Abels & Annes
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Negligent Drivers Lose Again: Car Collision Case is Settled

Getting to the point where your car collision case is settled takes time and diligence. Accidents happen all the time, and getting compensated for unjustly sustained injuries is not a given. The fact is that the law requires anyone who operates a motor vehicle to use reasonable care to avoid injuring another person. The failure to do so may constitute negligence, and the negligent driver of the vehicle that caused the car collision can be liable for damages, including:

  • Lost wages
  • Loss of income
  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Along with other types of personal injuries resulting from the collision

This means that if you have been hurt in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation if your case is settled.

Even if the negligent driver does not have insurance coverage you still may have a case. Depending on your own automobile insurance coverage, you may be able to recover compensation with an uninsured motorist claim or an under-insured motorist claim. In any car collision case, it is important that you gather all the verifiable information about the accident that you can and make sure that police take a report. The faster you act and the higher quality the information, the better chance you have of getting your case settled.

There are numerous statistics to back up the increasing frequency of car collisions. According to the CDC and the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the following disturbing data highlights the dangers of the road:

  • 26% of people ages 16 and older have sustained a car accident injury requiring medical attention.
  • Of those people hurt, 56% required additional follow-up treatment after initial medical attention.
  • In 2008, 37,313 people died nationwide in auto accidents and 41,059 people died in 2007.
  • Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among those age 5-34 in the U.S.
  • More than 2.3 million adult drivers and passengers were treated in emergency departments as the result of being injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2009.
  • The economic impact is also notable: the lifetime costs of crash-related deaths and injuries among drivers and passengers were $70 billion in 2005.

Car collision case is settled for $25,000

The injury attorneys at Abels & Annes recently resolved a case for a Chicago woman that exemplifies the right way to go about filing a claim. This claim arose out of a car collision that took place on August 30, 2010. In this case it is important to note that there was plenty of light, the road was straight and flat and visibility was good.

Here is the sequence of events that led to the car collision:

  • Our client was driving southbound on Cumberland, approaching Bryn Mawr in Chicago, Illinois. The defendant was driving northbound on Cumberland approaching Bryn Mawr.
  • The intersection of Cumberland and Bryn Mawr is controlled by a four-way stop light. The plaintiff had a green light at Bryn Mawr so she entered the intersection and continued driving southbound.
  • The at fault driver intended to make a left turn from Cumberland onto westbound Bryn Mawr. The defendant failed to yield the right-of-way to our client and entered the intersection when it was not safe to do so. He turned into her path and hit the front end of her vehicle with the front side of his own.
  • The force of the impact jolted the plaintiff forward and back violently in her seat.

When the Chicago Police Department responded to the scene of the collision they determined the defendant was at fault. The negligent driver received a citation for failure to yield the right-of-way at an intersection while turning left. Immediately following the incident, the plaintiff had an onset of back, neck and abdominal pain. She was 31 weeks pregnant at the time of the collision.

She was taken from the scene of the occurrence by ambulance to Resurrection Medical Center’s Emergency Department. A history was taken, she was examined and diagnostic tests were performed. She complained of abdominal pain and pressure and was concerned about her pregnancy. She also had pain in her back that radiated down into her left leg. She was discharged and instructed to follow up with a physician as needed.

Due to ongoing and increasing pain, our client followed up with a doctor on September 1, 2010. She complained of headaches, pain, stiffness, and numbness in her neck, radiating numbness to both shoulders, severe lower back pain radiating to both legs, and left leg pain. A history was again taken and she had an examination which found severe tenderness and muscle spasms on palpation over her cervical spine and thoracic spine muscles, tenderness in both shoulders and severe tenderness in her lumbar spine. She was also suffering from limited range of motion in her cervical and lumbar spine.

Her physician diagnosed her with musculoligamentous injuries of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine as well as sciatic and contusion of the head. Due to her pregnancy, a course of physical therapy was recommended and she was instructed to follow up for more treatment.

Our client returned to her physician on September 24, 2010. At that time, she continued to complain of headaches, neck numbness and stiffness, severe lower back pain that radiated into both legs, and radiating numbness in her shoulders. Her injuries were so significant that she was having trouble concentrating and sleeping. The doctor again examined her and maintained a diagnosis of musculoligamentous injuries of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine as well as head contusion. As she was 34 weeks pregnant, he instructed her to stop physical therapy for the time being and to resume physical therapy after she delivered her baby.

The plaintiff was next treated on December 1, 2010, where she continued to complain of severe pain in her low back that radiated into her left leg. Upon examination, she had severe tenderness and limited range of motion in her lumbar spine and was again diagnosed with a musculoligamentous lumbosacral spine strain and was instructed to return to physical therapy.

With both the police report and a blow-by-blow of the accident and the subsequent injuries that our client sustained in hand, we alleged to the defendant’s insurance carrier that the negligent driver did the following:

  1. Failed to keep a proper lookout
  2. Was driving at an excessive rate of speed
  3. Failed to yield the right-of-way at an intersection before making a left hand turn
  4. Failed to exercise due care for the safety of those in the area, including the Plaintiff

Based upon the facts and circumstances surrounding the occurrence at issue, it was clear that the sole proximate cause of the collision was the negligent conduct of their insured. As a result, the case was settled for the defendant’s insurance policy limits of $25,000.

Our law firm has experience dealing with auto claims and we often obtain substantial settlements for clients injured in auto accidents. The other driver’s insurance carrier is going to try to pay you as little as possible on your claim, and you need car accident lawyers fighting on your side to ensure that your case is settled.

If you have been injured in an auto accident, request a Free Case Consultation to speak with a lawyer.

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