Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog

Posted On: April 6, 2012 by Dave Abels

Settlement reached by Illinois auto accident attorney

A Chicago personal injury lawyer at Abels & Annes has resolved a claim stemming from a June, 2011 car crash. The plaintiff was driving to work just after 8 AM and was traveling southwest on Ogden Avenue approaching Oak Park Avenue in Berwyn, Illinois. The defendant was driving northeast on Ogden Avenue approaching Oak Park Avenue.

Our client had a green light at the intersection of Ogden and Oak Park and proceeded to drive her 2005 Chrysler PT cruiser straight. The at fault driver attempted to make a left turn in his Toyota Corolla onto northbound Oak Park without yielding the right-of-way to the Chrysler. The defendant turned left and struck the plaintiff in a head-on collision. The force of the impact pushed the PT cruiser across a lane of traffic and towards the shoulder of Ogden Avenue.

The Berwyn Police Department responded to the scene of the collision and determined the Toyota driver caused the accident. He received a citation for failure to yield the right-of-way at an intersection while turning left and later pleaded guilty to that charge and court.

Following the incident our client had an immediate onset of neck, back, and chest pain. She was taken from the scene of the occurrence by ambulance to MacNeal Hospital’s Emergency Department. A history was taken, she was examined and diagnostic tests were performed.

On exam, she had pain and tenderness to her chest wall and paraspinal muscles in her back. She was diagnosed with neck strain and back strain, prescribed muscle relaxants and pain medication, instructed to follow up with a physician, and discharged.

She followed up with a medical doctor on July 1, 2011. She complained of pain in her back, neck, chest and head as well as soreness all over. She struggled with daily activities, including grooming, showering, household cleaning and recreational activities. Her physician diagnosed her with cervical spine sprain/strain and multiple contusions. He prescribed a course of physical therapy and instructed her to follow up in two weeks.

Per physician instructions, the plaintiff engaged in a course of physical therapy at AthletiCo Physical Therapy beginning on July 7, 2011. She had pain throughout her daily activities and was limited in her actions. As a pharmacist, our client had difficulty at work because her pain interfered with her ability to do her job. She liked to run and exercise before the collision and could not do so as a result of her injuries. She engaged in several sessions of physical therapy and was discharged on September 30, 2011.

Our client returned to her doctor on July 15, 2011. She continued to complain of pain to her neck, back, chest and head and noted that she was very stiff and achy. She was engaged in the prescribed therapy but was obtaining minimal relief. Her physician instructed her to continue physical therapy and to follow up in two weeks.

She followed up with her doctor on August 2, 2011 and again by telephone call on August 11, 2011. While she received some relief from physical therapy, she was still in pain and discomfort. The physician renewed Jennifer’s physical therapy prescription and referred her to an orthopedic surgeon for a consultation regarding her injuries and treatment. He also prescribed medications to relieve some of the collision-related stress that was aggravating her symptoms.

Pursuant to the referral, the plaintiff sought treatment from an orthopedic surgeon on September 7, 2011. A history was taken and she was examined. She complained of an aching pain in her neck as well as pain and tightness in her mid and lower back. She had some pain and tenderness in her lower rib cage. She was using a neck support pillow while driving to and from work, a 90 minute commute each way. The Dr. diagnosed her with cervical spine, thoracic spine, lumbar spine, and right lower rib cage sprain/strain. He ordered her to work light or decreased days at work and to keep her driving to a minimum. He instructed her to continue physical therapy and follow up for further evaluation.

The plaintiff sought follow up treatment from the doctor on October 6, 2011. She continued to complain of neck and back pain but noted that she had some improvement in both. However, daily activities continued to cause her pain. He discontinued our client’s physical therapy program and prescribed an aggressive home strengthening program in its place. He instructed her to continue with massage therapy and to follow up in five weeks.

She followed again on November 9, 2011. She complained of stiffness in her neck and low back with some pain, which was made worse with activities and work. The doctor continued her home exercise program and instructed her to engage in stress relaxation techniques or yoga to improve her healing.

She returned to treatment on December 14, 2011. She still had pain and stiffness and only experienced about 80% improvement in her neck since she began treating. However, at that time, the physician determined she reached maximum medical improvement and discharged her, noting that while she was better than she had been previously, she was “not normal.”

The case settled for $22,000 without having to go to court.