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Car Accident Report: Cle Elum Shoulder Collision

On April 23, 2007 at approximately 5:00 p.m. JP was traveling westbound on State Route 970 about four miles from Cle Elum, Washington. He pulled his vehicle onto the shoulder and parked in order to take pictures of a herd of elk in a field. JP moved over to the passenger seat to take the pictures.

RJ was traveling westbound on State Route 970 and left the traveled portion of the roadway and slammed into JP’s vehicle striking the rear and left side. JP’s vehicle was then pushed forward, rotating 180° before coming to a rest off the shoulder. RJ’s vehicle then continued away from the roadway, missing a power pole and striking a fence, damaging six posts and the metal face of the fence. Washington State Patrol responded to the scene. RJ told the responding officer that he may have fell asleep at the wheel. (See Exhibit 1 – Accident Report and Scene & Property Damage Photos)

Serious damage was done to the rear and left side of JP’s vehicle, clearly documenting the force involved in the collision.

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. RJ was negligent when he failed 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 your insured’s’ negligence, JP sustained severe injuries including a concussion, loss of consciousness, fractured transverse processes at L1-L2 on the right, a cortical fracture to his right kidney, torn ACL to his left knee, left calf tear, and injuries to his neck, back, and shoulder.

A summary of our client’s injuries and treatment are outlined below.
  • Concussion with loss of consciousness
  • Chest pain
  • Knee injury – ACL tear
  • Post-concussion syndrome
  • Rotator cuff syndrome
  • Cervical strain/sprain and subluxations with in tenderness, pain, muscle spasms, and limited range of motion. Whiplash injury with resultant ligamentous instability and acceleration of spinal disc disease.
  • Fractured transverse processes at L1-L2 on right. 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.
  • Headaches
  • Sleep disturbances/fatigue
JP is a 62 year old married man who enjoys spending time with his family and friends. Hobbies include racquetball, photography, bicycle riding, working on vehicles, hiking and camping. He was fairly healthy before the collision and since then has not as active as he was before. He must perform exercises at home on a regular basis just to manage/maintain his symptoms and avoid flare ups. His return to recreational activities has been slow and guarded for fear of re-injury.

This accident disrupted and changed JP’s life. He did not have neck or shoulder problems prior to this accident. He was unable to perform his usual everyday tasks such as home maintenance projects and yard work.

JP was a client of the USAA Insurance company, and spent a very large amount of time in an effort to secure a just and satisfactory financial settlement. To assist him with a claim against USAA, he hired Seattle car accident attorney Chris Davis. Mr. Davis is the founder and principal attorney at the Davis Law Group in Seattle, and has a successful history of securing just financial compensation for his clients that have been in serious car accidents.