Client Requires Surgery for Shoulder Injury; Lost Wage Claim for Missed Work as Physician

Our client, a local physician and avid bicyclist, was riding his bicycle in the bike lane on 20th Street (Phoenix) when a car making a lefthand turn struck him. The force of impact knocked our client off his bike and thrust him over the top of the motor vehicle. The impact was so hard that it broke the frame of our client’s custom-made bicycle.

Following the accident, our client began to experience pain and soreness in his neck, back, right shoulder, and right great toe. Later that evening, when his condition worsened and his pain intensified, our client went to the emergency department of a nearby hospital for treatment. X-rays revealed that he suffered a first toe distal fracture.

One week after the accident, our client was examined by his primary care physician for continuing neck and shoulder pain. The doctor diagnosed right-sided facet complex fracture at C6-C7 on the right (fracture of the cervical spine), and he prescribed a collar to stabilize our client’s neck and medications for his pain and muscle spasms. After a four-week course of conservative treatment, our client’s cervical pain subsided substantially. However, he continued to experience right shoulder pain, which later evaluation confirmed to be a rotator cuff tear.

After an unsuccessful course of physical therapy, surgery was performed to repair the rotator cuff injury. Our client received additional physical therapy in the several weeks after the surgery. Seven months after the accident, our client saw his doctor for the last time and was able to gradually resume his normal activities, including bike riding. We settled the claim with the driver’s insurance company for $73,000.

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