Sacramento Three Car Accident Causes Strains and Head Injury

The following blog entry is written to illustrate how a car accident lawsuit might follow. Reviewing this kind of case should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

INJURIES: Graves was taken from the scene of the accident via ambulance to Sacramento General Hospital. She was diagnosed with a cervical strain and mild closed head injury. Phillip Zelda did not have any emergency medical treatment.


On Dec. 26, 2003, plaintiffs Leslie Graves, 63, retired, and Phillip Zelda, 64, also retired, were passengers in an SUV driven by their son, Brian Zelda, traveling on 19th Avenue in Sacramento directly in front of a van driven by Mitchell Burt. Fran Wallas was driving an SUV in front of Zelda’ vehicle. Wallas stopped suddenly at the intersection when she became confused as to the color of the traffic signal controlling her lane of travel. Brian Zelda was able to stop in time, but Burt was not. His van struck Zelda’ SUV, pushing it into Wallas’s. Phillip Zelda and Graves claimed that they sustained strains and sprains in the accident.

Phillip Zelda and Graves sued Burt and the owner of the van he was driving, Linda Burt. They alleged that Mitchell Burt was negligent in the operation of a motor vehicle and that Linda Burt was vicariously liable for his actions.

Zelda and Graves claimed that Mitchell Burt’s inattention and failure to keep a safe distance behind their son’s vehicle was the sole proximate cause of the accident.

The Burts argued that the accident was caused by the negligence of Wallas, who was not a party in the lawsuit. They further contended that no evidence was presented on behalf of Zelda or Graves to establish negligence on the part of Matthew Burt. They argued that but for the negligence of Wallas the accident never would have occurred, and that the accident was unavoidable on the part of Mitchell Burt.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

The case was initially. He found liability against the Burts and awarded Graves $9,500 plus costs and Zelda $5,850 plus costs. The Burts rejected the arbitration award and requested a trial de novo.

Both individuals sought treatment with Jeff Greg M.D. shortly after the accident. He diagnosed them with strains and sprains and treated them over the course of approximately 10 weeks. He then referred them to Marat Diner for physical therapy, which they both underwent for several months.

Graves and Zelda contended that they continue to suffer from residual pain and discomfort on a daily basis.

Graves sought medical expenses in the amount of $5,049, while Zelda claimed medical expenses of $2,598. Each also sought recovery of unspecified damages for past and future pain and suffering.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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