Jackson v. Albright, 4D10-5142, 2013 WL 3811812 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. July 24, 2013)

This multi-car auto accident case involves a side-swipe collision. Injuries sustained in auto accidents can be shown by a person in court to have long-lasting effects which they can ultimately be compensated for in a personal injury claim.

In March of 2001, a collision between three automobiles took place. The alleged at-fault driver in the case was Robert Albright. Albright testified at the trial against him for personal injuries, which was brought on by Kim Douglas, that his car was hit by another vehicle forcing him to impact the rear of Douglas’s vehicle. Albright explained that the traffic that day was slowly proceeding forward, with occasional stopping. He went on to state that he never left the lane that he was traveling in before the collision took place.

Albright’s attorney’s presented the court with evidence showing minimal damage to all the vehicles involved with the collision, including the vehicle driven by Douglas who was claiming she was injured in the accident. At trial, Albright told the court that Douglas claimed that she was fine at the scene of the accident and that she drove herself away from the collision. It was also pointed out by Albright’s testimony that Douglas did not wish to receive emergency services at the scene of the accident.

Ultimately, Douglas claimed that she began to feel pain as a result of this collision. Her areas of injury included her neck and her back, where she sustained herniated discs. It was Douglas’s testimony that she went to see a chiropractor the following day after the auto accident. Initially complaining of pain in her neck, arm and head, as well as blurred vision and some numbness, Douglas claimed that she did not go back for a follow up with the chiropractor for a few months. Douglas’s chiropractor had recommended to her that she undergo therapy for her injuries, however, she chose to only go to treatment here and there, ultimately quitting altogether stating that it was only creating more pain for her.

Diagnostic testing was performed on Douglas months after the collision showing that she had only bulging discs in her cervical spine. After seeing an orthopedic physician and neurologist nearly ten months after her accident, Douglas was provided with news that she was not suffering serious injury, and could benefit from physical therapy. Almost three years after the accident, Douglas went to see a neurosurgeon who prescribed another MRI of her neck, which this time showed she had a herniated disc in her cervical spine. Surgery was recommended to rectify her injury, and she did not undergo the surgery for another year.

The treatment of injuries in any type of auto accident is extremely important for a lawsuit. Here, the inconsistent treatment of Kim Douglas’s injury, and the time frame in which it took to properly diagnose the severity of her injury, presented problems for her claim for personal injuries. It will be the insurance company attorney’s number one goal at trial to try and show that your injury is not permanent and/or severe. The way that they are able to clearly show a jury this is by inconsistent medical treatment. When a physician recommends a specific therapy plan, it is extremely important to follow that plan, not only for your case, but for your recovery from your injury.

If you have been involved in a car accident, feel you might be injured and don’t know what to do next; you need to contact an attorney and explain your situation. We will gladly go over everything with you at no cost during a free consultation.