category: Car Accidents
$484,000 Car Accident Settlement
$484,000 Motor Vehicle Accident Settlement. An elderly gentleman was injured in a motor vehicle collision when the defendant’s driver ran a red light and broadsided the passenger side of his vehicle. Plaintiff was taken via ambulance to the emergency room for treatment. Upon arriving at the local ER, the plaintiff was complaining of lumbar tenderness, neck pain, and left-hand pain. His oxygen saturation levels were noted to be low and interpreted as hypoxic. Diagnostic testing was performed which included a head CT scan, cervical CT scan, lumbar CT scan, chest x-rays, and a left-hand x-ray. The chest x-ray revealed mild pulmonary vascular congestion which was felt to be present with small bilateral pleural fluid collections.
Plaintiff was transferred to a higher-level institution for further care and treatment. Upon arrival, the plaintiff was admitted to the intensive care unit. He was diagnosed with a contusion of his chest wall, multiple right-sided rib fractures (11th, 10th, 9th, 8th, and 7th ribs all fractured), bilateral pleural effusions, right-sided pneumothorax, severe delirium, dysphagia, and multiple bruises and abrasions throughout his body, including his chest, left hand, left knee, abdomen and shoulder areas. The physicians noted that he required critical care as a result of his respiratory failure with hypoxia, hypoxemia, high risk for bleeding, and atrial fibrillation with RVR. He was tachycardiac (rapid heartbeat) on the second day of hospitalization. He also failed numerous barium swallow tests, and these tests showed significant aspiration. He became extremely delirious while in the hospital from injuries sustained during the crash. This improved over time in the hospital. He was administered a Dobhoff feeding tube.
Subsequently, he underwent percutaneous gastrostomy catheter placement due to severe pharyngeal weakness and insufficient caloric intake following the automobile collision. It was recommended that he attend inpatient rehabilitation upon discharge from the hospital. Throughout hospitalization and rehabilitation, it was noted that he was extremely weak and without almost any ability to verbally communicate while suffering through periods of delirium, memory loss, and general overall dysfunction.
After significant time in OT/PT and speech therapy, it was determined that our client should not consume solid food. While he improved cognitively, this incident forever changed his life moving forward. Given our client’s age, it was important to him and us to apply pressure on the carrier as prolonged litigation was not an option. We notified the carrier of our intent to pursue a bad-faith claim in the event they failed to tender the full policy limits. Following a series of exchanges with the insurance company, it tendered a settlement offer of $483,776.93, which represented the full policy limits available without protracted litigation.