$________ - REAR END COLLISION BY TRACTOR- TRAILER - TWO CERVICAL DISC PROTRUSIONS - RADICULOPATHY - CHRONIC CERVICAL PAIN - POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER - DEPRESSION.
Orange County (27088)
This action arose from a collision to the rear of the plaintiffs
vehicle by a tractor-trailer owned by the defendant Ryder Truck Rental,
operated by the defendant U.S. Food service, Inc., and driven by the
defendant truck driver. The plaintiff claimed she was slowing to allow
another vehicle to change lanes in front of her, when the accident
occurred. The defendants maintained that a phantom vehicle changed
lanes in front of the plaintiffs van, causing her to make a sudden
stop which resulted in the rear end collision. The defendant also
disputed the injuries which the plaintiff claimed to have sustained
as a result of the accident.
The plaintiff, 53 at the time of the accident, testified she was exiting
the Florida Turnpike onto Route ________ when another vehicle changed lanes
in front of her. The plaintiff testified she slowed to allow entrance
of the other vehicle and her van was impacted from behind by the defendants
tractor-trailer. Evidence showed that the defendants tractor-trailer
left ________ feet of skid marks at the scene. The property damage to the
back of the plaintiffs van was $________. The front of the defendants
truck sustained approximately $________ in damage.
The plaintiff treated with a chiropractor for injuries to her cervical
spine. Her chiropractor testified that an MRI showed two protruding
discs which he opined were causally related to the accident. The plaintiff
also treated with a neurologist and pain management specialist for
radiating cervical pain.
The plaintiffs psychiatrist testified the plaintiff sustained posttraumatic
stress disorder as a result of the accident and will require continuing
psychiatric treatment. The plaintiff claimed her accident-related
cervical injuries caused her to be terminated from her job as an optical
technician with a vision center after she missed more than six months
from work. The plaintiff had not returned to work as of the date of
trial. She claimed approximately $________ in total economic damages.
The defendant truck driver testified the plaintiff stopped suddenly
and unnecessarily in the middle of the exit to allow a truck to get
in front of her. The defense contended the defendant truck driver
could not avoid the collision.
The defendants orthopedic surgeon testified the plaintiffs cervical
disc bulges were related to a long-standing degenerative condition
of the cervical spine and not caused by the accident. The defendants
psychiatrist testified the plaintiff did not suffer from posttraumatic
stress disorder. This expert testified the plaintiff exhibited clinical
depression unrelated to the accident and also that she exaggerated
and magnified her psychological condition. The defense argued that
the plaintiff could return to work, if she so desired.
The court directed a verdict for the plaintiff on liability at the
close of evidence. The jury found the plaintiff sustained a permanent
injury as a result of the accident and awarded her $________ in damages.
The defendants motion for new trial and additur is pending.