Another rear-end collision lawsuit? Many people roll their eyes at these lawsuits but fail to realize the extensive injuries, like a labral tear, and surgeries and medical bills that result. It seems like a joke until it’s you that’s been rear-ended and injured.
In this case, our client was traveling near the intersection of Wards Ferry and Dean Street in Lynchburg, Virginia. Traffic stopped, as it normally does on Wards Ferry Road, for someone to make a left-hand turn. Our client stopped behind a train of cars, waiting to start moving again soon. The defendant slammed into our client’s vehicle and rear-ended her. The defendant was a young driver who was traveling with her younger sibling. She testified that she was looking for something in the back seat for her sibling when she violently collided with our client.
Our client was driving with her husband, her small child, and her unborn child. She was visibly distraught by the trauma of the accident and her concern for her child. To hear her describe it, she went into “momma bear mode.” After the adrenaline subsided, our client started feeling significant back pain. She sought numerous sources of treatment for her back pain including OrthoVirginia, Dr. James White (chiropractor), Palmer Chiropractic, etc.
It wasn’t until our client was seen by a physician in Charlottesville, Virginia that our client was diagnosed with a labral tear after the rear-end collision. Her back pain was referred from her bilateral labral tear injuries in her hips. For about a year, her doctors treated an area of her body that was not injured. The injury causing the pain was her labral tear. Her physician, Dr. F. Winston Gwathmey, performed surgery on one of her hips and recommended the same surgery on the other hip.
Our client was severely injured as a result and was robbed of her enjoyment of life. Her injuries and diagnoses were extensive, which would require future surgery and continued sessions of significant physical therapy.
We made a demand prior to litigation and the insurance company made a ridiculous low ball offer and said that they did not believe she suffered a labral tear after the rear-end collision. They further said that if she did have a labral tear, that the accident did not cause it. When we started litigation, the insurance defense lawyer said that they may be willing to pay $60,000 or so to resolve the case.
We knew the case was worth significantly more than that. As a result, we continued with litigation and entered the discovery phase. After we finished discovery, we received a jury trial date and started preparing for court.
The insurance company hired Dr. William Andrews to say that the car accident did not cause her labral tear after the rear-end collision. Other than his bare opinion, he did not state any facts that would support his conclusion. He did not explain how our client was perfectly fine prior to the accident, running several miles a day, and why she could not do that after the accident.
Dr. Gwathmey wrote three (3) separate letters detailing his opinion that the car accident caused our client’s labral tears in both hips. He explained that labral tears in the hips are usually misdiagnosed as a back injury because the tear itself refers (sends) the pain signal to the low back. So people who suffer from these labral tear injuries feel the pain in the back even though there is no structural change in the spine. He cited literature explaining that the average person takes 21 months with evaluations from 3.3 different physicians before an accurate diagnosis is made. His explanations of this complicated injury ultimately convinced Nationwide insurance to essentially ignore their own doctor’s worthless opinion.
Unfortunately, our client still suffers great pain, even five years after the accident. Her pain and doctors’ appointments subtract from her life as a mother and wife. She can no longer run two to three times a week as she was prior to the collision. Our client’s life will never be the same, as she is reminded daily of her pain.
Our client incurred almost $90,000 in medical expenses, including over $52,000 for future medical expenses. We were able to secure a $280,000 settlement for her. There was approximately $290,000 in total insurance coverage available. Our client agreed to settle on the eve of trial because the cost of trying the case would have exceeded the benefit of obtaining a verdict given the offer made by Nationwide Insurance.
If you want to know how you might receive the right treatment to finally cure your injury, check out our free book Ultimate Guide To Medical Treatment After a Car Accident in Virginia. If we can help you in any way, let us know.