Disc Herniations From Freeway Rear-end Collision: Client Undergoes Diskectomy Surgery; $200,000 Recovery

We represented a 44-year old Ohio woman visiting Arizona who was rear-ended while traveling on US 60 in Mesa, Arizona. Upon her return home to Ohio, she visited her chiropractor for treatment of severe dull tension headaches and severe neck pain. She also visited her primary care physician with complaints of headaches, and neck and shoulder stiffness related to the accident. Her primary care physician diagnosed her with cervical strain, for which he referred her to a physical therapist. He also ordered an MRI of her spine which revealed two disc herniations. Based on the MRI results, the primary care physician referred her to a pain management clinic for further treatment and steroid injections.

Personal InjurySeveral months after the accident, our client sought emergency-room treatment for excruciating pain in her right shoulder blade and front right side of her neck, with pressure in her throat and chest on the right side. The emergency room physician said that the pain was caused by pressure from the herniated discs pushing on a nerve. Our client’s pain continued to worsen in the following weeks and she eventually went to an orthopedic clinic to discuss surgical options. The orthopedic doctor opined that the disc herniations were significant enough to warrant cervical diskectomy surgery. Despite the significant risks associated with surgery, our client decided to proceed in the hopes that it would help alleviate her severe pain. Following the surgery, she reported significant improvement in her pain levels.

We submitted a demand for policy limits to the other driver’s insurance company, and they offered their insured’s full policy limits of $100,000. Next, we submitted a demand to our own client’s insurance company for payment under the underinsured motorist coverage of her policy. The insurance company offered the full policy limits, which also totaled $100,000. Total settlement: $200,000.

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