$225,000 Jury Verdict – Queens Car Crash Causes Neck, Back and Shoulder Injuries

Queens County – John Doe was the driver of a car that was involved in a car collision with another vehicle in the Fall of 2010. The other vehicle made a left turn and slammed into the driver’s side of Doe’s car, causing damage to both vehicles as well as personal injuries. The car accident occurred only steps away from his house, so Mr. Doe went home, hoping that the pain would get better on its own.

Unfortunately, Doe’s accident injuries didn’t go away so he began treatment and regular visits with a doctor. His injuries included neck and back pain as well as a torn rotator cuff shoulder injury. Conservative treatment with physical therapy did not solve his pain and suffering, leading to the need for an arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder. Despite all of his medical care, the car crash victim was left with significant pain and unable to function normally at work.

Mr. Doe turned to a team of expert accident lawyers http://morrisonwagner.com/about-us/ who reviewed the case and helped Doe file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver of the other vehicle. They claimed that the defendant’s negligent driving caused the motor vehicle collision and Doe’s injuries. Following a jury verdict, Doe was awarded $225,000 for pain and suffering from the injuries. For more details on this case, read the expanded article below.

Illustrative photo by W. Robert Howell from Charlotte, NC, United States (still here.) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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Car Crash Caused Shoulder Woes, Restaurateur Claimed (VerdictSearch.com, by Priya Idiculla)

Verdict: $225,000
Net: $100,000

Facts & Allegations:
In September of 2010, plaintiff John Doe, 43, a restaurant’s owner, was driving in the Briarwood section of Queens. While Doe was proceeding through the intersection, his vehicle’s left side was struck by a vehicle that was being driven by Mr. Jack Smith, who was executing a left turn. Doe’s vehicle was propelled across the intersection. Doe claimed that he sustained injuries of his back, his neck and a shoulder. Doe sued Smith. Doe alleged that Smith was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Liability was decided via summary judgment. The matter proceeded to a summary jury trial that addressed damages.

Injuries/Damages:
neck; derangement, shoulder; rotator cuff, injury (tear); arthroscopy; physical therapy; soft tissue; back; massage therapy

Doe refused immediate medical attention, and he returned to his home, which was located some 50 feet from the scene of the accident. After some two hours had passed, he presented to a medical clinic. He claimed that he was suffering pain that stemmed from his back, his left, non-dominant arm’s shoulder and his neck. He underwent minor treatment.

Doe ultimately claimed that he sustained derangement of his left shoulder, two small tears of the same shoulder’s rotator cuff, and injuries of soft tissue of his back and neck. Photographs of his vehicle depicted damage in the area in which his left shoulder would have been situated. Doe immediately commenced a course of conservative treatment that included massages, physical therapy, and the application of cold and hot packs. The treatment lasted about six months. On Nov. 4, 2010, he underwent arthroscopic surgery that addressed his left shoulder.
Doe claimed that his injuries prevented his performance of about six months of work. He also claimed that his left shoulder remains painful, that the pain is permanent and that it limits his performance of his work duties. His restaurant is located in South Carolina. He claimed that he alternately spends 10 days in New York and 20 days working in South Carolina. He further claimed that he previously drove to and from work, but that his residual effects necessitate his use of air transportation, at a greater cost.

Doe sought recovery of $100,000 for past pain and suffering and $125,000 for future pain and suffering.

The defense’s expert orthopedist submitted a report in which he opined that Doe’s injuries were degenerative conditions that predated the accident. The expert reviewed the results of a post-accident MRI scan of Doe’s left shoulder, and he opined that the test revealed minor bursitis and minor tenosynovitis, which involves restrictive inflammation of the sheath of a tendon. The defense’s expert radiologist submitted a report in which he opined that the test did not reveal an abnormality. Defense counsel noted that Doe refused immediate medical treatment, did not present to a hospital and immediately resumed work.
The defense’s expert orthopedist also opined that Doe’s surgery was unnecessary. He contended that an additional month of physical therapy could have averted the need for surgery.

The parties stipulated that Doe’s damages could not exceed $100,000.

Result:
The jury found that Doe’s damages totaled $225,000, but Doe recovered the stipulated limit: $100,000.

Editor’s Note:
This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff’s counsel. Additional information was gleaned from court documents. Defense counsel did not respond to the reporter’s phone calls.

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