Articles Posted in Rear-End Crash

Svetlana Vitus, 33, was operating her motor vehicle with her two minor daughters as passengers when she stopped for pedestrians at a crosswalk near a park. Zachary Ripsom was driving a van owned by the Southern Oregon Education Service District; the van rear-ended Vitus’s vehicle.

Vitus lost consciousness after the crash and was taken to a hospital where she was diagnosed as having suffered a concussion and whiplash.

For the next three years, she required conservative care, including physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, and acupuncture, and she received an epidural injection.

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Machaela Matthews-Bell was driving on an interstate highway when a van in front of her stopped to avoid hitting an animal on the roadway. Matthews-Bell brought her vehicle to a controlled stop. Jagdip Bhullar, who was driving a tractor-trailer owned by Jawala Mukhi Transport Inc., rear-ended Matthews-Bell’s vehicle, causing her to collide with a van.

Matthews-Bell sustained injuries to her head, neck and back. She has undergone extensive medical care, including neck surgery, and anticipates future surgery on her cervical spine. Her medical expenses alone were more than $100,000.

Matthews-Bell sued Jawala Mukhi Transport and Bhullar, alleging liability for Bhullar’s choosing not to keep a proper lookout and failing to maintain control of his tractor-trailer.

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Jacob Lee, a teenager, was driving a Dodge Ram truck on a state roadway. After running a red light at an intersection, Lee approached a second intersection where he rear-ended a van carrying the Johnson family. Their van was stopped at a red light.

David Johnson, 35, suffered a concussion. His wife, Susannah, 34, pregnant at the time of the crash, suffered fractures to all of her ribs. Two of the Johnsons’ daughters, ages 8 and 10, suffered bilateral hip fractures and other orthopedic injuries. Tragically, their 6-year-old daughter suffered fatal injuries, and their 3-year-old son suffered a spinal injury, which resulted in quadriplegia.

The Johnson family sued Lee alleging that he had been driving 78 mph while under the influence of alcohol and the inhalant difluoroethane. Lee admitted liability. The jury signed a verdict in favor of the Johnsons for over $128.81 million. Lee was sentenced to 30 years in prison for a vehicular homicide.

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Robert Frederickson, 39, was a passenger in a vehicle that was being driven by his wife near their apartment complex. Cecilia Martin, a Special Occasions Catering employee, was driving an SUV when she reached for her phone in her purse causing her to rear-end the Fredericksons’ stopped car.

Martin, who was stunned by the crash, allegedly pressed the SUV’s accelerator striking the Fredericksons’ car a second time. As Frederickson attempted to exit the vehicle, Martin struck it a third time causing it to move for a distance before reaching a stop.

Frederickson suffered multiple injuries in this crash including left sacroiliitis, a disk herniation at L4, and a left labral tear.

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On Aug. 7, 2013, Jessica Williams, 27, was stopped in traffic on eastbound Route 143 at the intersection with Blackburn Road in Edwardsville, Ill. The defendant, 29-year-old Jacob Smith, rear-ended the car she was driving. She sustained soft tissue injuries that required chiropractic treatment resulting in a total of $13,287 in medical expenses. Williams contended that the defendant, Smith, had a duty to exercise reasonable care and caution to avoid the crash and that he chose not to follow the rules of the road.

The defendant denied that Williams was injured in this collision.

Before trial, Smith’s insurance company offered $11,000 to settle the case. The jury was asked to return a verdict of $50,000.

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Kathleen Waldeck was driving a car that was alleged to have rear-ended the car of the plaintiff, Andice Peacock, causing her injuries. Peacock had alleged that her car was rear-ended by Waldeck while waiting for a stoplight to turn green.

The lawsuit alleged that Peacock’s vehicle was stopped at a red light when the collision occurred, and “there were no visual obstructions to block defendant’s view of plaintiff’s vehicle.”  In the Waldeck answer, she admitted her car rear-ended Peacock’s vehicle and that her view was not obstructed.  In the meantime, before bringing this summary judgment motion, Waldeck passed away.  Her representative of the estate, Barton Waldeck, argued that the Dead-Man’s Act barred Peacock from testifying about this car crash.

A DuPage County, Ill., circuit court judge granted the motion for summary judgment in favor of the Estate of Kathleen Waldeck. Peacock appealed.

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Karen Ann Whitaker was 60 when she started home from the church where she worked as a daycare teacher. Driving alone, she exited the church parking lot and turned onto the adjacent road. As she entered the northbound lane, southbound trucker Clarence Risher, who was driving a tractor-trailer while under the influence of methamphetamine, lost control of his truck.

The Risher truck jackknifed and crossed the center line. In doing so, the truck broadsided Whitaker’s car. She died on impact. She is survived by her husband, four adult children and five grandchildren.

Earlier on the day of this crash, Risher had delivered a load of chickens for House of Raeford Farms Inc., which had hired his employer, CRE Trucking LLC, as an independent contractor, to transport the chickens. Risher pleaded guilty to DUI involuntary manslaughter, reckless driving and operating without a valid driver’s license, among other serious criminal charges. He was also sentenced to 4 years in prison for this accident.

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On May 4, 2006, Thomas J. Diorio was driving westbound on Lake Street (IL Route 20) in Bartlett, Ill.  He was traveling at a speed of 35 mph when the defendant, Matthew J. Pattelli, rear-ended Thomas’s car near Park Boulevard. The crash caused about $2,300 in damage to the plaintiff’s 2005 Lincoln Navigator and $2,950 in damage to the Pattelli sedan. Photos of both of these cars were admitted into evidence by the court.

Diorio is a business owner. At age 58, he suffered a herniated disc at C4-5 with cervical radiculopathy, which is nerve pain traveling down the neck and spine. He also had neck pain, shoulder pain and headaches. His medical expenses were more than $29,000. There was no claim for lost time as Diorio had retired.

The defendant, Pattelli, 28, was drunk at the time of the crash. His blood/alcohol level was .199, which is more than double the Illinois legal limit for intoxication.

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Angela Rogers, 45, was driving when she slowed her vehicle for traffic ahead. She was at a virtual stop when a Hertz Corp. employee driving a company car rear-ended Rogers’ car while traveling at about 60 mph.

Rogers suffered serious injuries which included bilateral labral tears to her hips. The crash also triggered spinal stenosis, causing her to suffer neck pain and impingement in her right arm and hand. Rogers continued to work for nearly 3 years while undergoing conservative medical treatment. When debilitating pain made it impossible for her to continue at work, Rogers was placed on leave. Soon thereafter she underwent bilateral hip surgery.

Rogers continues to live with chronic pain and she likely will require a cervical fusion to address her neck pain. Her past medical expenses totaled more than $390,000 and her future medical expenses are estimated at $600,000.

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Christopher Arnold was 19 years old and riding in a pickup truck driven by Jonathan Ortiz when a friend traveling behind them called to say that furniture had fallen off the friend’s truck. Ortiz pulled the pickup truck onto the road’s shoulder, preparing to make a U-turn so he could go back and help his friend. As Ortiz pulled back onto the road and began turning, a van coming up behind him struck a glancing blow to the pickup truck. The truck spun around and came to rest with Arnold’s side facing oncoming traffic. Moments later, Robert Sims, driving a pickup truck for Weatherford U.S. L.P., struck the truck’s passenger side.

Arnold was not wearing his seatbelt. He suffered multiple injuries, including a burst fracture at L-1, resulting in paraplegia. He suffered spinal fractures at T7-9 and T-12. He also had two rib fractures, a collapsed lung and lacerations to his spleen. Arnold was hospitalized for more than a month and underwent a spinal fusion at T12-L2 among other procedures. He has undergone extensive rehabilitation. He now uses a wheelchair and requires assistance with daily living activities.

Arnold’s past medical expenses total about $345,900 and his future life-care costs are estimated at $5.85 million.

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