More Than $558k Awarded Following Rear-Ender that Broke Passenger Seat in Half

A Chicago man has been awarded $558,474 by a Cook County jury stemming from an injury he sustained while a passenger in a vehicle that was rear-ended by another car. The impact was so great that the seat in which he was riding was broken in half.

The verdict was reported in the Cook County Jury Verdict Reporter.

On June 20, 2008, J.L. was a passenger in a car that was stopped at a red light on southbound Lake Shore Drive at Chicago Avenue. The vehicle was struck from behind by a car driven by defendant V.T. The plaintiff, who was wearing a seatbelt, experienced immediate back and neck pain and a burning sensation in his back.

He was taken by paramedics to the emergency room at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he had x-rays and was prescribed Motrin. He was treated and released.

The next day, he went to another hospital’s emergency room with continued pain. He was prescribed Vicodin.

Two days after the collision, he returned to his job as a restaurant bus boy, then underwent 13 sessions of physical therapy during the following two months. Three years later, in June 2011, the plaintiff finally received treatment from an orthopedic surgeon and underwent an MRI, which revealed a moderate-sized central disc herniation/protrusion.

An orthopedist testified at trial that the condition was permanent and recommended future medication, doctor visits, physical therapy and epidural injection.

The defense admitted negligence and that the plaintiff’s medical bills from 2008 were related to his injuries sustained in the collision, but disputed the cause, nature and extent of his injuries. The defense also denied any subsequent care was related because plaintiff admitted his condition improved after the 13 physical therapy treatments, and he did not seek treatment for three years.

Citing Vanoosting v. Sellars, 2012 IL App. (5th) 110365, the judge in this case allowed the plaintiff to explain that he did not have health insurance to pay for medical care at the time of the accident.

The plaintiff was awarded:
— $343,474 for past and future medical expenses,
— $15,000 for pain and suffering,
— $200,000 for loss of normal life.

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling automobile accidents, motorcycle crashes, and pedestrian accidents for more than 36 years representing individuals and families in and around Chicago, Cook County, and surrounding areas, including Chicago’s Roscoe Village, Glencoe, Vernon Hills, Glenview, Westmont, Lombard, Oak Forest, and Park Forest.

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