Soccer Mom Injured In Crash While Picking the Kids Up Leads to Settlement
"Soccer moms." We hear the term all the time and it conjures images of Lululemon-wearing SUV driving women in their 30s and 40s shuffling their children all over creation. But what happens when a "soccer mom" gets involved in a car crash? How does it affect her, her kids, and her husband?
Picking the Kids Up
Camille was picking her kids up and driving them to one of their many extracurricular activities when a woman pulled out of a restaurant parking lot and struck a car, causing that vehicle to hit Camille’s. Her minivan was totaled, but fortunately, the kids were fine. She was not, however, and noticed immediate bruising around her collarbone and pain in her neck and shoulder.
The Injuries and Aftermath
As a part-time yoga instructor, Camille was in tune with her body far more than most people. She knew immediately that the pain in her left shoulder was not normal. But she also was in fantastic shape, especially for someone in her mid-40s. It was difficult for her to accept that her injury was as serious as it was, and minimize its impact on her life.
After numerous doctors, MRIs, and physical therapy, it was determined that, while the partially torn rotator cuff had healed as well as it would without surgery, the still-present pain was not going away. Ultimately, it was determined that the shoulder joint was compacted by the impact of the crash, causing the Acromioclavicular (AC) joint to rub every time she moved her arm, resulting in horrific pain.
She had done everything possible to avoid surgery and bear the pain, had stopped demonstrating positions when teaching yoga, and worked incredibly hard at the rehab exercises. But she refused surgery, believing the natural option was preferable.
Finally, however, she came to the realization that the only option that would eliminate her pain was surgery, which involved shaving down the bones in the AC joint to create a smoother surface and more room for movement.
Again, rehab followed the surgery. Months later, she still had some pain, but the major problem was corrected.
But her neck still hurts and she will never regain complete range of motion or return to pain free status. She has ruled out surgery for the neck condition.There were also some very
There were also some very real life impacts that resulted from this incident. Her children asked her all the time “why did Ms. K.” get to keep her car and we had to get a new one?” The person who caused the crash was a teacher at the school the children went attended; someone Camille would have to see daily! Being in pain is never fun. It makes an already-busy life that much tougher to get
Being in pain is never fun. It makes an already-busy life that much tougher to get through, and causes the happiest of us to become grouchy, touchy, and sometimes ornery. Camille was not herself around her kids or her husband for the better part of two years, until her recovery finally took shape following the surgery.
I always hope to resolve cases without filing a lawsuit. However, in Camille’s case, we were aiming high for a large settlement and the length of her recovery had pushed us close to the two-year statute of limitations period in which to file a lawsuit. With several months to spare, in consultation with the client, we made the decision to file suit.
Once I was in contact with the attorney for the defendant, I was able to reach agreements on certain issues that were not in dispute, such as exchange of medical data, and to initiate written discovery, but at a slower pace than normal, so as to allow time for settlement negotiations.
Once we started negotiating, it went quickly. The first offer was not insulting, as it often can be. In fact, once we saw that they were serious about settling, I consulted regularly with Camille and her husband to discuss all the details and how they would affect things like her bottom line, bills, and liens.
In an odd twist, the negotiations continued between me and the other attorney via email. We reached a settlement at about 9:30 on a Saturday night. He was a true gentleman and a pleasure to work with. There is something to be said for working with, and against, nice people—it makes the entire process enjoyable. Sure, we both fought hard for our clients, but it is refreshing to keep it so convivial and professional.
One big issue that changed things greatly in Camille’s favor was a bill for her shoulder surgery. For whatever reason, this $25,000 bill had never been submitted to her health insurer. I insisted that the provider submit it. Once they did, her health insurer paid it at a much-discounted rate, and we repaid them a portion of that (the plan requires repayment if you collect damages from a “third party”). This resulted in a huge change in the numbers and gave Camille about $20,000 extra in her pocket (tax-free).
The settlement was finalized, the case dismissed in court.
It was a great pleasure working with Camille and her husband. They were just fantastic people, who asked great questions, and whom I always enjoyed talking about the case, as well as just about anything else.
The result was terrific. While Camille is still always going to have some neck pain to remember this crash by, she has returned to nearly all of her yoga abilities pre-crash, and the money she received will compensate her for her pain and suffering, loss of a normal life, and medical bills. There is plenty left over to be earmarked for the educations of three young children, as well as some fun for her and her husband.
No one wants to get hurt, let along undergo surgery, but sometimes from bad things come good things.
Contact Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Stephen Hoffman
If you've been in an accident and have questions, contact Chicago personal injury attorney Stephen L. Hoffman for a free consultation at (773) 944-9737. Stephen has nearly 30 years of legal experience and has collected millions of dollars for his clients. He has been named a SuperLawyer, has a 10.0 rating on Avvo, and is BBB A+ accredited.
Stephen handles personal injury and workers' compensation claims on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay anything upfront and he only gets paid if you do. Don’t wait another day, contact Stephen now.