Case details

Pedestrian struck by vehicle claimed head and back injuries





Result type

Not present

head, headaches
On Feb. 9, 2011, at approximately 3 p.m., plaintiff Lisa De La Vega, an unemployed 40 year old, was walking in the vicinity of Moorpark Street and Beeman Avenue in Los Angeles. While crossing the intersection, De La Vega was struck by a vehicle operated by Marla Monheim, who was making a left turn from Moorpark Street onto Beeman Avenue. De La Vega claimed to her head and lower back. De La Vega sued Monheim, alleging the defendant was negligent in the operation of her vehicle. De La Vega contended that she was crossing the intersection in an unmarked crosswalk, and that Monheim, who was on her cell phone at time, was inattentive and failed to yield to pedestrian traffic while making her left turn. Monheim disputed liability and the point of impact. She claimed De La Vega was jaywalking and crossed the intersection outside of the unmarked crosswalk. She also claimed that she had already completed her left turn when the collision occurred. The investigating police officer testified that the accident occurred some 30 feet south of the unmarked crosswalk., De La Vega hit her head on the pavement and sustained a scalp contusion. She was subsequently taken from the scene of the accident by ambulance and brought to an emergency room. De La Vega claimed she suffered a hematoma as a result of hitting her head on the ground, as well as suffered soft-tissue strains and sprains of her lower back. She subsequently followed up with a neurologist as a result of the hematoma and she treated her lower back with four months of chiropractic care. De La Vega claimed she still experiences persisting headaches, blurry vision, noise sensitivity, and lack of hearing acuteness related to her head injury. She also claimed she was on her way to find a job when the accident occurred, so she was unable to work for several months during her recovery. Thus, De La Vega claimed $11,416 in past medical costs, $8,500 in past lost earnings and $10,000 in general damages for her pain and suffering. Defense counsel did not dispute De La Vega’s emergency room bill, but argued that De La Vega did not sustain any serious neck/back injury and that the chiropractic care was unnecessary. Counsel also argued that De La Vega’s neurologic care was excessive. Defense counsel contended that De La Vega suffered no loss of consciousness, that her hematoma healed within days, and that her headaches did not persist for very long. Instead, defense counsel argued that De La Vega had a subsequent accident, wherein she hit her head.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Santa Monica, CA

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