Auto/Truck Accidents – Recent Recoveries

$187,500 Motor Vehicle Accident Settlement
64-year-old male was hit from behind by semi-truck operated by defendant trucking company which failed to reduce speed. Client was traveling on I-57, slowing to accommodate congested traffic and vehicles in front of him, as defendant was operating his rig at or above 70 mph, making no attempt to swerve, honk, brake or slow to avoid collision. Defendant originally argued that the plaintiff had abruptly slowed his vehicle, but available evidence did not support this defense claim. Plaintiff, who had formerly enjoyed target shooting and playing string instruments, sustained significant fractures to fingers on both hands, requiring splinting, medications, extensive therapy and ultimately an arthroscopic surgery performed on his left hand and fingers. Plaintiff was left with lack of strength and stamina and mobility with two fingers and parts of the left hand, and damage to both thumbs. His pre-existing neck and low back problems were significantly aggravated, accelerated and exacerbated from the collision. His medical charges approximated $60,000.00 with a known need for approximately $5,000.00 for his future, conservative medication and physician follow-up appointments. Mediation led to a settlement of $187,500.00, with the defendant paying all mediation costs.

$180,000 Settlement After Collision with Steer
42 year old male was seriously injured while operating his vehicle at night on the right side of the roadway, within the speed limit and carefully looking ahead, when all of a sudden he significantly impacted his vehicle, and totaling it, and all as a result of stray, black 750 pound steers on the roadway.

Defendant farmer/owner of the several head of cattle out of their containment (with some of which on the roadway) contested whether the law would provide for a recovery in this instance, given that he had done all possible to secure and contain his animals and had no real reason to know why the cattle escaped from a quality containment system except that someone must have unlatched the closure to allow the animals to escape.

Rigorous investigation was undertaken, talking with upwards of 20 neighbors inan effort to identify the conditions of the farm operation and its fencing and containment, and whether the farmer had any prior occasions where animals were improperly running at large. The goal was to uncover sufficient evidence to shift the legal constant of providing great protection for farmers from suits against them for their animals running at large by investigating to discover factors showing that the farmer had not taken all appropriate measures for a safe farm operation. The defendant farmer/owner, upon questioning during his deposition about whether he had any prior occasions of any animals at large at any time during the five year period prior to the subject incident, testified that he only had two or three such episodes, and on those occasions they were simply smaller calves having gone under the fence wire and were immediately recovered. Our firm’s efforts developed evidence contrary to the defendant’s assertions, when in fact some twenty (20) plus neighbors in the region were well aware of frequent and regular incidents of the defendant’s animals running at large. In fact, the local sheriff department had incidents in the five year period prior to this occurrence numbering approximately (60) such incidents documenting large steers escaping from the defendant’s fencing and containment.

The actual evidence uncovered of the recent history of the farm operation led the defendant attorney to suggest that a formal mediation might be of benefit. Such a formalized session was conducted with representatives of the insurance company and plaintiffs present and ultimately a settlement was struck for $180,000.00 to reach closure.

Plaintiff was a self-employed laborer/builder and was able to estimate income losses in the approximate range of $15,000.00 to $30,000.00 over several years during his medical care and treatment and from his income losses as a result of his restrictions and limits. He was ultimately able to clearly support his right hand and wrist injuries to this incident. An MRI of plaintiff’s right shoulder confirmed trabecular microfracturing within the distal acromion without a tear. The MRI of his right wrist confirmed a closed fracture of the lunate bone which was initially casted and splinted. Following medications and unsuccessful sessions of therapy, further diagnostic testing showed a pre-existing condition which was aggravated and exacerbated by the trauma from this vehicular crash which led to a surgical intervention for a TFCC tear within the radial attachment. He ultimately underwent a radial carpal arthroscopy, synovectomy and debridement of the central triangular fibrocartilage complex tear, right mid carpal arthroscopy and the application of a short-arm splint. Following that he underwent extensive physical therapy and medications and worked on gaining more strength and function to his extremity. All of the radiological films ultimately confirmed the traumatic nature of his injuries arising from the crash. His condition improved but he still suffers a chronic, permanent loss of strength and stamina in his right wrist and arm.

His medical charges approximated $80,000.00. But with significant savings from what ultimately was required to be paid for unpaid and reimbursable amounts related to his medical charges resulting from the incident, and after all legal costs and expenses, he was able to net a low six figure, tax free recovery with all obligations paid.

$365,000 Settlement Following Truck Accident

68 year old female severely injured as a passenger of her husband driver when defendant’s tractor-trailer failed to stop at the intersection of the exit ramp off of Interstate 64, forcefully striking their vehicle. The defendant was ticketed for disobeying a stop sign and pled guilty to same, but the defendant insurance carrier asserted that the husband driver should have seen and had plenty of time to see and avoid the wide turn of the tractor-trailer at this intersection. When the points of contact, speeds, distances were all considered, there were significant arguments for the defendant driver’s and Company’s fault for the occurrence. P1, husband driver, suffered abrasions of both hands and a right knee contusion, as a result of the vehicle’s air bag deploying. His medical expenses totaled $$9,662.94 with no lost wages for this senior retiree.

His passenger spouse, P2, suffered significant injuries and was transported immediately by ambulance from the scene to the trauma hospital, suffering displaced fractures of the proximal humerus with comminution bilaterally. She suffered immediate and significant restrictions in movement of her arms and suffered strains and sprains to her thoracic and cervical spines. P2’s initial conservative treatment of sling and brace placement, and rest, proved ineffective and which ultimately resulted in right shoulder angulation in muscles and other tissues preventing proper bone union given the complex nature of the fractures. X-rays eventually confirmed a comminuted, displaced fracture of the proximal left humerus, inferior displacement of the humeral head in relation to the glenoid. An open reduction and internal fixation of the right humerus was performed and extensive therapy in order to gain what strength and movement which was the result of her injuries. Her medical expenses totaled nearly $163,000.00 and she required an additional $6,500.00 for in-home nursing care and medically-related transportation costs. P2’s future medical centered around over-the-counter medications for pain control and relief. She is now 69 years of age. She continues to have had, chest, abdomen, back, bilateral shoulder, arm, hand complaints daily. P2 suffered from pre-existing diabetes and which further hampered her recovery and she yet suffers from considerable restrictions in usage of her left arm and hand with greatly restricted movements, lessened strength and stamina. This case resolved for $365,000.00.

Substituted $1M Settlement reached by day-long Mediation

Our two clients were driver and passenger in the same car in a major 24-vehicle pile-up on a major thoroughfare.  Snowy/white-out conditions were present at the time.  Plaintiffs were “sandwiched” in between two large motor vehicles.  P2 suffered serious, severe injuries and multiple fractures and a stress induced heart attack in the weeks following the incident.  P1 also suffered serious injuries and multiple fractures.  Many of the other vehicles were alleged to cause the wreck for driving recklessly and at unreasonable speeds given road conditions.

P1 was trapped inside the vehicle sandwiched between two larger motor vehicles.  Emergency crews eventually freed P1 and airlifted P1 to a nearby medical institution.  At the hospital, a number of CT scans, x-rays and tests were performed, with diagnoses of a nasal fracture, right calcaneus fracture, right navicular fracture, possible right posterior tibial injury, right medial malleolus fracture and right rib costochondral joint fracture.  During the time following discharge from the hospital P1 went to numbers of different doctors’ appointments and underwent physical therapy.  P1 also suffered and the resultant trauma.

P2 was impacted by parts of the vehicle P2 occupied pressed tightly against P2’s chest and abdomen, making it difficult to breathe.  P2’s right wrist was contorted and pressed against right cheek with P2’s right palm touching anterior forearm, and remaining in this same position for nearly an hour.

Bystanders were unsuccessful in attempting to remove the P2 from the vehicle.  Eventually first responders had to extricate the P2 from the vehicle with equipment.  P2 was then transported via ambulance to a nearby hospital.  P2 was in the hospital for days undergoing numerous and various radiologic studies.  Due to P2’s multiple facial fractures, teeth fractures and inability to shut mouth, P2 was required to undergo a full mouth extraction of all of teeth as well as a 4-quadrant alveoloplasty.  P2 then underwent ORIF (Open Reduction Internal Fixation) of right subcondylar fracture and ORIF of left mandibular body fracture.  P2’s diagnoses were nasal bone fracture, right subcondylar fracture with ORIF, mandible fracture with ORIF, extraction of all teeth, bilateral rib fractures, facial abrasions, lack of right wrist/hand control and left hand partial thickness laceration.  Due to the stress and a myriad of factors from the event, P2 suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized.

The primary dispute by defendants was over fault for the incident.  Defendants’ representatives were blaming the white-out conditions and claiming an “Act of God” defense that nothing could have been done by defendants to avoid the pile up.  We engaged in a formal 12-hour mediation where a combined settlement of the two cases was arrived at just under $1 Million dollars before totally extensive discovery was conducted and trial dates selected.

$547,500 Truck Accident Settlement

Our office, represented a family of five ranging in ages from 10 to 33 years old in a case involving a semi-truck merging into our clients’ interstate lane, causing our client to cross into the median and ultimately flip several times at a high rate of speed.  Our clients’ injuries ranged from soft-tissue to orthopedic injuries necessitating surgery.

The defendants alleged that the driver of our clients’ vehicle overreacted to a situation causing the plaintiffs’ vehicle to flip.  There was disagreement over whether the defendant’s tractor-trailer contacted the plaintiffs’ vehicle first or whether plaintiffs’ vehicle, after entering the median and returning to the interstate contacted defendant’s tractor-trailer.  Through two independent witnesses located in surrounding states, it became apparent that defendant’s tractor-trailer did not signal prior to merging into our clients’ lane of traffic and that our clients had no choice but to enter the median to avoid an initial collision.

The case was filed in the state court but was removed to Federal Court.  Several of the family members had to be airlifted to hospitals outside of Illinois.  We retained a consultant to analyze the ECM data from the tractor-trailer to further assist the investigation of the cause of the collision and to place appropriate blame.

Ultimately, the parties agreed to a private mediation.  After an unsuccessful day-long mediation, the case settled within a few weeks.

$483,776.93 Motor Vehicle Accident Settlement

An elderly gentleman was injured in a motor vehicle collision when defendant 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, 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, 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 clients 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.

$330,000 Motor Vehicle Accident Settlement

A man and woman in their 50’s were injured in a motor vehicle accident when a rural postal employee failed to yield.  Our office obtained the defendant’s personal policy limits for each client.  We were able to reduce the medical bills and liens substantially and to also obtain a settlement from the United States Postal Service.

$315,076.78 Car Accident Settlement

24-year-old female was injured when a car merged into her lane, pushing her off the road, and causing her vehicle to flip three times before impacting with a tree. Plaintiff was taken to the hospital by ambulance, having sustained a comminuted fracture of the spleen with a subscapular hematoma surrounding the spleen; subcutaneous hematoma in the right frontal area of her brain; as well as an acute nondisplaced fracture in the mid body of the right scapula; non-displaced spinal fractures on the right at L5 and L1 and several deep lacerations.  She then was airlifted to another hospital for further care and treatment. The doctors there performed an embolization of her grade 4 spleen laceration.  Her facial lacerations were repaired and she was placed in a TLSO brace and transferred to ICU for monitoring. She was later discharged to return as needed. Unfortunately, her car was totaled and she was without transportation. She was not able to go back to school, nor participate in her school activities. She was told to immediately cease any activity if she were to develop a headache or other complication. She is still anxious about driving in a car or riding with others. Her main concern is the viability and function of her spleen over her lifetime. For an extended period following the wreck, she was required to wear a large back brace and which was cumbersome and limited her activities and embarrassed her.  She was severely limited in going out with friends or socializing, and even to this day she continues to limit her social activities from her normal socialization before this event. She has experienced 2 post incident, serious panic attacks, together with other “abnormal” feelings in  certain daily  surroundings. She was left with some permanent scarring over parts of her neck, chest and back.  This case involved total medical care and treatment of $102,000.00.  A total settlement was reached before trial for $315,076.78.

$200,000 Motorcycle Accident Settlement

A 34-year-old male was injured while riding a motorcycle when a negligent driver pulled out in front of him.  Our client suffered fractures and had surgery to repair his collar bone.  The Insurance Company paid to settle the case, and we were able to substantially reduce the medical bills.

PI – $200,000 Settlement

42 year-old woman was injured in a motor vehicle accident when defendant failed to recognize a traffic stop and crashed into our client’s vehicle.  She presented to a local hospital the same day with complaints of neck, right shoulder/arm and head pain.  It was noted that her head struck an object during impact.  Radiologic testing was performed and nothing major was noted.  The ER physicians impression was that of cervical and shoulder strains, with a head injury.  At a follow-up appointment, physical therapy was recommended.  Her therapy focused on her neck, right shoulder and right arm, but she continued to have ongoing complaints of neck and right shoulder/arm pain.  She then was ordered to have MRI’s of her cervical spine and right shoulder.  The MRI of her neck was relatively normal with minimal degenerative changes and minor findings at her C5/6.  The MRI of her right shoulder revealed tendonitis and possible rotator cuff tear.  She then presented to a specialist for treatment.  The physical exam elicited 3/3 impingement signs, including positive Speed’s and O’Brien’s testing.  He also noted fluid located in the bicep space on her right shoulder MRI.  Based on his findings, it was recommended she undergo fluoroscopic guided steroid injections followed by physical therapy.  At a specialist follow-up appointment due to continued pain and tenderness, positive Neer and Hawkin’s tests were noted.  A biceps labral injury in addition to tendonitis was suspected.  An EMG was performed and was positive for neuropathy at the ulnar nerve as well as carpal tunnel.  The MRI arthrogram was performed and revealed moderate supraspinatus tendinosis with bursal surface fraying.  Fluid was detected in the subacromial/subdeltoid bursa without extension injected contrast into the bursa indicating no full thickness tear.  She then underwent arthroscopic surgery and was later released to full duty work.

Our firm was retained by the client almost 8 months after the incident.  By that time, the workers’ compensation claim was denied and all benefits ceased.  Due to the cessation of benefits, our client was unable to pay her mortgage for several months and struggled with financial difficulties for a period of time.  Our firm vigorously fought the workers’ compensation claim which led to all medical, including surgery and post-operative recovery, as well as temporary wages being paid.  We ultimately settled the workers’ compensation claim for $1.00 and a full waiver of an approximate $70,000.00 lien that the workers’ compensation carrier had placed against our client.  We then shifted focus to the third-party liability claim against the at-fault driver of the vehicle that was responsible for causing the injuries to our client.  The third-party carrier denied that the shoulder surgery was related to the incident and offered approximately $20,000.00 to resolve the matter initially.  We filed suit and eventually the third-party carrier settled for the full $100,000.00 policy limits.  After the third-party claim was completed, we pursued an underinsured motorist’s claim on behalf of our client and secured an additional $100,000.00 (new money) for our client.

$175,000 Motor Vehicle Accident Settlement

An intoxicated driver crossed the center line and struck our 70-year-old female’s vehicle in a head-on collision.  Our client suffered significant injuries and we were able to make multiple claims to recover monies even though the intoxicated driver did not have insurance.  Our client’s own vehicle insurance paid on the case, and we were also able to recover money from the owner of the bar where the defendant became intoxicated, and we successfully negotiated with Medicare to assist in compensating our client.

PI – $175,000.00 Settlement

71 year-old man was injured in an automobile collision when a semi truck driver failed to yield to traffic in a construction zone and rear-ended another semi-truck, causing a chain reaction of cars, ultimately impacting the vehicle in which plaintiff was driving.  EMS personnel noted an obvious closed forearm fracture and a splint was applied at the scene, and he was placed in a c-collar while being transported via ambulance to a local emergency room.

While in the emergency room, he complained of left sided neck and forearm pain.  He was noted to have swelling and tenderness to his left forearm.  A CT scan of his cervical spine and head and x-rays of his left elbow and forearm were ordered and performed.  X-rays of his left elbow revealed an acute fracture at the proximal 1/3 of the right radius bone with complete anterior displacement.  X-rays of his left forearm revealed a complete anterior displacement and soft tissue swelling at the mid forearm.  A splint was applied to his left arm and he was subsequently discharged.  He then went to a specialist for further treatment and which noted a “greenstick” fracture of the left midshaft radius, slightly proximal to the middle.  He was experiencing some tingling in the back of his left thumb.

Upon examination, the ulna was intact; and there was some slight displacement but the bones were opposed with minimal angulation.  His splint was removed and he was placed in a long-arm cast.  Thereafter, x-rays were taken which demonstrated slight angulation with good apposition.  On a follow up x-ray, it was noted that there was shortening and angulation present, prompting a surgery discussion.  He thereafter underwent an open reduction, internal fixation of the left radius.

The surgery was considered a success, and a post-op follow–up appointment reflected no neurologic deficits and minimal swelling present.  He was placed in another long-arm cast.  A follow-up x-ray showed everything to be in good condition.  A subsequent x-ray revealed good alignment, but he was complaining of a lot of pain around the distal ulna.  His casts were later removed and it was noted that everything was healing good.

At a return appointment, his fingers were very stiff upon examination.  He couldn’t make a fist and he had a generalized edema of his hand and wrist with loss of range of motion.  It was recommended to undergo occupational therapy as it looked like he had post-traumatic dystrophy.  He then attended a total of 16 physical therapy appointments to improve his range of motion and strength in his hand and finger.  Following therapy, he had good strength and range of motion.  With the direction of our firm we were able to settle this personal injury case for $175,000.00 which was well over the medical bills.  After settlement, we were able to increase our client’s recovery by nearly $20,000.00 by negotiating with the medical provider that had unpaid balances.

$110,000 Motor Vehicle Accident Settlement

Our client sustained injuries to his shoulder, back, neck, and head when a drunk driver failed to stop at stop sign.  We filed a negligence suit against the intoxicated driver, and we also recovered from the bar owner and our client’s insurance company also contributed to resolve the matter.  An insurance other insurance companies were involved.  Our client also received compensation for approximately $18,000 for his wage loss claim.

PI – $100,000 Settlement

F- 18 was injured when a driver towing a salvage passenger bus without a tow bar drove into the path of plaintiff, causing both vehicles to crash and catch fire. Plaintiff suffered severe head trauma and was placed in a medically-induced coma. As a result of her severe burns, she was required to undergo extensive and numerous skin grafting with subsequent surgeries. She suffered from skull fractures, a lacerated liver, fractured ribs, a collapsed left lung and amputation of all toes on her left foot.  She was air lifted to Mercy Hospital in St. Louis.  She was left with significant scarring on her arms, legs, and feet. She suffered significant pain and suffering.

The plaintiff’s medical charges totaled $378,488.34.  The IL Dept of Healthcare and Family Services paid benefits totaling $2,903.48 and accepted $1,893.07 as payment in full.  A major medical provider paid $272,582.50 in medical benefits and through our efforts accepted $33,333.33 as payment in full.   Plaintiff’s medical payments coverage through her mother’s vehicle paid $5,000.00 – policy limits – and waived its subrogation lien.  The liable defendant only had $100,000.00 insurance coverage.

Our client was unfortunately left with no other avenue for monetary recovery in spite of having been severely damaged and left with permanent and life changing injuries with chronic pain and limitations due to this event. This case settled for $100,000.00, the policy limits, but with the considerable effort of our firm towards lien reductions, our client was yet able to realize in excess of $28,580.13 tax free dollars and the recipient of quality medical care.

28-year-old female was injured when an intoxicated driver, operating at night with no headlights, ran into plaintiff. She was taken to a local hospital where she was treated for complaints of pain in her left shoulder, left clavicle, left wrist, left hip and lower abdomen.  X-rays taken were considered normal.  CT scans of her brain, chest and abdomen were considered normal but the CT scan of her cervical spine confirmed straightening of her cervical lordosis, reflecting a possible mild strain.  Her doctor diagnosed trauma, chest wall contusions, and contusions of multiple sites of her shoulder, upper arm and hip. He prescribed Cyclobenzaprine for inflammation, over-the-counter pain medication and the use of ice on sore areas every two hours for twenty minute periods over the next two days. She returned the following day for complaints of her left foot. X-rays taken of her left foot could not exclude a fracture medially at the base of the terminal phalanx of the little toe. It was diagnosed as a closed fracture of the fifth toe of her left foot and the doctor prescribed Ibuprofen and Hydrocodone for pain. She also had complaints of her fourth finger on her right hand, which had remained swollen. She was also unable to bend her left knee, which had a burning feeling while bending it. After seeing several doctors, she continued to have daily pain and a change of lifestyle. Plaintiff had been previously active, enjoying time with her family. Since this incident she suffered with certain limitations with range of motion in her arm and difficulties with certain tasks, such as writing or opening a bottle.  Our firm sought recovery from a multiple of sources including $12,500.00 from the liable party; $23,250.00 from the dram shop who intoxicated the liable driver; $21,750.00 from her own underinsured motorist’s coverage with considerable savings from reduced medical charges incurred.  Our client patiently permitted us to methodically pursue and recover from one after the other entities involved and from which all available recoveries were made.   This case settled for a global $87,500.00.

79-year-old male was injured during a motor vehicle collision when another driver failed to stop his vehicle in time, striking the rear of this male’s vehicle.  No tickets were issued; however, liability was clear by the defendant.  Plaintiff injured his low back and other areas.  He was initially treated due to complaints of low back pain by a nurse practitioner.  His initial diagnosis was low back pain in the lower thoracic area radiating into the lumbar area.  Radiologic testing of the lumbar spine confirmed diffuse demineralization and advanced degenerative changes with multiple compression deformities, multilevel intervertebral disc degeneration and multilevel facet joint hypertrophy.  X-rays of his thoracic spine showed diffuse dimineralization with multiple compression deformities and multilevel degenerative disc disease.  An MRI of the lumbar spine confirmed an acute compression fracture or T12 vertebral body resulting in approximately 60-70% loss of height, a small acute compression fracture involving the anterior aspect of the L1 vertebral body, a mild chronic compression fracture at L4, degenerative disc disease at all levels and mild to moderate central spinal canal stenosis at L2-3 and L3-4 due to disc bulges and facet joint hypertrophy with inferior foraminal disc protrusions displacing the exiting nerve roots.  The MRI of the thoracic spine showed an acute compression fracture of the T12 vertebral body with 60-70% loss of height as well as mild posterior-superior retropulsion and no cord compression.  It also showed multiple chronic compression fractures of the dorsal spine.  Due to complaints of continued constant, moderate intensity, sharp low back pain, he was recommended and completed 15 sessions of physical therapy.  Further x-rays of his pelvic, thoracic and lumbar spines showed unchanged compression fractures at T7, T11 and T12 with unchanged mild to moderate degenerative disc disease throughout the thoracolumbar spine.  A bone scan was issued due to increased low back and pelvic pain since the latest MRI.  The bone scan confirmed increased uptake in a single upper lumbar vertebral body, likely L1 or L2, with height loss with the intensity consistent with a relatively recent compression fracture.  He then underwent an SI joint injection.  A complete osseous survey at the recommendation of the doctor showed multilevel degenerative disc disease extending from C4 through C7, anterolisthesis at C3 and C4 and retrolisthesis at C5 and C6.  No prevertebral soft tissue swelling or fracture and no lytic lesions were noted.  It also confirmed compression fractures of T7, T11, and T12 unchanged from prior studies with minimal compression fracture of the superior endplates of T4 and T5.  This test further showed compression fractures at L1, L3 and L4 with an interval compression fracture of the L2 vertebral body with approximate 40% height loss.  He then attended another 22 sessions of physical therapy.  In an attempt to alleviate his symptoms, he underwent acupuncture therapy.  Plaintiff had degenerative disc disease prior to this incident, but the trauma he sustained caused new injureies and further aggravated, accelerated and exacerbated his prior condition to a chronic state.  He still continues to be in pain and restricted from doing many of the things he enjoyed doing prior to this incident.  Three different medical liens were lodged against the action.  One lien was reduced from $16,175.00 to $1,067.76 due to our firm’s efforts.  Another lien was reduced by us from $20,000.00 to $10,021.38.  This personal injury case settled for $48,750.00 but much greater net settlement dollars were received by the client by virtue of strategic case resolution.

61-year-old male was seriously injured in automobile collision involving a tractor trailer which struck and landed on top of the car in which plaintiff was a passenger at an unmarked county intersection.  There was severe damage to both vehicles, and all passengers had to be extricated from their vehicles.  Plaintiff lost consciousness as a result of the incident and was transported to the nearest emergency room for treatment.  Due to the severity of his injuries and blood transfusions required, he was thereafter airlifted to St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, IL.  His blood pressure fluctuated in high ranges.  St. John’s orthopaedic trauma surgeon performed a screw fixation of his right SI joint for pelvic fractures.  Plaintiff’s separation of his right SI joint shortened from 10mm prior to surgery to 6mm following surgery.  Post-op diagnosis was a right anterior SI joint widening, left superior and inferior comminuted rami fractures, and a left sacral fracture.  Additional x-rays confirmed nondisplaced comminuted fractures involving the nasal bones, which healed without surgery.  He also suffered a small anterior mediastinal hematoma which measured 19mm in diameter as well as collapsed lungs and comminuted fractures of both the right and second ribs laterally with significant displacement; a fracture of the left fifth rib without displacement; and a non-displaced fracture of the left lateral 7th rib.  A CT of the thoracic spine showed a displaced fracture involving the right transverse process of T12 at a rib/vertebrae junction; displaced fractures involving the right transverse processes of L1-L4; and multiple displaced fractures through the right transverse processes of T12 through L5.  Upon discharge, he was admitted to the rehabilitation unit at Memorial Hospital in Springfield.  Physical and occupational therapy was ordered for the goal of plaintiff gains with independent bed mobility skills, transfers, household ambulation with an assistive device adhering to weight bearing restrictions and the ability to take care of his personal needs.  Lovenox for DVT prophylaxis was prescribed due to left leg swelling.  An acute inpatient rehabilitation program was required for his medical and rehab needs.  After his discharge from the rehabilitation program, he was advised to use a walker for any activity, a shower chair, wheelchair, cushion and a lifer.  He was prescribed Norco and Tylenol #3 for pain control.  Home health was also provided due to the complexity of his issues.  He underwent a lengthy and demanding therapy program for his continual struggles with pain and restricted mobility.  He was at first released to go back to work for 6 hours a day for 2 days a week.  SI joint injections helped ease his pain in his hip, but he will have to return for yearly doctors’ visits and x-rays related to the screw position.  He continues to experience significant limitations and restrictions due to his injuries.  His job requires him to move around a lot and this taxes his body.  The personal injury case settled for $446,476.46 after the settlement of an underlying workers’ compensation case from this same incident.  With our firm’s efforts plaintiff was able to secure all the best medical services required and a significant 6 figure tax free award after all medical bills and expenses.  This case was initially disputed, with the trucking company denying predominant liability, and rather arguing it was the fault of plaintiff’s driver and even plaintiff’s own actions/inactions as a front seat passenger.

49 year-old woman was injured as a passenger in a motor vehicle collision. She sustained injuries to her head, hip and elbow. An emergency room CT scan of her head and cervical spine revealed soft tissue swelling to her head. She had a hematoma to her forehead, and lacerations to her head, black eyes and large bruising over her left calf, left upper arm and left hip. She endured ongoing pain and swelling to her upper back and shoulder regions, and cervical headaches. A physical examination confirmed residual posterior tenderness. She underwent 7 sessions of physical therapy. She healed well from the therapy sessions. This case settled for $20,351.00. After all medical bills and expenses were paid in full, plaintiff took home nearly $7,000.00 tax free dollars. -KB

62-year-old woman injured when exiting a chartered bus.  Plaintiff lost footing while descending the steep bus stairs to exit, encountering difficulty with the steps and attempting to reach the hand railing, and all without any bus driver assistance offered, thereafter falling on her left knee with resultant pain and limits. She thereafter developed pain, swelling, and stiffness in her left knee, and was examined in the emergency room at a local hospital.  X-rays taken of her left knee confirmed chronic degenerative changes, and was diagnosed with acute left knee sprain and contusion. The doctor recommended Motrin for pain but also prescribed Hydrocodone should her pain be intolerable. It was also recommended that she use a knee immobilizer and crutches, and to remain non-weight bearing and avoid lifting, climbing, kneeling and squatting until next examined. She experienced some slight knee improvement, and was told to continue gentle knee stretching exercises. Plaintiff had an MRI which showed a nondisplaced avulsion fracture involving the patellar attachment of the medial patellar retinaculum, sprains  involving the medial and lateral patellar retinacula, subcutaneous edema and ill-defined subcutaneous fluid anteriorly, extensive degenerative type tear involving the lateral meniscus, borderline discoid morphology involving the lateral meniscus, low grade sprain of the medial collateral ligament,  patellar/quadriceps tendinosis and tricompartmental osteoarthritis. Plaintiff underwent quadriceps and hamstring physical therapy. She discontinued her brace, yet avoiding bending, squatting and ladder climbing. She was released to work. A steroid injection was administered a couple of months later, and she was examined to increase her aerobic fitness level, and manage her aggravated osteoarthritis in her left knee. She underwent water therapy and attended four sessions of therapeutic manipulation, manual therapy, interferential therapy, hot packs and ice packs. She continues to experience pain, swelling and stiffness in her left knee, especially with any extended periods of standing and walking, or when walking or standing on uneven ground or hard surfaces. Her job requires her to walk and stand for long periods of time, and she tries to avoid stairs and climbing because of her fear of falling. Her work production is slower now, and her knee “goes out” on her when she places more stress on her injured knee and leg. This case was fully disputed at the onset with no offer forthcoming. But attention was placed on the failure of this common carrier to offer assistance to the senior passenger then exiting the bus. The facts actually developed in support of plaintiff recovery were that this particular bus driver quickly left his bus upon arrival and dashed away from the bus to use his cell phone rather than attend to his passengers. He was soon thereafter released by his company. This use resulted in no surgery for her injuries, with conservative treatment measures, only utilized to the tune of approximately $9,200.00. This case ultimately settled for $35,000.00.

48 year-old woman was injured in a motor-vehicle collision. Her injuries included her neck, back and left shoulder and arm. X-rays taken of her lumbar spine, left arm and shoulder were considered normal and no fractures were evident. X-ray’s taken of her cervical spine confirmed degenerative changes at C5-6 and C7-8. She was diagnosed with a cervical sprain and strain as well as a sprain of the left shoulder, arm and back from the incident. Flexeril was prescribed and she was told to return for further evaluation in two weeks. When she returned for her next check-up, she was still experiencing pain in all the affected areas. She underwent a regimen of physical therapy, but due to continued left shoulder and arm complaints, the doctor recommended an MRI of her left shoulder and left arm. The shoulder MRI confirmed a left rotator cuff tear, while the MRI of the left arm was uneventful. She was referred for an orthopedic consult and this doctor recommended an arthrogram of the left shoulder and MRI’s of both the right shoulder and cervical spine. The arthrogram confirmed a partial thickness articular surface tear of her rotator cuff on the left as well as a partial tear of the supraspinatus tendon with mild hypertrophy of the acromioclavicular joint. She then underwent a left arthroscopic rotator cuff repair, arthroscopic subacromial decompression and arthroscopic debridement of the superior labrum. On her next follow up with her doctor she was advised to begin physical therapy strengthening exercises three times per week for the next six weeks. She was then urged to address her right shoulder injury. After her right shoulder MRI, he diagnosed her with a right rotator cuff tear, AC arthrosis and impingement syndrome. She then underwent arthroscopic repair of her right rotator cuff, arthroscopic sabacromial decompression and arthroscopic distal clavicle excision. Her right shoulder healed well but her left shoulder did not. The doctor diagnosed a possible left rotator cuff tear and contemplated another surgery on her left shoulder. She continues to suffer pain from the severe injuries sustained during the accident. This case settled for $50,000.00. This was a “salvage mission” case, meaning without our office’s efforts, absolutely no monies would have gone to our client as the medical bills alone exceeded the coverage amount. Wage losses exceeded $5,000.00 and medical bills totaled nearly $73,000.00. All medical bills were adjusted with no further payouts of money required and no further deficiency balances for her to pay. Plaintiff took home in excess of $15,000.00. -MH

44 year-old woman was injured during a motor vehicle accident. She suffered injuries to her left shoulder and neck. X-rays revealed degenerative pre-existing changes in her cervical spine from C4 to C7, together with slight straightening of her cervical lordosis. A doctor diagnosed her with posterior chest wall pain and cervical strain. A doctor then diagnosed her with a lumbar contusion, whiplash injury and cervical strain. She underwent several CT scans, completed physical therapy, underwent muscle stimulation, and was required to wear a cervical collar for a period. Our firm obtained a settlement for this non-surgical, soft tissue case for $29,000.00. – CH.

33 year-old woman injured her head, upper back, neck, left shoulder and left arm when she was rear-ended in an automobile accident. A doctor examined and diagnosed her with reversal of the cervical lordosis and an incomplete segmentation abnormality at the C2-3 level. A second diagnosis consisted of a whiplash injury due to continued pain in her neck and bicipital tendonitis in her left shoulder and arm. Her treating physician recommended physical therapy and a cervical collar. MRI’s revealed a congenital anomaly from birth at the C2-3 level, focal kyphosis, a diminutive intervertebral disc space with a fibrous fusion. In addition, she suffered from posttraumatic stress disorder and trapezius muscle spasms. Our firm settled the case for $20,000.00, given that her medical support did not support significant, permanent injuries from this collision. – PK.

A man was injured when the defendant driver failed to obey a traffic control device, colliding with his vehicle. Liability was clear in the case with our client sustaining substantial damages from this event. Our client’s injuries included a displaced right rib fracture, cervical and lumbar sprains, along with lumbago and traumatic arthropathy of the right shoulder. After extensive physical therapy, he was released back to his normal activities. Our firm was able to secure a settlement of $50,000.00. – CRW.

55-year-old factory worker injured while driving materials from his workplace to another business. Petitioner’s van was rear-ended by a vehicle traveling 55 mph. Petitioner sustained a non-displaced fracture of the left wrist, neck and left knee, radiating pain down both legs, and trauma to the lower back rendering him totally disabled. Total compensation recovered in the amount of $95,000. – LB.

A 28 year old man was struck from behind by another vehicle while stopped at a traffic light,suffering injuries to his left shoulder and head. Initially, he was diagnosed with a contusion of the left shoulder, with no fractures or dislocations seen. Approximately 6 days after the accident, he was taken by ambulance to the emergency room again due to his family’s concerns of his worsening headaches, left shoulder pain, dizziness and memory issues. He was initially diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome, with the final diagnosis being cervical and lumbar radiculopathy, cervical paraspinal muscle spasms and neck pain. Although the insurance carrier for the adverse party denied liability (or any wrongdoing by its driver), the case settled for the sum of $17,000.00 without trial based on the client’s continued pain while lifting, pulling and pushing objects required by his employer, and all of which continue to cause pain in his left shoulder, as well as pain and stiffness in his neck and lower back.

60 year old male sustained injuries to his back, neck and lower extremities as a result of being rear ended in an automobile accident. Employee off work 50 weeks with conservative treatment of chiropractic and physical therapy. Due to his previous transplant situation, surgery was not performed. Case settled for $21,089.43.

30 year old male injured while making a right hand turn – Plaintiff was struck from behind by an automobile. He was diagnosed with low back strain/sprain. He was reimbursed for approximately 2 months of wage losses and all medical charges were paid. A $12,000 cash settlement was awarded. – MH.

Woman rear-ended when adverse driver failed to reduce speed – Petitioner was rear-ended and taken to local hospital with complaints of back pain that radiated down her right leg. She later experienced cervical sprain and acute low back sprain/strain injuries and was diagnosed with a compression fracture at L5 as a direct result of this occurrence, resulting in a settlement in excess of $11,000. This case involved modest impact and medical bills approximately $4,000 with no wage losses. – DT.

Plaintiff struck head-on by an out-of-control vehicle traveling too fast for icy conditions. Plaintiff sustained serious and extensive injuries to her face, head, right hand, left knee, lower back, vision and memory. Settlement was for the defendant’s maximum insurance policy limit of $100,000. Efforts made and secured waiver of medical pay lien of client’s own coverage so that an extra $50,000 of benefits recovered without any repayment. – SH.

Severe hip injuries requiring hip replacement to a front seat auto passenger who worked as a prison guard. Defendant’s tow truck was blocking the road at midnight while hooking a disabled vehicle just off the roadway should