Case details

Defendant claimed plaintiff attempted turn without signaling





Result type

Not present

head, headaches, neck, whiplash
At approximately 8:30 a.m. on July 6, 2010, plaintiff Dora Andrade, 43, a part-time school lunch monitor, was driving north on Pasadena Avenue in Tustin when she attempted to make a left turn onto Altadena Drive. However, as she entered the intersection, the left, front corner of Andrade’s vehicle was broadsided by the front bumper of a vehicle operated by Fernando Hernandez, who was traveling east on Altadena Drive. Andrade claimed neck and back as a result of the accident. Andrade sued Hernandez. She alleged the defendant was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Specifically, Andrade contended that she had the right of way at the intersection in question and, furthermore, that her part was uncontrolled while Hernandez had a stop sign. Hernandez contended that Andrade appeared to be traveling straight, as she did not have her left turn signal on as she approached the intersection. He further claimed that he made a complete stop at the stop sign and that Andrade turned too fast into the intersection, causing the accident., Six days after the accident, Andrade went to a chiropractor with complaints of headaches, and neck and back pain. She was subsequently diagnosed with whiplash and mild degenerative spurs in her thoracic and lumbar spine. She also underwent an MRI that revealed a lumbar disc protrusion at L5-S1, with no nerve compromise, and was recommended pain medication and further therapy. She continued to treat with the chiropractor through December 2010. Andrade claimed she developed decreased sensation of her right leg while recovering from her , and that she still experiences lower back and right leg pain. Thus, she sought recovery of $131,040 in total damages, including $8,490 in past medical costs, $15,000 in future medical costs for three recommended epidural injections, as well as an unspecified amount for her past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel contended that the impact of the accident lacked the force to cause a serious injury. The defense’s expert orthopedist testified that an independent medical exam of Andrade showed that none of her subjective complaints matched the objective findings. Thus, defense counsel argued that Andrade was either magnifying her symptoms consciously, or had a severe, underlying psychological problem.
Superior Court of Orange County, Santa Ana, CA

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