Good Result in Auto Accident Arbitration

Not every personal injury case settles without a fight and we often have to go to court or arbitration to obtain the best results for our clients.

This claim arises out of an automobile collision which took place on September 11, 2011 at approximately 1:29 a.m. Our client was injured when the automobile she was riding in was involved in a collision. The at fault motorist, who was uninsured, was driving the plaintiff.

Our client had her own policy of insurance so our law office pursued an uninsured motorist claim.

The vehicle was traveling eastbound on Sibley Boulevard in Calumet City, Illinois, approaching its intersection with Madison. The driver failed to yield while attempting to turn left into a restaurant driveway just before the intersection with Madison when it was not clear to do so. His car was struck by a westbound vehicle. The force of the impact was strong enough to jerk our client forward and backward in her seat.

The Calumet City Police Department responded to the scene of the collision. After speaking with both parties, the police determined the driver of the plaintiff’s vehicle was at fault for the collision.

Following the accident, the plaintiff had an immediate onset of neck and back pain.

She sought treatment from John H. Stroger Hospital’s Emergency Department the same day as the collision. At the Emergency Department, a history was taken, she was examined, and diagnostic tests were performed. She complained of back pain that was worse on her left side and radiated to her upper back. On exam, she had muscle tenderness over her cervical and lumbosacral spine. She was diagnosed with a back sprain/strain, prescribed pain medication, and instructed to seek follow up care.

Due to ongoing and increasing pain, the client sought follow up treatment with a doctor on September 27, 2011. At that time she continued to complain of constant neck pain and back pain that interfered with her ability to work and sleep. A history was taken and she was examined. She had limited range of motion in her cervical and lumbosacral spine, tenderness to the touch in her neck, upper shoulders, and back, and muscle spasms. She also had some point tenderness and pain to both sacroiliac joints. She was diagnosed with lumbar spine strain/sprain, cervical spine strain/sprain, insomnia, and stress and anxiety related to her other injuries.

The physician recommended a conservative plan of care, including chiropractic manipulative therapy, myofascial release, interferential therapy, traction, heat/cold therapy, neuromuscular reeducation, and therapeutic exercises to increase her range of motion and decrease her pain. She was instructed to not lift anything over ten pounds, not to sit for more than four hours at a time, and to begin therapy. Additionally, she was referred to another doctor’s office for further medical evaluation.

Pursuant to instructions, she sought treatment from another on October 7, 2011. At that time, she continued to complain of neck and lower back pain that affected her ability to work. On exam, she had limited range of motion in her cervical and lumbosacral spine, muscle spasms in her neck and upper shoulders, and point tenderness at C6-C7 and L4-L5. The doctor diagnosed our client with cervical sprain/strain and lumbar sprain/strain. She was prescribed pain medication and instructed to continue her therapy.

The plaintiff engaged in thirteen (13) therapy sessions from September 29, 2011 through November 17, 2011. On November 17, 2011, she was discharged having reached maximum medical improvement.

Our client had incurred just over $4,000 in medical bills. There was no claim for lost income, as her injuries were not serious enough to have to stay home from work.

Unfortunately, the plaintiff’s insurance carrier did not make a fair offer to settle the uninsured claim, so our office demanded arbitration. By agreement of the parties a retired judge heard the case. He awarded the plaintiff just over $10,200 for her medical bills and pain & suffering.

Katherine Manifold, the youngest lawyer in our office, handled the arbitration hearing.

If you have been injured in a car accident, contact the lawyers at Abels & Annes for a free consultation.

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