Despite having a preexisting back condition, a plaintiff driver received $2 million from the defendant driver for a back injury sustained in an Illinois trucking accident. Prior to settlement, the Chicago personal injury case was pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
In the 2004 truck accident, a box truck driven by the Illinois plaintiff was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer driven by the defendant. The defendant tractor-trailer driver admitted responsibility for the rear-end crash. Following the Illinois truck accident the plaintiff driver experienced significant back pain and eventually required a spinal fusion. However, despite the surgery he has been unable to return to work as an HVAC specialist since the accident due to the high level of pain and subsequent physical limitations.
It is actually fairly common for auto accidents to aggravate prior conditions to the point where they interfere with the victim’s life, especially in rear-end accidents. In this case the plaintiff had a prior back condition that was aggravated by the collision and causing it to become symptomatic. So even though the plaintiff had no prior back pain, his underlying problems were already present at the time of the collision.
It can be a challenge for medical experts and lawyers to separate out pre-injury conditions from post-accident problems. In this case the plaintiff’s medical expert stated that the rear-end collision aggravated the preexisting condition and thereby caused it to become symptomatic.
The plaintiff’s case was helped by the absence of history of back pain or problems, which could have contributed to the amount of settlement that he received. Furthermore, what is unique about the plaintiff’s case is the degree of subsequent pain- that it was so much that it continues to interfere with his life five years later.
Kreisman Law Offices has been handling Chicago truck accident cases and Illinois personal injury lawsuits for over 30 years, serving those areas in and around Cook County such as Elk Grove Village, Darien, Berwyn, and Wilmette.