VW Jetta is totaled in crash, minimal damage to truck which had a trailer hitch port in place. State Farm defended.
All as to defendant.
Chiosso Law by Anthony Chiosso, San Francisco.
Law Office of Che Hashim by Che Hashim, San Francisco.
Coit Law Group by Albert Thuesen, San Francisco.
Jeanette N. Little & Associates by Kara Hitchcock, Pleasanton.
Kenneth Light, M.D., neurosurgery.
Dimitry Kondrashov, M.D., neurosurgery.
Philip Allman, economics.
Rene Castaneda, accident reconstruction.
Plaintiff was a 49-year-old career union pipefitter at the time of the collision, who was rear-ended in his Ram 3500 pickup on Interstate 680 at 20-25 mph by a 2000 VW Jetta driven by the defendant. It was an underride crash that caused little visible damage to the truck, but the Jetta was totaled. Most of the damage was to the hitch receiver in the plaintiff's truck.
There was no traffic collision report, plaintiff did not go to the ER. He went to his chiropractor the next day for shoulder, neck, back, and sciatic pain and numbness. He had MRIs of his spine five months post-crash.
The plaintiff had only undergone chiropractic care in the three years before trial. He did consult with a treating spine ortho, Dr. Santi Rao, eight months post-crash, but did not follow up with him until the month before the trial and never took his pain management advice.
Plaintiff was unable to do any pipefitting work for six months post-crash but was able to pivot to a less strenuous position in HVAC maintenance for two years. He then developed carpal tunnel in both arms (unrelated) and as a result of carpal tunnel surgery, was out of work for a year, including at the time of trial.
His prior medical history included taking a year off work in 2014 for bilateral tennis elbow surgery and eight months off work the year before the crash for knee surgery.
That this was a minor, underride crash, which could not have caused serious injury. That plaintiff's body was already breaking down prior to the crash and his spine was just the next body part that wore out. Thus, plaintiff had no significant damages.
Ongoing severe neck pain and headache, as well as weakness in his arms, caused by a herniated disc at C5-6 and C6-7, compressing the spinal cord and producing nerve root canal stenosis. Disc protrusions at L4-5, S1 causing moderate to severe spinal canal narrowing and moderate to severe subarticular recess stenosis.
Plaintiff claimed past and future lost income and medical expenses as well as significant damages due to the effects on his life.