Case details

Crash caused shoulder, knee and brain injuries, plaintiff claimed





Result type

Not present

anxiety, brain, brain damage, brain injury, clavicle, cognition, collarbone, dental, depression, fracture, fractured teeth, head, impairment, leg, mental, psychological, shoulder, temporomandibular, TMJ, traumatic brain injury
On March 25, 2016, plaintiff Veronica Godinez, 24, an internal service advisor for Land Rover, was driving in San Diego. As she entered the intersection of Miramar Road and Black Mountain Road, her vehicle was broadsided by a vehicle operated by Tatiana King. Godinez claimed to her head, face, left shoulder and right leg. Godinez sued King and King’s employer, La Salsa Chilena Inc., which also owned King’s vehicle. Godinez alleged that King was negligent in the operation of her vehicle and that La Salsa Chilena was vicariously liable for King’s actions while in the course and scope of her employment. King admitted liability., Godinez sustained fractures of the left clavicle (or collarbone) and right knee fracture. She also fractured some teeth and due to the trauma, she sustained a temporomandibular joint dysfunction of her jaw. Godinez was subsequently transported by ambulance to a hospital’s emergency room, where she underwent CT scans and was discovered to be suffering from a minor brain bleed, which ultimately resolved on its own. Despite the resolution of the brain bleed, Godinez claimed she continued to suffer from minor cognitive deficits, depression and anxiety. She also claimed that she will eventually require two total knee replacements, and future neurological and psychological care to monitor her head injury. Godinez claimed she lost wages for the four months she was out of work prior to returning to her previous position on a full-time basis. She also claimed she will suffer future lost wages due to her inability to move up within the company because of her ongoing psychosocial and cognitive complaints. Experts from both sides testified that Godinez made a good recovery and would continue to make progress, but that Godinez may be left with some minor cognitive defects in the future and would be more susceptible to bouts of depression. However, experts from both sides also testified that evaluating Godinez’s psychological, emotional and cognitive status was complicated and compounded by Godinez’s chronic and acute habitual marijuana usage that started in her teenage years. Regardless, the plaintiff’s medical experts opined that the ongoing symptomology was more likely than not attributable to the brain injury that Godinez sustained during the automobile accident. Thus, Godinez sought recovery of past and future medical expenses, past and future lost earnings, and non-economic damages for her past and future pain and suffering. The defense’s medical experts opined that although Godinez will experience cognitive impairment, she has a good prognosis. However, the experts testified that the true nature and extent of Godinez’s could not be fully evaluated due to Godinez’s noncompliance with medical recommendations.
Superior Court of San Diego County, San Diego, CA

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