Soft-Tissue Car Accident Case Comes to a Successful Resolution: A Case StudyAugust 04, 2020
Car Accident with Soft Tissue Injuries
The Plaintiff, male in his 40s, was involved in a high-speed roll-over accident on Highway 401. He was merging from express into collector lanes when he was struck by the Defendant’s car. Upon high-energy impact, the Plaintiff’s car rolled over several times, landing on its wheels. The Plaintiff was wearing a seatbelt. The air bags did not deploy.
The Defendant admitted liability for the accident.
The Plaintiff did not suffer any broken bones in the accident. There was no loss of consciousness. He reported being sore and stiff everywhere to the paramedics at the scene. He was taken by ambulance to the Hospital. The injuries were determined to be soft-tissue sprains and strains of the lumbar and cervical spine as well as the right shoulder. He was discharged from the hospital after a few hours with some pain medication and a recommendation to follow up with his family doctor.
Car Accident Benefits Claims
The Plaintiff made a claim for Accident Benefits to his car insurance company. The insurer immediately deemed his injuries to fall within a Minor Injury Guideline, which provides only up to $3,500 in Medical and Rehabilitation Benefit.
The Plaintiff did not work for about 6 months after the accident complaining of lower back pain. He received short-term disability through his group insurance benefits. Upon his return to work, the Plaintiff managed to work without any interruption. His income grew steadily over the next three years. He sustained no income loss.
Proving “Threshold” for Soft-Tissue Injuries in Motor Vehicle Accidents
Based on the facts outlined above, this is a tough case for the Plaintiff. One of the main obstacles is overcoming “threshold” provisions under the Insurance Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. I.8: in order to recover certain types of damages the Plaintiff must prove that his injuries and impairments can be considered “permanent and serious” arising from the motor vehicle accident. Proving “threshold” is a lot more difficult in soft-tissue injuries cases.
Medico-legal opinion by an expert orthopedic expert, whom we retained, solidified the Plaintiff’s case. Evidence of post-accident treatments, which became more frequent after the car accident, was also very helpful. As a result, the Plaintiff was able to recover a significant amount for pain and suffering damages and future costs of care. Further, we managed to get him out of the Minor Injury Guideline in the Accident Benefits context and to settle his Accident Benefits claims for good money.
Coming to a Successful Resolution
We were able to bring this soft-tissue car accident case to a successful resolution by effectively arguing that the Plaintiff’s accident injuries met the threshold of “permanent and serious” because of his pre-existing history of lower back pain with Degenerative Disc Disease. Crucial supportive evidence was provided by an expert spinal orthopedic surgeon.
The case was settled at mediation for a substantial amount of money. We were able to prove that in the accident the Plaintiff suffered a marked exacerbation of the lower back pain, which lower back pain was pre-existing. Pre-accident medical records showed that the Plaintiff had a long-standing history of lower back pain due to Degenerative Disc Disease, which made his lumbar spine weak and susceptible to traumatic injuries, like the one that happened in the subject accident.
In these difficult cases, it’s important to contact an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney.
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