In June 2007, at approximately 7:30 a.m. CM was traveling on SR 9 just approximately .5 miles south of 2nd Street in Snohomish, Washington. CM was completely stopped for traffic when she was unexpectedly struck from behind by KD. The impact pushed CM’s vehicle forward into the car ahead of her that was driven by CS.
Washington State Patrol responded to the scene and upon investigation cited KD for "speed too fast for conditions". (See Exhibit 1 –Partial Collision Report). The insurance company ultimately declared the vehicle a “total loss”.
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. KD was negligent by traveling to fast for conditions and failing to be attentive while driving a vehicle, watch for traffic ahead, drive responsibly, and otherwise obey the rules of the road. As a direct result of KD’s negligence, CM sustained injuries to her neck and back, and associated body structures.
A summary of her injuries and treatment are outlined below.
- Cervical strain/sprain with in tenderness, pain, muscle spasms, and limited range of motion. Whiplash injury with resultant ligamentous instability and acceleration of spinal disc disease.
- Lumbar strain/sprain with in tenderness, pain, muscle spasms, and limited range of motion. Lumbar injury with resultant ligamentous instability and acceleration of spinal disc disease.
CM 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.