$940,000: Auto Versus Auto Head-On Collision Leads To Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
June 7, 2010
CASE DESCRIPTION: Defendant was speeding down a slopping curve in a light rain when he lost control crossed the center line resulting in accident with the Plaintiff. Plaintiff sued for damages to recover medical expenses, loss of income and other costs related to her post-traumatic stress disorder.
RESULT: $940,000.00 total settlement
On January 2, 1998, at or about 11:10 a.m., Plaintiff was involved in an automobile collision on U.S. Highway 101 in Del Norte County California. A 1995 Black Toyota Camry operated by Defendant Kozuma headed northbound on US 101. The Defendant approached Hamilton Road at a speed between 65-67 miles per hour (as per Plaintiff’s accident reconstructionist). Plaintiff was the belted driver of a 1993 Silver 530i BMW, southbound on US 101 in the S-2 lane, approaching Hamilton Road, at 45 miles per hour.
It was lightly raining at the time. As Defendant Kozuma’s vehicle entered a downward sloping curve, the rear end of his vehicle started to rotate counter-clockwise and it then slid across the roadway center line and into the southbound lanes. Plaintiff was unable to avoid the vehicle in time, and a collision ensued. Defendant Kozuma’s front end struck the left front and left side of Plaintiff’s vehicle, before each vehicle slid off onto the shoulder.
Plaintiff brought suit to recover his medical expenses and loss of earnings. As a result of the accident Plaintiff sustained rib fractures on her left side from her 4th through her 12th rib, a collapsed lung and was hospitalized for one week. In addition the Plaintiff developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which led to memory, concentration and headache problems. These problems interfered with her performance as a mortgage broker, ultimately affecting her income.
The Defense denied any permanent or organic injury to the brain, and claimed all of Plaintiff’s problems were emotional and could be alleviated with a short treatment regimen. The Defense supported their position by pointing out that Plaintiff denied head injury at scene. Also all objective tests of brain injury (MRIs, CT-Scans, etc.) taken during her hospital stay immediately following the incident revealed no abnormalities.
TYPE OF CASE: Auto v. Auto
INJURIES: Plaintiff sustained rib fractures on her left side from her 4th through her 12th rib, and a collapsed lung. Plaintiff was hospitalized for one week following the collision. Plaintiff developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a result, which led to memory, concentration and headache problems.
DATE & LOCATION OF INCIDENT: On 1/2/98 at 11:00 a.m. on the U.S. Highway 101 in Del Norte County, California.
PLAINTIFF’S AGE: N/A
Wylie A. Aitken & Darren O. Aitken
AITKEN * AITKEN * COHN
For Plaintiff – Jane Roe
HAIGHT, BROWN & BONESTEEL
For Defendants – Kozuma & Canadian Autoparts Toyota, Inc.
DEFENDANT INSURANCE CO.: ICBC & Great American Insurance Companies