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ARTICLE ID 182328

$________ - MOTOR VEHICLE NEGLIGENCE - AUTO/TRUCK COLLISION - DEFENDANT TOW TRUCK DRIVER STRIKES VEHICLE ON RAINY HIGHWAY - PLAINTIFF DRIVER SUSTAINS PAINFUL TEARS TO HIP DESPITE ARTHROSCOPIC SURGERY AND INJECTIONS - LUMBAR HERNIATION NECESSITATES INJECTIONS, IMPLANTATION OF SPINAL CORD STIMULATOR, AND CONTINUING NEED FOR NARCOTIC PAIN MEDICATION - PASSENGER SUSTAINS CERVICAL BULGE AT C6-7, PAIN AT C2-3 FROM SUPERIMPOSITION OF TRAUMA ON PREEXISTING CONDITION OF CONGENITAL FUSION.

Camden County, NJ

This case involved a plaintiff driver/husband, in his early 40s, and his front seat passenger/wife, in her late 30s. The plaintiffs contended that as they were traveling in the left lane of I-________ at dusk and during rainy conditions, the defendant tow truck operator in the middle lane, swerved to the left, causing the collision. The plaintiff husband contended that he sustained severe ligamentum teres and labral tears to the hip that will cause permanent severe pain. The husband also contended that he sustained a lumbar herniation and that he will permanently suffer severe pain despite numerous injections, the implantation of a spinal stimulator, and the use of narcotic pain medication which the plaintiff maintained left him permanently unemployable. The plaintiff wife maintained that she suffered a cervical bulge at C6-7, and that her permanent neck and head pain was heightened because of traumatic aggravation of a preexisting congenital cervical fusion at C2-3.

The plaintiffs were traveling in their Dodge Ram pickup in the far left of three lanes at a speed between 50 and 55 mph. The plaintiff maintained that the defendant was in the middle lane and closely behind a white vehicle at a rate of speed between 60- 65 mph. A tractor-trailer was traveling in the right lane immediately next to the defendant. Neither the tractor-trailer driver nor the driver of the white car were defendants. The plaintiff contended that when the center lane began to slow and the white vehicle in front of the defendant applied its brakes, the defendant reacted by swerving left and striking the plaintiff’s vehicle.

The defendant denied that the plaintiff’s version was accurate and maintained that plaintiff driver encroached into the middle lane, causing the accident. The plaintiff countered that the defendant had conceded moving into the left lane to the investigating police officer.

The plaintiff also maintained that the defendant driver was inadequately trained, contributing to his failing to avoid the collision. The plaintiff would have pointed out that the defendant driver was employed by his father’s company, had no formal commercial driving instruction, and that all of his training was on-the-job. The plaintiff contended that the driver had only been driving tow trucks for a brief period, contributing to his failures.

The plaintiff contended that the tow truck struck the right rear portion of the plaintiff vehicle, the force taking control of the plaintiff vehicle and causing it to spin out. The plaintiff vehicle struck the concrete barrier on the left and entered into a clockwise spin while careening to the right across the center lane, across the right lane, and across the shoulder, until the driver’s side violently struck the concrete barrier. The plaintiff vehicle came to rest facing southbound with the driver’s side against the concrete barrier on the right shoulder of Interstate ________ North.

The plaintiff husband contended that he sustained severe right hip and low back injuries in the crash, including tears to the right hip labrum and ligamentum teres, an L3-4 disc herniation with an annular tear, and an L4-5 disc bulge with an annular tear. The plaintiff husband contended that he underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair the tears in his hip and received multiple injections in the hip to manage his pain. The plaintiff husband also contended that he underwent surgery for the implantation of a spinal cord stimulator in his back.

The plaintiff husband contended that despite the efforts of his physicians, he continues to suffer from chronic hip and back pain as a result of this crash and requires the regular use of narcotics to manage his pain. The plaintiff contended that the level of narcotics required to control his pain renders him totally unemployable. This plaintiff also maintained that the injuries themselves render him physically incapable of working in the manual labor type jobs which comprised his work history.

The defendant would have maintained that the back injuries were probably related to two subsequent collisions that occurred within approximately one and a-half years after the subject incident. The plaintiff would have countered that the subsequent incidents were very minor and required no treatment. The plaintiff would have also stressed that he complained of back pain beginning immediately after the incident.

The plaintiff wife maintained that she sustained a cervical bulging disc at C6-7, occipital neuralgia, and will permanently suffer headaches and cervical pain. The wife had a preexisting congenital fusion at C2-3 and contended that the trauma of the incident aggravated the condition and resulted in permanent extensive pain.

The case settled shortly before trial for $________.

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