In January 2008 at approximately 5:30 p.m. MM was on her way home, traveling along Highway 520. As she entered the intersection, MM noticed NB approaching, but thought, given the light sequence, she would stop or turn right. This was not the case as NB continued straight into the intersection against the light and crashed into the side of MM’s vehicle (t-bone type impact).
Bellevue Police Department responded to the scene and upon investigation cited your insured for failing to yield to a red light signal.
MM’s vehicle was ultimately declared a “total loss” by the insurance company.
Washington law provides that the drivers on the road have the duty to exercise ordinary care and avoid causing a collision. See RCW 46.61.445 and Washington Pattern Jury Instruction (WPI) 70.01. NB was negligent when she failed to be attentive while driving a vehicle, obey signal devices, watch for traffic ahead, drive responsibly (safe speeds), and otherwise obey the rules of the road. Our client did nothing to contribute to the cause of the crash and could do nothing to avoid the collision. As a direct result of NB’ negligence, MM sustained injuries to her neck, back, shoulders, knee, leg and associated body structures.
A summary of her injuries and treatment are outlined below.
- Cervical strain/sprain and subluxations with tenderness, pain, muscle spasms, and limited range of motion. Whiplash injury with resultant ligamentous instability and acceleration of spinal disc disease.
- Back strain/sprain and subluxations with tenderness, pain, muscle spasms, and limited range of motion (thoracic and lumbar regions) resulting in ligamentous instability and acceleration of spinal disc disease.
- Shoulder pain, tenderness, muscle spasms and decreased range of motion
- Knee (right) contusion and abrasion from hitting into dashboard upon impact; resulting in pain, tenderness and increased discomfort with movement/activity
- Leg (left) contusion from hitting against interior of vehicle during impact; resulting in pain and tenderness
- Sleep disturbances/fatigue
- traumatic stress disorder with associated depression and anxiety
MM is a 62 year old woman who enjoys spending time with her family and friends. MM likes to stay healthy with activities that include exercising (sit-ups, side bends, aerobics, etc.), biking, jogging, hiking, and skiing. Other hobbies include Scrabble, reading, music, long scenic drives, playing with her grandson, movies and other various outdoor activities.
MM has experienced, and continues to experience, a significant loss of enjoyment of life. She was fairly healthy before the collision and since then has not as active as she was before. She must perform exercises at home on a regular basis just to manage/maintain her symptoms and avoid flare ups. Her return to recreational activities has been slow and guarded for fear of re-injury.
This accident disrupted and changed MM’s life. She was unable to perform her usual everyday tasks and activities without pain or limitations.