$183,000 Jury Verdict for Injured Driver in Five-Car Crash

A Lake County, Ill., jury returned a $183,008 verdict in favor of Patricia Lewis, whose car was rear-ended by another vehicle at high speed. The crash took place on Nov. 7, 2008 on northbound Route 12 near Route 134 in Fox Lake, Ill.  The impact of the defendant’s collision with Lewis pushed her car ahead and triggered a five-car chain reaction.

Lewis, age 50, claimed that the impact and resulting injuries to her caused a herniated disk at C5-6 (neck) with radiculopathy into her right arm. She also claimed that she will need future neck fusion surgery. The Lewis claim for lost time from work as a medical administrator was barred by the court. Radiculopathy in the neck is often described as a pinched nerve. Some people complain that the neck pain radiates into the arm, like Lewis did in this case. 

Lewis’s husband testified that she had been his fishing partner, but she was no longer able to go boating after the crash because of her neck injury. The husband also testified that Lewis is now unable to cook family dinners, do normal household chores or do yard work. 

The defendant, Rita Junge-Pattison, contested the extent of Lewis’ injuries. Junge-Pattison’s medical expert, a neurosurgeon, testified that the MRI did not show a herniated disk and attributed the MRI findings to those of a normal 55-year-old female.  In other words, the defendant’s hired medical expert testified that the claim of a herniated disk was not anything more than what would be found as degenerative disc disease, which most individuals have after 17 years of age.

The verdict of $183,008 was made up of the following damages:

  • $14,008 for past medical expenses;
  • $31,500 for future medical expenses related to the future neck fusion surgery;
  • $55,000 for past and future pain and suffering;
  • $82,500 for loss of normal life.

The demand to settle the case before trial was $75,000. The offer made by the defendant before trial was $18,500.  Attorneys for Patricia Lewis were Jacquelyn Melius and Samantha Kavathas. 

Patricia Lewis v. Rita Junge-Pattison, No. 10 L 436 (Lake County, Illinois).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling car accident cases, truck crashes and motorcycle accidents for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 37 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Palatine, Libertyville, Grayslake, Lombard, Carol Stream, Hanover Park, Harwood Heights, Lansing, Chicago Heights, Batavia, Cary and Chicago (Irving Park), Ill.

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