Woman Involved in Sacramento Auto Accident Suffers Spinal Injuries

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: Several days after the accident, the plaintiff visited her general physician for neck pain. After an extended course of pain medications and physical therapy, an MRI revealed a herniation at L4-5. She underwent a laminectomy and cervical fusion more than a year after the accident.


On Sept. 24, 2003, the plaintiff, a nursing assistant, was stopped on Folsom Avenue in Sacramento, CA when her vehicle was struck from behind by a car driven by the defendant. The impact was approximately 10 mph, and the damage sustained by both cars was minimal. The police were not summoned.

The plaintiff sued the defendant for motor vehicle negligence.

The defendant did not test liability.

After the surgery, the plaintiff returned to her job, but eventually began experiencing pain in her neck again. After another set of imaging studies, it was determined that the plaintiff had adjacent disc disease. She underwent a second fusion more than four years after the accident.

Defense counsel argued that the impact was so minimal that the risk of injury — much less one of this magnitude — was minimal, if nonexistent. Defense counsel contended that the 10 mph impact and the facts that the police were not called and the plaintiff waited three days to visit a doctor prove that the damage was minimal.

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

The plaintiff had an assortment of pre-existing ailments and injuries dating back to the early 1990s, including neck pain and migraines, defense counsel noted. The plaintiff was also involved in at least two accidents prior to this incident, including one in 1998, when she hired an attorney and claimed cervical injury.

Plaintiff’s counsel acknowledged that the plaintiff had a pre-existing condition, but insisted that she was relatively symptom free in the two-year period prior to the subject accident and never experienced radicular pain. Plaintiff’s counsel argued that the plaintiff was unusually susceptible to injury and that this seemingly innocuous incident caused the symptoms.

The defense medical expert related the disc herniation, the adjacent disc disease, both surgeries and significant medical expenses and disability to the minor car accident, according to defense counsel.

RESULT: Mediated Settlement
Award Total: $1,250,000

The case settled for $1.25 million.

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

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