Case details

Broadside crash caused spinal injuries, plaintiff claimed





Result type

Not present

arms, back, degenerative disc condition, disc protrusion, exacerbation, foot, left leg, lower back, lumbar, neck, neurological, radiating pain, radicular pain, radiculitis
On March 8, 2010, at approximately 4:25 p.m., plaintiff Nichalous Evans, 31, a Kern County Deputy Sheriff, was eastbound on State Route 58, a highway in Tehachapi, when his vehicle was broadsided by a vehicle operated by Bessie Ward, who was exiting a parking lot on the north side of the Tehachapi Highway. Evans claimed to his neck and lower back, with radiating pain to both arms and his left leg and foot. Evans sued Ward, alleging the defendant was negligent in the operation of her vehicle. Specifically, Evans claimed that Ward failed to yield to oncoming traffic while entering a highway from a parking lot. Ward contended that Evans had time to avoid the collision, but failed to do so. Thus, she claimed that Evans was negligent, that she was not negligent, and that a defense verdict should be entered., After the collision, Evans went home and then followed up with primary care physician two days later. He ultimately underwent an MRI eight months after the collision and was determined to have a 4-millimeter disc protrusion at L5-S1 and degenerative changes at C6-7. Evans claimed that to treat his lumbar injury, he exhausted his conservative treatment options of physical therapy, chiropractic care and steroid injections. Thus, his surgeon recommended a future spinal decompression and fusion at L5-S1. Evans claimed he continues to suffer from the same pain symptoms in his lower back, which radiates down his left leg and into his foot. He also claimed his spinal condition causes numbness in both arms. Evans claimed he is trying to wait as long as possible before having surgery, as it would force him to lose one year of work as an emergency rescue deputy, paramedic and patrol officer, and would cause him to be placed on light duty. Evans waived all past medical damages, but he sought recovery of $50,000 in future medical costs for the cost of surgery. He also sought recovery of $52,560 in damages for his past pain and suffering and $1,103,760 in damages for his future pain and suffering. Defense counsel argued that Evans’ alleged were not caused by the collision. Counsel contended that Evans only suffered minimal soft-tissue that would have resolved after three months. Thus, defense counsel asked the jury to only allow for minimal medical expenses for the first three months after the collision. Counsel also asked the jury to only allow for approximately $3,000 in past general damages. In addition, defense counsel asked the jury to not to allow for any future general damages or any future medical costs.
Superior Court of Kern County, Kern, CA

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