LEHIGH VALLEY MOTOR VEHICLE COLLISION ARBITRATION AWARD
This case involved a low speed rear end impact on Route 22 near the Whitehall exit in Lehigh County, with minimal property damage to either vehicle. The defendant claimed that the accident was not his fault, but that he had been hit from behind by another vehicle which fled the scene. Our client did not initially realize that she was injured so did not call the police or go to the hospital. This made it difficult to prove that her severe back pain was caused by the accident. Our client was a 32 year old single mother who did have a history of prior back problems and fibromyalgia. Despite these problems with the case, the client made a compelling witness. Plus, her doctors went to bat for her and felt strongly that her injuries and disability were caused by the accident. She was diagnosed with a herniated disc and ended up needing two back surgeries. Unfortunately, she needed a third surgery, but when she lost her job, she lost her health insurance and had no way to pay for the treatment. Following her surgeries, she had a series of injections, which did not improve her constant back and leg pain. She tried to work, but was unable to do so, due to the severity of her pain. Even though she had a sedentary job, she was not able to sit long enough to accomplish any meaningful tasks. Our vocational expert estimated her wage loss and reduction in earning capacity to be $1,337,438.83. The matter went to a binding arbitration and the arbitrator entered an award for $1,782,853.
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