The 46-year-old plaintiff was a passenger in a motor vehicle that was struck from behind. Property damage was $2,200.
Medical Bills:$25,700 in medical expenses; $20,000 in past lost wages; $55,000 in future loss of earning capacity
Amount of award: $360,000
After the accident the plaintiff was taken by ambulance to the hospital and soon released. She was treated for a lower back injury and radiation down her right leg. She was treated by a chiropractor saw a neurosurgeon. She was treated with medication, physical therapy and cortisone injections. The neurosurgeon, determined she has incurred a 25-percent permanent partial loss of function of the lumbar spine per American Medical Association guidelines.
Her doctors believed she was permanently and totally disabled as a result of her injuries.
The defendant said that it was a minor motor vehicle accident that aggravated a pre-existing condition. The defendant-insurance company had the plaintiff examined by an orthopedic physician who found no evidence of injury. The defendant also conducted video surveillance and presented the tape at the arbitration.
She was a hairdresser at the time of the accident. Before the accident the plaintiff was expected to be able to work for more years. Past lost wages were $20,000 and future loss of earning capacity was estimated at $55,000.
The arbitrator found that the plaintiff was partially disabled for the rest of her life and awarded damages of $360,000.
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