Freeway rear-ender with admitted liability leads to dispute over neck injury. $30,000 offer (CCP 998) but $169,289 verdict plus interest.
Plaintiff's car was rear-ended on the 405 freeway in Irvine. Property damage to plaintiff's Honda Accord was in the amount of $1,800. Plaintiff sustained neck injuries. Defendant admitted liability.
That plaintiff suffered a serious, life-long neck injury in the collision; that plaintiff was entitled to compensation for her past medical bills and past and future pain and suffering.
Defendant contested severity of injury. Defense medical expert testified that plaintiff received no more than a strain/sprain which should have resolved after eight weeks of chiropractic treatment and that her hand and arm symptoms were from carpal tunnel syndrome.
Injury to cervical spine of neck, causing neck pain, left trapezius muscle pain, left arm pain and radiating numbness and tingling in plaintiff's left arm and hand.
Post-accident MRI of plaintiff's neck showed 3.5 mm disc bulge. Nerve-block procedure showed nerve damage in plaintiff's neck at spinal level C5-C6.
Plaintiff's counsel had plaintiff's car re-inspected after repairs had been done and discovered that the internal rear bumper had not been replaced as was required. Defendant's carrier paid plaintiff an additional $369 for the additional property damage shortly before trial.