Woman Claims Sacramento Car Accident Causes Cervical 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: Surrie had a corpectomy procedure in May 2004 at C6 for a disc herniation at C6-7. She denied any previous cervical symptoms or treatment prior to the accident.


On Oct. 31, 2003, Casey Surrie, the plaintiff, 46, was in the course and scope of her employment as a paratransit driver, driving a 2001 Ford Crown Victoria sedan. She was stopped at an intersection in Folsom, when her vehicle was hit from behind by a 1991 Ford Escort station wagon driven by the Samantha Lemons, who was in the course and scope of her employment with Sacramento Farm. Lemons was driving at 10 to 15 miles per hour at the time of impact.

Surrie sued Lemons and Sacramento Farm for negligent operation of a motor vehicle.
Lemons admitted liability for the accident, but contested causation.

Surrie’s passenger was taken by ambulance to the hospital. Surrie herself declined treatment at the scene.

A neurosurgeon testifying for Surrie contended that her cervical condition and resulting treatment were caused by the car accident. He also claimed that she would require future surgery to address adjacent vertebral segments, which would be weakened by the fused levels addressed in the first surgery.

The neurosurgeon who performed the corpectomy testified that Surrie suffered from degenerative changes to the cervical spine and that, even without the accident, she might have required surgery. He contended that surgery was necessary due to Surrie’s right side symptoms. Taller further claimed that a rear-end impact like the one Surrie suffered would not result in structural damage to the cervical spine.

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

Surrie sought past medical expenses of $128,000 and future medical expenses of $75,000 to $100,000. Including noneconomic damages, she asked the jury for a total of $1.1 million.

The defense noted that Surrie had initially complained of left neck and upper extremity symptoms following the crash, but didn’t mention the right side of her neck until eight months after the accident. The defendants argued that the crash did not cause Surrie’s condition or her need for surgery.

The defendants claimed that if any injury were caused by the accident, then the harm caused should be related to the treatment for nine months following the accident.

A biomechanical engineering expert noted for the defense that according to his analysis of the accident, the forces involved would not have been sufficient to cause structural damage to Surrie.

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

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