This collision occurred in December 2001, at approximately 12:00 p.m. in Silver Lake, Washington. BN was on his way to church in his 1992 Ford Taurus 4-door. He was stopped for traffic while traveling southbound on 19th Avenue S.E., North of 121st Street S.E. AB was also traveling southbound on 19th Avenue S.E. AB failed to pay attention to traffic ahead and was unable to stop in time, crashing her 2001 Dodge Ram pick-up into the rear of BN’s Taurus.
At the time of collision, BN was looking forward. He saw the pick-up approaching fast and braced himself for impact. At the moment of impact, his head struck he back of the headrest across his sub-occiput region. AB admitted that the collision was her fault. A copy of the Everett Police Department’s collision report is attached hereto as Exhibit A.
BN’s Taurus was declared a total loss. Copies of his vehicle’s damage are attached as Exhibit B.
BN suffered personal injury as a result of the collision. BN was able to return home, thinking that his injuries would subside with time.
- By the following morning, he noticed increasing pain in his back and neck.
- He found it difficult to move his head and neck;
- his left arm was feeling numb;
- simple lifting caused pain and occasional spasms to his left shoulder.
BN tried to return to work, believing that the symptoms would go away; unfortunately, the pain and stiffness was becoming more and more intolerable. With the increased demands at work due to the fast-approaching holiday season, it was very difficult for BN to seek immediate treatment. He tried to make it through, one day at a time, but the pain would not subside.
At the time of this collision BN was a healthy, 46-year old married man with three children. BN was gainfully employed by the Postal Express, who worked between 40-50 hours per week.
BN was very active prior to the accident. He worked out in a gym at least three to four times a week, swam at least once a week with or without his children, and played football and soccer. He was a member of a musical group, which had an engagement or extensive practice session once a week. BN also played his guitar in church on weekly basis.
His treatment plan would include manual chiropractic adjustments (three times per week for the first four weeks, with decreased frequency pending progress, and massage/physical therapy once to twice a week for four weeks, pending progress), trigger point therapy, intersegmental treatment, ice applications, and home exercises.
Over the next two months, BN’s overall condition began to slowly improve. However, he continued to suffer from increased CT tightness and a “sclerogenic pain pattern into the left arm between the 4th and 5th metacarpals” and ”dorsal tension.”
Nine months has now passed since the date of the collision. Even though BN is no longer formally treating, he continues with his home exercise program and is slowly returning to his pre-accident active lifestyle. Unfortunately, BN is struggling with emotional side effects, such as feeling “phobic” and agitated and/or cranky with members of his family. He finds himself gripping the wheel tightly while driving and feeling nervous and panicky when seeing vehicles that are speeding or following too close. He experiences increased fears while driving with his immediate family, remembering his own collision and resulting injuries. Even playing the guitar does not give him the same amount of pleasure and satisfaction as it once did.
BN’s “essential job functions” included loading, transporting and distributing pick-up/delivery mail to appropriate destinations in company vehicle on various highways and throughout commercial areas in high density traffic during times of inclement weather, and maintaining both the internal and external cleanliness of the company vehicle on regular basis (including checking all fluid levels and filling the fuel tank each day). The “physical requirements” included being able to “lift 50 pounds from floor to shoulder and/or overhaul a minimum of 20 times per day; load and unload materials from the vehicle which may weight up to 50 pounds several times a day; and stand and/or walk to various locations throughout route.” (Emphasis added.) As can be seen, such heavy physical demands put a tremendous strain on one’s uninjured spine. Once a person’s spine is injured, he or she is prone to increased pain and stiffness to the affected areas and is potentially at a greater risk of developing serious or permanent back problems for the rest of his or her life.
After trying to negotiate with the Allstate Insurance company for a fair monetary settlement value, KN hired prominent Seattle car accident attorney and personal injury lawyer Chris Davis. Mr. Davis is the founder and principal attorney of the Davis Law Group and has had substantial success working with his clients to negotiate reasonable financial settlements with major insurance companies, despite meeting resistance from most claims representatives.