On November 25, 2008, an El Paso County Colorado jury returned a large verdict for one of our clients in a motor vehicle accident case. Our client, a young woman of 23 at the time, was injured when an 81-year-old motorist carelessly pulled out in front of her car causing a serious accident. As a result of this auto collision, our client initially had pain in her neck and back as well as headaches. After treatment and further testing, her doctors determined that the car wreck also resulted in mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), post-traumatic stress disorder and a post-traumatic vision problem.
Our client required more than 200 treatment visits to two different chiropractors to try to resolve the pain in her neck and back. Specialized injections from other medical doctors were needed for the pain and headaches caused by this car crash. Additional treatments for visual mid-line shift syndrome and cognitive rehabilitation therapy were needed to help her recover, as much as possible, from the head injury suffered in the car accident.
At trial the defense focused on the fact that our client had been in a prior car accident 3 years earlier. The previous motor vehicle accident involved a roll over incident in which our client had similar injuries - i.e. pain in her neck and back and headaches. Because of these prior injuries she treated with a chiropractor 48 times in the year before the second auto accident. The defense maintained that all of our client's injuries and conditions were a result of the prior accident.
At trial we presented testimony from seven "before and after" witnesses. These were persons who knew our client both before and after the two car accidents. Their testimony showed the jury that there were dramatic changes in our client's physical activities, thinking and emotional condition after the second accident, but not after the first car accident. This testimony helped the jury to see the truth - that the second car accident was really the cause of our client's ongoing pain, injuries and conditions.
The jury gave our client a verdict of $300,000, of which $150,000 was for non-economic damages such as pain, suffering, emotional stress and loss of enjoyment of life. An additional $150,000 was given for economic losses including medical treatment bills and lost income. When prejudgment interest was added to the verdict, as required by law, our client's total recovery exceeded $467,000.
Many lawyers would not have taken a case like this to trial because of the prior car accident. It involved similar injuries and was very close in time to the second accident. But, our client trusted us to get her a fair outcome, and we honored her trust by obtaining a successful jury verdict at trial.