Car Accident Lawyer
$500,000 Auto Accident Settlement
Libertyville attorney Douglas Rallo has reached a $500,000 personal injury settlement for a Buffalo Grove resident who claimed that her preexisting low back problems were worsened in a rush hour car accident on Route 53.
The claimant already had spondylolisthesis (a condition where one of the spinal bones did not line up properly over the other), and had received multiple chiropractic treatments for severe radiating back pain before the accident. “The defense hired two prominent Chicago doctors to testify that my client merely sprained her back in the accident,” said Rallo. The defense also disputed the claim because the accident occurred at very low speed, there was little or no damage to the cars, there was no obvious injury at the scene and the MRIs did not show any new injury to the spine.
Rallo noted that the medical treatment was conservative — therapy and medications — but no surgery was ever performed. “Cases like this can be difficult to win” according to Rallo, “since there was no objective evidence of an injury; only the claimant’s statements that her pain got worse after the accident. Juries usually want hard evidence of an injury to award damages”. To refute the insurance company doctors.
Rallo obtained the testimony of expert orthopedic surgeons to explain how the structures of the spine can be damaged in low speed accidents, and why the damage cannot be seen on MRI scans or x-rays. “My experts advised us that there are nerve receptors in the cartilage of the disks which can become inflamed and painful. Since the bony structures of someone who has spondylolisthesis leave less room for the nerves to exit the spine, the inflamed and enlarged cartilage is compressed, causing nerve irritation down the leg. This can be caused by slight trauma, such as low velocity auto impacts,” according to Rallo. “Our hard work enabled me to find top medical experts to explain complex scientific concepts, which was a key to obtaining a half million dollar settlement for this union shipping manager,“ Rallo said.