Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog

Posted On: February 8, 2012

Illinois car accident case settled for insurance policy limits

A Chicago injury lawyer at Abels & Annes has settled an auto collision claim for a defendant's auto insurance policy limits.

This claim arises out of an incident which took place on September 13, 2011 at approximately 12:02 p.m. at or near 2701 South Harlem in Berwyn, Illinois. Our client was injured when the automobile she was driving was hit by a vehicle driven by a negligent driver.

The plaintiff was driving northbound on South Harlem at approximately 25 miles per hour. The defendant driving behind her on northbound South Harlem. As she continued to drive, your insured drove too fast for conditions, failed to yield and rear-ended her.

The Berwyn Police Department responded to the scene of the collision. After speaking to both parties, the responding officer determined the other driver at fault for the collision and issued him a citation for driving too fast for conditions.

We alleged to the defendant's insurance carrier that their insured failed to keep a proper lookout, failed to stop and/or reduce his speed to avoid a collision, and failed to exercise due care for the safety of those in the area, including the Plaintiff.

Following the collision, our client had an immediate onset of back and knee pain.

She sought treatment from Rush Oak Park Hospital’s Emergency Department immediately after the collision. A history was taken, she was examined, and diagnostic tests were performed. She complained of pain in her lower back that was worse with bending as well as bilateral knee pain. On exam, she had tenderness on palpation of her right lumbar paraspinal area. She was diagnosed with lumbar spine sprain/strain, pain in her lower legs, muscle spasms in her back, and trapezius strain. She received prescriptions for pain medications and muscle relaxants and was ordered off work.

Due to ongoing and increasing pain, our client sought follow up treatment with a physician on September 15, 2011. At that time, she continued to complain of lower back pain that radiated to both of her legs. Her pain was constant and severe and it ranged from sharp to stabbing to aching. Her pain interfered with her sleeping, often waking her in the middle of the night. Her pain prevented her from engaging in activities of daily life and severely limited those activities she could engaged in. Additionally, the pain was worse with pushing and lifting heavy objects, walking, sitting, or standing for long periods of time, and bending forward.

Her doctor took a history and examined her. She had tenderness and spasms from L2-L5 bilaterally as well as difficulty squatting and while walking heel to toe. She had limited range of motion in her thoracholumbar spine because of the extreme pain she experienced. The physician diagnosed our client with lower back pain with a radicular component at L5-S1, myofacial pain syndrome, and lumbar strain and sprain.

It was noted that she had an underlying degenerative condition in her back that was asymptomatic before her injury. In his medical opinion, the automobile collision aggravated her underlying condition and necessitated treatment. The doctor instructed her to continue taking her medications, undergo a lumbar MRI, refrain from lifting and/or pushing objects heavier than 15 pounds, and remain off work.

Pursuant to doctor's orders, she underwent an MRI of her lumbar spine on September 16, 2011. The MRI revealed 3 bulging lumbar discs.

The plaintiff returned for additional treatment on September 20, 2011. At that time, she continued to complain of lower back pain with radiation into both legs. Her physician reviewed her lumbar MRI and diagnosed her with bulging discs. He prescribed a course of physical therapy to relieve her pain and discomfort as well as return her to normal functionality. He directed her to continue her medications, refrain from pushing or lifting objects over 15 pounds, and remain off work.

On September 27, 2011, she returned to the docotor's office and complained of lower back pain with radiation into both legs. He compared her lumbar MRI to a previous lumbar MRI taken in 2008. Upon comparison, the docotor determined that the bulging discs at L3-L4, L4-L5, and L5-S1 were not part of her degenerative disc disease and were caused by her motor vehicle collision on September 13, 2011.

Pursuant to her physician's instructions, the plaintiff engaged in a course of physical therapy at Total Rehab from September 22, 2011 through October 26, 2011. She had twelve (12) sessions consisting of heat and cold therapy, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, massage, manual traction, joint mobilization, therapeutic exercises, a home exercise program, neuromuscular reeducation, and kinesiotaping to her paralumbar area.

The case settled for the defendant's $25,000 insurance policy limits with State Farm.

If you have been hurt in a Chicago auto accident, contact the injury attorneys at our office for a free, no obligation consultation. Call 866-99-ABELS to speak to a lawyer today.

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