Car Accident - Failed Lumbar Fusion $1,400,000.00 | Joel H. Schwartz, P.C.Joel H. Schwartz, P.C.

Car Accident Attorney Case

Failed Lumbar Fusion – Auto Accident – $1,400,000.00 payout

Reported in the Lawyers Weekly
Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly

This case involves personal injury as a result of a motor vehicle accident. When the plaintiff traveled through a green light, he was broadsided by the defendant who had run a red light. Liability was never disputed due to police responding immediately, and the testimony of witnesses in the area.

Immediately following the accident the plaintiff was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital. At this time several x-rays were taken. Results showed a scalp abrasion, as well as a cervical sprain. After stabilizing, the plaintiff underwent the care of Robert R. Pennell, M.D. He prescribed physical therapy, as well as other treatment in order to ensure proper recovery. While being treated by Dr. Pennell, testing showed that the plaintiff was also suffering from bilateral spondylolysis and a bulging disc. The plaintiff underwent surgery as this problem continued to persist.

During the surgical procedure, the plaintiff’s doctors noted further issues. In addition, a CAT scan indicated that lumber fusion did not work as it should have. The surgeon noted that since the plaintiff continued to smoke cigarettes that this could have been a cause of failure.

The plaintiff was in need of surgery, but since the personal injury benefits ran out, this left him in a tight spot. Counsel for the plaintiff did a good job in getting an advance from the insurer of the defendant. Even though this does not usually happen, it allowed the plaintiff to move forward right away with the proper surgery.

During the case the counsel for the defendant argued that the spondylolisthesis would have presented itself in the plaintiff even if the accident had not occurred. A medical review was then ordered by the insurance carrier. This ended up working to the plaintiff’s advantage as the review supported the claim that spondylolisthesis can be asymptomatic.

This meant that the spondylolysis was something that the plaintiff brought into the incident. In turn, the egg shell doctrine meant that the defendant was liable for all injuries that occurred due to the accident.

At this time the plaintiff suffers from low back pain which can be disabling. Even though he could undergo another procedure, there are increased risks that go along with this.

When the incident occurred, the plaintiff was earning approximately $20,000 as a pipefitter. He is capable of doing less stressful work, but contends he suffered lost wages over the past few years.

Two years after the incident, the plaintiff was at the end of his medical options due to the refusal of another fusion surgery.

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