Posted: August 19th, 2014
A woman´s passenger whiplash injury compensation claim has been settled for $3.1 million after a trial at the Superior Court of California in Pasadena.
Teresa Gamage (59) from Beverley Hills in California brought her passenger whiplash injury compensation claim after being hurt in a low-impact collision in May 2011. The vehicle in which Teresa was a front seat passenger was waiting at a red light near Olympic Boulevard in Los Angeles when it was rear-ended at low speed by a car driven by Estelle Roitblat.
Teresa immediately felt a pain in her neck and attended her doctor the same day. An MRI scan revealed that Teresa had ruptured the C5-6 disc in her neck and, due to the soft tissue injuries also sustained in the accident, it was pressing against her spinal cord and causing her considerable pain.
Doctors attempted to manage the pain with epidural injections and physical therapy, but in November 2011 Teresa had to undergo fusion surgery. Due to the costs of the mounting medical expenses, Teresa sought legal advice and made a passenger whiplash injury compensation claim against Roitblat.
Roitblat contested the claim on the grounds that the impact between the two cars had caused only minimal damage and was insufficient to cause such a serious injury. Roitblat´s insurance company also contested Teresa´s claim on the grounds that the amount being claimed was excessive.
Roitblat´s insurers offered Teresa a settlement of her passenger whiplash injury compensation claim amounting to $87,000 – a fraction her medical expenses – and the offer was rejected by Teresa´s solicitors. Consequently the case was presented to a jury at the Superior Court of California in Pasadena before Judge Jan Pluim.
During the trial, Roitblat´s solicitors pressed the case that neither Teresa´s claim nor the amount of compensation she was asking for could be justified. However, after four hours of deliberations, the jury delivered a verdict in favour of Teresa and awarded her $3.1 million in resolution of her passenger whiplash injury compensation claim.