Case details

Struck pedestrian claimed neck and wrist injuries





Result type

Not present

arm, bulging disc, carpal tunnel syndrome, cervical elbow, fracture, neck, wrist
On Dec. 20, 2017, claimant Rufina Martinez, 49, an unemployed woman, was walking across Pacific Avenue, in San Pedro, in a marked crosswalk. Although she had a green light, she was struck by a vehicle that was turning from westbound 13th Street onto Pacific Avenue. Martinez went airborne and struck the pavement about 10 feet away from the vehicle. She claimed to her neck, leg and both wrists. In lieu of filing a lawsuit, Martinez sought direct recovery from driver’s insurer. Martinez alleged that the driver was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. In 2019, the driver’s insurer agreed to tender its $50,000 policy limits. Martinez then sought further recovery via the supplementary-underinsured-motorist provision of her own insurance policy, which was administered by Allstate Northbrook Indemnity Co., Martinez sustained a superficial laceration to the posterior elbow, swelling to the left wrist resulting in pain with range of motion, and ecchymosis (or bleeding under the skin) to her lower leg/calf. She also claimed she sustained bulging cervical discs at the C4-5 and C5-6 levels resulting in cervical facet pain. She further claimed that the pain to her left wrist was due to intraarticular fractures of the distal radius. Martinez was taken from the scene by ambulance and brought to a nearby hospital, where X-rays revealed the distal radial intraarticular fractures. Six days later, she underwent arthroscopic surgery with percutaneous K-wire fixation to treat the fractures of the left carpal joint and mid-carpal joint in the distal radius. Martinez claimed she developed facet arthropathy — a degenerative condition that affects the spine — in her cervical spine and that as a result, she was administered bilateral medial branch facet blocks at C4, C5 and C6 about six months after the accident. In addition, her required months of rehabilitation, including occupational therapy and chiropractic treatment. Martinez claimed she developed carpal tunnel syndrome in her left wrist due to her . As a result, she received a corticosteroid injection into the left, long finger flexor tendon sheath three years after the accident. She ultimately underwent a left endoscopic carpal tunnel release surgery one month later. Martinez sought recovery of $928,977.66 in total damages, including $59,266.26 for her past medical expenses, and the rest for her future medical expenses, and past and future pain and suffering. The respondent’s counsel disputed the extent and duration of Martinez’s alleged and disability. Counsel particularly disputed the causation of the carpal tunnel surgery, which Martinez underwent during the arbitration process; the reasonableness of Martinez’s past medical costs, and the amount of Martinez’s alleged future medical costs. Counsel also disputed the need for any further medical treatment or surgery.
Arbitration Company, CA

Recommended Experts


Get a FREE consultation for your case