants were negligent in keeping their vehicle under control, failing to keep a proper lookout, failing to stop or slow down, and following too closely. He also claimed that the company negligently entrusted this vehicle to its employee.

As a result of the accident, the injured man had to undergo surgery to his right hand. Because of his injuries, he has been unable to sit for long periods and his ability to work as a taxi driver was greatly impacted. The plaintiff further asserted that he could not lift heavy objects, play soccer, and needs assistance with daily activities. He argued that he would permanently suffer symptoms of these injuries including back pain, neck pain, and numbness in his right thumb, which will require constant monitoring and possibly further surgery.

The insurance carrier offered $85,000.00 to settle the case. The plaintiff rejected the offer, and the case proceeded to trial. The injured's man radiology expert testified that the MRI of his spine showed broad-based disc bulges and herniations of the cervical spine at C5-C6, C4-C5, and C3-C4. His medical expert further testified that the MRI of the spine showed disc herniation of the thoracic spine at T5-T6 and disc herniation and bulge of the lumbar spine at L4-L5. This expert further testified that the plaintiff's spinal injuries were consistent with those caused by trauma.

The plaintiff's treating chiropractor concluded that herniations and disc bulges cause pressure on the nerves and nerve routes that cause pain in the human nervous system. He further testified that the plaintiff's herniations and disc bulges would continue to produce the plaintiff pain, that the accident was the competent producing cause of the plaintiff's spinal pathology, that the plaintiff was not improving, and that the plaintiff would not be able to work. Both medical experts testified that the plaintiff's current conditions and limitations will not improve and he will require to be followed by both orthopedic and physical medicine/pain management specialists for the rest of his life. They also stated that plaintiff will require a laminectomy to repair damage to his spine in the future. The plaintiff further maintained that he suffered a tear of the ulnar collateral ligament of the right thumb which will cause permanent symptoms despite an operation performed by the surgeon.

The defendant's expert testified that he believed the plaintiff suffered from a cervical sprain or strain. He further testified that upon examination the plaintiff did not demonstrate any neurological deficits and did demonstrate a positive straight leg test and that he did not review any of the plaintiff's MRI films.

The plaintiff's physical medicine expert testified that the plaintiff's physical examination was remarkable for a positive straight leg raise, impaired cervical range of motion, antalgic gait, and impaired right-hand dexterity.

The jury deliberated for approximately three hours. At the end they awarded plaintiff $1,400,000.00. The award was allocated as follows: $300,000.00 for past pain and suffering; $500,000.00 for future pain and suffering over 30 years, $100,000.00 for past medical expenses and $500,000.00 for future medical expenses over 30 years.

If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident, please contact The Platta Law Firm for a free legal consultation by calling 212–514–5100 (24/7), emailing swp@plattalaw.com or visiting our law firm in Financial District of Manhattan (42 Broadway, Suite 1927). You can also ask us questions using the 24-hour chat box on our website (www.plattalaw.com). We offer free consultations for all potential personal injury cases.


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