Abels & Annes

Chicago Injury Lawyer Settles Uninsured Motorist Claim For $250,000

Illinois auto accident lawyers at Abels & Annes have reached a $250,000 policy limits settlement in an uninsured motorist case. The claim stems from an auto accident that occurred October 9, 2008 at approximately 8:00 a.m. The plaintiff had been driving northbound on Fairview in Downers Grove, Illinois. Traffic in front of him came to a stop and he came to a complete stop for traffic. As our client was sitting at a stop he was hit in the rear end with great force by a vehicle being driven by an uninsured driver.

The defendant stated to the investigating police officers that he had looked away from the roadway before the collision and could not react in time to stop before hitting the plaintiff. The uninsured driver was issued tickets for driving too fast for conditions and for driving without insurance.

Following the collision our client began to experience pain and discomfort in his neck as well as numbness and tingling in his left arm. Over the next couple of days his pain worsened and the numbness and tingling in his left arm increased. As a result of his symptoms he sought treatment from an orthopedic specialist.

An MRI was performed on November 13, 2008 which revealed a disc herniation at C4-C5, posterior disk ridge complex at C4-C5 with central stenosis and bilateral neural foraminal narrowing.

On January 20, 2009 he was admitted to Good Samaritan Hospital for a cervical fusion. He had a pre and post operative diagnosis of cervical spondylosis of C4-C5 with a bulging disc. A diskectomy and decompression of the spinal cord and nerve roots at C4-C5 was performed. The C4-C5 level was fused with use of an iliac crest bone graft and an interbody cage was placed around his cervical spine and a plate was affixed using six (6) screws.

After the surgical procedure the plaintiff was required to wear an aspen collar for six weeks. During the time that he was wearing the aspen collar he could not move his neck at all and therefore could not engage in any activity that would require neck movement. Just one example is that he could not drive during this time period.

Since his discharge from the hospital he has continued to receive follow up treatment from his doctor. Once he was allowed to remove the aspen collar he was instructed in a variety of therapeutic exercises and stretches. he continues to perform these therapies on a daily basis.

While our client has had a very good recovery from the surgery, the additional cervical fusion has severely limited the movement of his neck. Before this collision he could move his neck and tilt his head and look up and down. Since this surgery he can no longer tilt his head to look either up or down. Additionally, he estimates that he has lost an additional thirty percent (30%) of his rotational range of motion in his neck. These significant restrictions in his ability to move his neck are permanent and affect just about every activity that he engages in, including activities of daily living, work activities and recreational activities. Additionally, he now has a substantially longer scar on his neck, which is also permanent.

Despite the treatment he has undergone, the plaintiff continues to suffer from pain and discomfort in his neck in addition to his limitations in movement. These limitations and pain have greatly affected his life. As a result of his injuries he is unable to engage in many activities he enjoyed prior to the collision, and those activities he can engage in are difficult, cause him pain and he cannot participate as he did prior to the collision. This is especially significant in his interactions and playing with his young children.

Due to the fact that the at fault driver had no insurance, we made an uninsured motorist claim against our client’s own auto insurance policy. We were able to collect the insurance policy limits of $250,000.