Accident Report: WSP Trooper Rear-Ends Civilian near Tacoma


In July 2003, CH was driving his Dodge Pick-up Truck Northbound on I-5 near Pacific Avenue in Tacoma, Washington.  CH slowed to a stop for traffic.  While stopped, CH was slammed into from behind by a WSP Trooper.  The trooper was operating his WSP patrol vehicle at the time. 

The impact of the collision was severe. CH's vehicle was propelled forward into the vehicle in front of him. The damage to CH's vehicle was fairly significant, and the necessary repairs were estimated at several thousand dollars.

Washington law provides that the drivers on the road have the duty to avoid a collision with drivers in front of them. The WSP trooper was negligent when he slammed into CH's vehicle.

CH sustained the following injuries in this accident:

  • Subluxation in cervical spine
  • Subluxation in thoracic spine
  • Subluxation in lumbar spine
  • Cervical sprain/strain
  • Lumbar sprain/strain
  • Radiculitis of the cervical spine
  • Radiculitis of the lumbar spine
  • Headaches
  • Mild bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome
CH is 41 years old.  He lives with his wife and child in Silverdale, Washington. CH is employed full time as an engineer and enjoys spending time with his son, going to the gym, volunteering with the Humane Society and helping with home maintenance for the elderly in his spare time.

CH suffered considerable loss of enjoyment of life by having to experience constant and continuous pain and discomfort as a result of his injuries.  He was forced to work less consecutive hours than before the collision, take more breaks to stretch his back and tailor his job to his injuries as he was not able to lift heavy weights, stand or sit for long periods of time.

Since the collision, he has been unable to play golf or basketball with his son, perform home maintenance and he has required assistance with maintenance on his own home.  He was incapable of performing various projects around the house and participating in other leisure activities.  Before this collision, CH enjoyed working out at the gym.  He has only recently been able to return to his gym routine, but he still cannot work out with the same intensity as before due to the pain and stiffness in his back and neck. Additionally, CH cannot drive for extended periods of time without feeling pain in his neck and back. 

CH hired Seattle personal injury attorney Christopher Davis to submit a claim to medical and non-economic damages to the Washington State Department of Transportation on his behalf. Mr. Davis was able to identify several instances in which CH has paid, and will continue to pay, an appreciable price, physically and emotionally, as direct result of the injuries he sustained in the collision. This ultimately provided the basis for a substantial non-economic damages claim being submitted.