Case details

Rear-end crash caused lower back injury, plaintiff alleged





Result type

Not present

back, lower back, neck, soft tissue, sprains, strains
On July 3, 2012, at approximately 6 p.m., plaintiff Khalid Aitlafquih, 34, a systems engineer, was driving on Mira Mesa Boulevard in San Diego when he stopped for a red light at the intersection with Reagan Road and was rear-ended by a vehicle operated by Azucena Negrete. Aitlafquih claimed an injury to his lower back. Aitlafquih sued Negrete, alleging the defendant was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Specifically, Aitlafquih claimed Negrete was driving inattentively as he approached the intersection and failed to stop his vehicle in time to avoid the collision. Negrete admitted liability, and the matter proceeded to a trial on causation and damages., Six weeks after the accident, Aitlafquih presented to a chiropractor with complaints of lower back pain. He underwent an MRI and was diagnosed with soft-tissue strains and sprains. Aitlafquih then visited with a pain management physician and an orthopedic surgeon, both of whom recommended continued chiropractic care and physical therapy, which Aitlafquih underwent for four months. Aitlafquih claimed while he is currently done with treatment, he still experiences ongoing lower back pain and discomfort. However, he alleged that his lower back condition has restricted his running ability, which affects his status as a second lieutenant reserve for the U.S. Army. Thus, Aitlafquih sought recovery of $10,212 in past medical costs, and $20,000 in damages for his pain and suffering. Defense counsel contended that Aitlafquih suffered from a pre-existing lower back injury, and the defense’s accident reconstruction expert testified that since the collision occurred at a very low rate of speed, Aitlafquih could not have sustained a serious injury from the accident. Defense counsel also contended that regardless of how the injury occurred, Aitlafquih had fully healed, as Aitlafquih was ultimately able to satisfy his Army physical training after the accident. Thus, counsel argued that Aitlafquih should be awarded zero damages.
Superior Court of San Diego County, San Diego, CA

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