(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of this car accident case and its proceedings.)
Plaintiff claims to have sustained a head laceration requiring several stitches and an injury to his right AC shoulder joint for which he claims he underwent surgery almost two years post-accident on August 8, 2007. Plaintiff has incurred the following medical specials:
– Sacramento Orthopedics & Medical Group $10,985.00
– Roseville Center for Arthroscopic and
Outpatient Surgery $15,120.67
– Roseville Orthopedic Medical Group $1,040.00
– Roseville Fidelity Medical Group $4,405.00
– Roseville Fidelity Medical Group $9.00
– Central Diagnostic Imaging $2,200.00
Based on the foregoing, plaintiff has incurred $33,759.67 in medical specials.
Also, plaintiff claims his bicycle was totaled after the accident. In response to written discovery, he stated he purchased the bicycle for $130.00, however, at deposition he stated he paid $80.00 or $90.00 for the bike. He also claims he missed four days of work and lost $865.00 in earnings.
By his own testimony, as well as the medical records, plaintiff waited approximately two years before he underwent surgery on his right shoulder. During that time, he continued to work, so he will be hard pressed to argue pain and suffering during that time period. He further testified that he saw his surgeon, Dr. Williams, on one occasion, about two months post-surgery and has not seen him ever since. Therefore, plaintiff’s non-economic damages should be limited to, at most, two years post-accident.
Furthermore, plaintiff’s right shoulder was a pre-existing injury that was not caused by the subject accident of October 21, 2005. Plaintiff admits that he was involved in a prior motor vehicle accident in which he had to swerve to avoid traffic stopping ahead of his car and drove his car off the side of the freeway colliding into a tree at the bottom of the hill. Plaintiff denied any injuries as a result of this prior accident. Yet, Emergency Room records from County-USC reference that X-rays of plaintiff’s right shoulder were negative but there is evidence of an old injury and plaintiff does have a history of motor vehicle accident in September 2005.
As for plaintiff’s head lacerations, had the plaintiff been wearing a helmet at the time of the subject accident, he would not have sustained the injuries to his head that required stitches. Plaintiff failed to take reasonable precautions to protect himself.
Plaintiff served an initial statutory offer to compromise in the amount of $100,000.00. Plaintiff subsequently reduced his demand to $50,000.00. XYZ INS. has served an offer to compromise in the amount of $25,001.00. There have been no further settlement discussions.
For the reasons set forth above, defendant-in-intervention XYZ INSURANCE COMPANY denies liability and that the damages in this case are excessive and unwarranted.
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.