Female in Mid-40s
Client, a female in her mid-40s, was a front-seat passenger in a Dodge Neon driven by her then-fiancé (now husband), that was T-boned at an intersection at 45-50 miles per hour by a Toyota Cruiser. Her car was propelled across the intersection and spun around completely. Damage to the car was so severe it was deemed a total loss.
Initially, our client's injuries did not appear to require surgical intervention. However, she was unable to put any weight on her left side and she was admitted to the hospital for three days. Upon discharge, she still could not put any weight on her left side and required a walker to ambulate. The bruises on the left hip, leg, and foot were so severe the photographs taken made body parts difficult to recognize.
As the swelling subsided, our client noticed more pain in other areas of her leg and back despite a long list of pain killing medications. An MRI revealed not only severe contusions to the nerves and soft tissue on the left side of the hip and leg, but also a large herniated lumbar disc, which explained much of the severe back and leg pain. Back surgery (laminotomy, discectomy, foraminectomy) was performed. While back pain was reduced, our client now noted increased knee pain, which resulted in an additional surgery. The back surgery was performed immediately following the MRI.
During recovery from surgery, our client was informed that her employer would list her job as open if she did not return within six months (despite two decades with the company). She forced herself to return but was unable to perform her job without pain. She was forced to find a new job that did not have the physical demands on her but utilized her skills. Ultimately, our client was compensated for the time lost due to this incident as part of the settlement.
Despite receiving excellent medical care, possessing a wonderful attitude toward recovery, and pushing herself hard in rehabilitation, our client was left with a painful reminder of her collision; permanent and daily burning down her left leg and hip requiring daily medication just to allow her to sleep. Her surgeon opined that she would likely have this pain forever and that even additional surgery could not guarantee a better result.
Money can never make a person whole or restore them back to the way they were before, but it is the only known compensatory damage under the law.