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Severe Injuries From Rear-End Collision

On a Friday, R.G. and his wife took a morning drive. While waiting at a red light, R.G. and his wife were rear-ended by a commercial truck that had failed to stop in time. Police and EMS were immediately called to the scene.

The at-fault driver was cited for Following Too Closely. R.G. initially complained of back, neck, and shoulder pain as well as a headache. He was transported on a full spine board to the Emergency Room for further treatment. At the hospital, R.G. received several CT scans of his spine and head. The scans revealed degenerative spine disease, straightening of his spine, multilevel degenerative disk displacement, spinal stenosis, and scoliosis. Some of these conditions were pre-existing and further exacerbated his pain symptoms. R.G. was prescribed pain medication and discharged.

One month after the collision, R.G. sought physical therapy and orthopedic treatment. At his first doctor’s visit, the orthopedic doctor recommended R.G. try physical therapy before any further treatment. At the physical therapy office, R.G. was diagnosed with a 79.55% arm and shoulder disability index and a 70% neck disability index. He was unable to turn his head to see out of the rear window while driving due to the severity of his injuries. After two months of physical therapy, R.G. was still moderately disabled and suffered from headaches and insomnia on a daily basis.

Since R.G.’s pain was not improving with physical therapy, he chose to follow up with the orthopedic physician. Several MRIs were taken, including MRIs of his cervical and lumbar spine and a MR arthrogram of his left shoulder. R.G. was diagnosed with several joint spurs, and severe stenosis of foramina from C2-C7. He also had a compressed left L4 nerve root. R.G. initially received a lidocaine injection, but was recommended to also get a surgical evaluation and epidural injections in his back.

Several weeks later, R.G. sought a second opinion from other orthopedic physicians. R.G. wanted to put off surgery so he could return to work and provide for his family, but eventually, the pain was too difficult to bear. After nearly a year, R.G. underwent a left shoulder arthroscopic subacromial decompression and glenoid labral repair. He currently attends physical therapy and continues to suffer considerable pain as a result of the collision.

R.G. retained Kaufman Law two months after his collision. The at-fault driver wanted to settle for a considerably lower amount than expected, so the case went to litigation. Following both party’s depositions and further mediation, our firm was able to settle the case for $255,000. With the settlement money, R.G. was able to take care of his medical expenses, support his family, and afford a better quality of life.