Low-impact rear-ender blamed for back injuries. Defense says injuries were degenerative.
Law Office of David Lynn by David Lynn, Los Angeles.
Gates, Gonter, Guy, Proudfoot & Muench, LLP by Gina Y. Kandarian-Stein and Elham R. Rabbani, Irvine.
David Choi, D.C., chiropractic.
Gary Painter, M.D., orthopedic surgery.
David Choi, D.C., accident reconstruction.
Alvin Lowi, P.E., accident reconstruction.
Douglas Kiester, M.D., biomechanics.
On March 21, 2015, plaintiff Julia Martinez (64 years old) was driving a 2014 Nissan Sentra. Plaintiff Antonio Martinez (64 years old) was a passenger in the Nissan Sentra.
Plaintiffs’ vehicle was rear-ended by defendant Samuel Bautista’s 2005 GMC Sierra on John F. Kennedy Drive at the intersection of Perris Boulevard in Moreno Valley.
Plaintiffs did not have complaints of pain, discomfort or problems at the scene. The damage to plaintiffs’ vehicle amounted to $2,836.27. Damage to defendant’s vehicle amounted to $892.02.
Plaintiff Julia Martinez alleged she sustained injuries to the neck, left shoulder, and lumbar spine. Plaintiff Antonio Martinez alleged he sustained injuries to the neck, shoulder, right hip, and right knee. Plaintiffs alleged they needed pain management treatment in the future as a result of their injuries.
Defendant admitted liability and disputed the nature and extent of injuries and damages alleged by plaintiffs.
Defendant argued plaintiffs did not complain of any pain, discomfort or problems at the scene of the accident. Police were not called to the scene and plaintiffs were not seen by paramedics at the scene. Plaintiffs did not go to a hospital, urgent care or see their primary doctor. Plaintiffs admitted that their bodies did not move or hit anything inside of the car at the time of the accident.
Further, both plaintiffs had experienced work injuries in 2010. Dr. Painter testified that each of the plaintiffs’ MRIs taken after the subject accident showed their longstanding degenerative changes that were not made worse by the accident.