Case details

Low-speed impact did not cause plaintiff’s injuries: defense





Result type

Not present

back, lower back, neck
On April 6, 2017, plaintiff Veronica Galvan, 42, a maintenance and cleaning worker at a healthcare facility, was driving on Roland Avenue, in West Covina. When she was near the intersection with North Vincent, her vehicle was rear-ended by a vehicle that was operated by Gilbert Cardenas. Galvan claimed to her neck and back. Galvan sued Cardenas, alleging that Cardenas was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Galvan’s counsel contended that Cardenas was driving too fast for the traffic conditions and that Cardenas breached the duty of care by rear-ending Galvan’s vehicle. Defense counsel contended that Galvan proceeded into the intersection, but then stalled her vehicle and stopped it. Counsel asserted that as a result, Cardenas did not have enough time to avoid the collision., Galvan claimed she sustained soft tissue to her neck and back. She underwent chiropractic treatment from April 20, 2017, until July 11, 2017. She was also seen by an orthopedist, who provided trigger point injections to her lumbar spine. Galvan claimed that, at that time, her back was the worse of her problems, rather than her neck. The plaintiff’s expert chiropractor opined that Galvan would need future chiropractic treatment for flare-ups to her lower back. Galvan waived a claim for loss of earnings, but she claimed she could not go back to work after the accident. She also claimed that she had trouble doing household chores, shopping, cooking and cleaning and that her neck and back issues caused all her limitations. Galvan sought recovery of $18,722.66 in past medical costs. She also sought recovery of an unspecified amount for her future medical costs and an unspecified amount of damages for her past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel contended that the incident involved a low-speed impact that could not have caused any . Counsel also contended that if were caused by the impact, they would have all been just soft tissue with no need for any medical care, as the would have resolved on their own. In addition, defense counsel noted that Galvan did not present for any medical care until April 20, 2017, when Galvan’s attorney referred her to a chiropractor. The defense’s expert orthopedic surgeon opined that the impact occurred at a low speed and that, at most, it caused Galvan minor sprains and strains that needed no medical care. Defense counsel also noted that a reading of the blackbox from Cardena’s vehicle showed no triggering events, which concluded that the speeds involved in the accident were less than 5 mph. In response, plaintiff’s counsel contended that the incident did not involve a low-speed impact because Galvan’s rear bumper was damaged in the accident and that the estimate to repair the bumper totaled $1,800.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Torrance, CA

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