Arizona auto accident attorneys at Abels & Annes recently resolved the case for a Peoria resident. Our office pursued both the negligence claim against the at fault driver and an Arizona underinsured motorist claim against the plaintiff’s own auto insurance policy.
The collision took place on October 18, 2010, at approximately 7:17 p.m. The plaintiff was injured when the vehicle he was driving was rear-ended by another vehicle.
Our client was driving westbound on Peoria Avenue in Peoria, Arizona. The defendant was also driving her vehicle westbound on Peoria Avenue, directly behind the plaintiff. The client stopped for a red light at the intersection of Peoria Avenue and 91st Avenue in Peoria, Arizona. There were several vehicles stopped in front of him at the intersection. The defendant then failed to stop and/or reduce the speed of her vehicle she was driving, and struck the plaintiff’s vehicle in the rear.
The Peoria Police Department responded to the accident scene. After speaking to both parties, the investigating officers placed the defendant at fault for the collision. In the police report, she admitted that she did not see the light was red until it was too late and that she tried to stop her vehicle but it was too late. Furthermore, the investigating officers noted in the police report that the defendant was driving too fast for conditions and was not paying attention.
We alleged the defendant’s insurance carrier that she failed to keep a proper lookout, failed to yield for traffic, failed to stop and/or reduce her speed to avoid a collision, was driving at an excessive rate of speed, and failed to exercise due care for the safety of those in the area, including the plaintiff.
Following the collision, our client had an immediate onset of back pain, neck pain and headaches.
That same day, he was seen at Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center‘s Emergency Department. There, he complained of back pain, neck pain and headaches. A history was taken, he was examined and diagnostic tests were performed, including a cervical spine x-ray. A physical exam revealed tenderness of the lumbar spine and thoracic spine, as well as limited range of motion due to pain. An x-ray of his cervical spine found straightening of the cervical lordosis, intervertebral disc space narrowing at C5-6 and C6-7, cervical spondylosis, and unco-vertebral and facet joint hypertrophic changes in the mid cervical spine. He was initially diagnosed with a back sprain, neck pain, and headaches. He was instructed to follow up with his primary care physician and discharged.
Due to ongoing and increasing pain, The client sought follow up medical care at Phoenix Orthopaedic Consultants on October 26, 2010. He complained of mid back pain, lower back pain causing radiating pain down his right leg to his foot with associated tingling and numbness, neck pain, headaches with associated tingling on his face, and right upper extremity weakness. A history was taken and he was examined. A physical exam revealed tenderness of the mid-line and paravertebral thoracic spine with severe paraspinal muscle spasms, right lower lumbosacral junction tenderness with severe paraspinal muscle spasms, increased pain with flexion, hypoesthesia of the right lower extremities and right upper extremities, tenderness to the mid-line of the cervical spine with severe paraspinal muscle spasms, decreased range of motion, and positive Tinel’s sign at the right wrist. His physician diagnosed him with back pain, right lower extremity radiculopathy, neck pain, right upper extremity radiculopathy, thoracic pain, and headaches. He was instructed to go for MRIs of his lumbar spine, cervical spine, and thoracic spine.
Per is physician’s referral, on November 2, 2010, the plaintiff was seen at Valley Radiologists for diagnostic testing, including MRIs of his cervical spine, thoracic spine, and lumbar spine. The MRI of his cervical spine found small degenerative disc bulges in his spine.
Based on the MRI findings, our client sought follow up treatment with his doctor on November 12, 2010. At that time, he complained of neck pain, mid back pain, lower back pain, and headaches. The physician reviewed the MRIs of his lumbar spine, cervical spine, and thoracic spine. Based on the his review of the MRI results, he prescribed pain medication and instructed him to begin physical therapy.
On December 21, 2010, the client returned for follow up treatment. A physical exam was performed, which revealed paravertebral spasms throughout the cervical spine, thoracic spine and lumbar spine and decreased range of motion due to pain. The physician prescribed pain medication and instructed him to continue physical therapy.
On February 18, 2011, the plaintiff returned for follow up treatment. There, he complained of continued back pain. A physical exam was performed, which revealed paravertebral tenderness in the thoracolumbar spine with muscle spasms and decreased range of motion.
Our client started a course of physical therapy at Physiotherapy Associates on November 18, 2010. His treatment consisted of therapeutic exercises, therapeutic activities, neuromuscular rehabilitation, manual therapy, mobilization, and spinal mobilization. He attended twelve (12) sessions of physical therapy at Physiotherapy Associates, which ended on February 22, 2011.
The at fault driver in the accident only carried auto insurance in the amount of $15,000, the Arizona required minimum. After our office collected that amount, we pursuing an underinsured motorist claim against the plaintiff’s own auto insurance policy and collected an additional $8,000, bringing the plaintiff’s total up to $23,000.