Representative Recent Personal Injury Settlements/Verdicts

The following are actual cases from clients of the Roncone Law Offices, P.C. Every case is different. The following is intended for informational purposes only. Results are not guaranteed.

Struck By Vehicle That Crossed Highway – Vehicle Forced Off Roadway

Facts:

A passenger was injured when car was struck and forced off the pavement by oncoming vehicle.

Case Name:

Passenger vs. Automobile Operator

Injuries Alleged:

Mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) with cognitive impairment, whiplash injury, post-concussive syndrome, lumbar strain and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Special Damages:

(medical expenses and lost wages)

Amount of Settlement:

$100,000 (full policy limits)

Description:

Our client was a passenger in a vehicle that was traveling on Route 140 in Gardner, Massachusetts, when her vehicle was struck by an oncoming vehicle forcing it off the road onto the rough shoulder. The impact was minor but her body was thrust back and forth as the driver tried to bring the car to a stop. The defendant was cited for "inattention."

Plaintiff presented in the emergency room the following day with complaints of head, neck and back pain. She had symptoms of pain radiating to her arms. MRI, CT scan and X-rays were negative. The symptoms progressed to include loss of balance, memory loss and mood changes. Neuropsychological testing confirmed cognitive deficits. She received a total of eight months formal therapy for her sprains and strains, four steroid injections for her neck, cognitive therapy for her head injury, and psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress syndrome. She was out of work for about eight months and ultimately returned to her job.

The case settled out of court for the insured's policy limits.

Motor Vehicle Side-Swiped While Stopped

Facts:

Driver injured while stopped to take a turn.

Case Name:

Client vs. Automobile Operator

Injuries Alleged:

Head injury with headaches, visual disturbances, dizziness, loss of balance, memory loss and cognitive impairment; neck strain, shoulder strain, back strain and multiple contusions.

Special Damages:

(medical expenses and lost wages)

Amount of Settlement:

$100,000 (full policy limits)

Description:

Our client was stopped in the left lane on a two-lane highway in Massachusetts with her directional on waiting to take a turn when she was struck on the left front driver's side of the vehicle. The defendant alleged that our client was in the breakdown lane and crossed the road to take the turn. Recorded statements from our client, the passenger and the defendant proved the defendant to be at fault.

Client was brought to the emergency room by ambulance where she was diagnosed with a mild head injury and neck and back strain. A CT scan of her brain, all radiological studies and an EEG were negative. Physical therapy and trigger-point injections for her chronic headaches and neck failed. Memory loss and cognitive problems resulted in her not being able to practice her profession as a medical provider. She ultimately had a neuropsychological evaluation which confirmed her cognitive deficits as a result of the accident. She received cognitive therapy as an outpatient at a rehabilitation center as well as counseling for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She was still treating for her injuries at the time of settlement. The claim was settled outside of court for the full policy limits.

High-Impact, Rear-End Collision On Highway

Facts:

Driver struck from behind while stopped in traffic.

Injuries Alleged:

Neck/Cervical Strain, Full Rotator Cuff Tear Right Shoulder (non-dependent arm)

Special Damages:

(medical expenses and lost wages)

Amount of Settlement:

$100,000 (full policy limits)

Description:

Our client was traveling on Route 2 in Harvard, Massachusetts, when she stopped in traffic and was rear-ended. The defendant was cited for following too closely.

Plaintiff saw her primary care physician four days after the accident with complaints of neck, right shoulder and arm pain with tingling/numbness in her right hand. She was initially diagnosed with cervical strain and referred to physical therapy. Her neck symptoms improved but pain in her right shoulder worsened. She was then referred to an orthopedic surgeon (four months post-accident). An MRI of her shoulder was inconclusive and she continued with therapy. Shoulder symptoms persisted and she was administered two trigger-point injections without resolve. In March, an arthrogram (MRA) confirmed a full thickness rotator cuff tear of her right shoulder, and she underwent arthroscopic surgery followed by several more months of therapy and lost wages.

The client ultimately developed scar tissue following surgery which extended her recovery time. Consideration was given to the fact that she is at greater risk for future development of degeneration due to the trauma. The case settled out of court for the insured's policy limits, due in part to the medical records which well documented the severity of the injury and the extensive loss of income.

Pedestrian Automobile Accident - Distracted Driver

Facts:

A woman was struck while in a marked crosswalk attempting to cross the street.

Case Name:

Pedestrian vs. Automobile Operator

Injuries Alleged:

Multiple fractures to the right leg or tibia; comminuted fractures involving the fibular head and fibular neck with impaction and displacement; right sacral and coccygeal fractures; multiple contusions, abrasions and soft tissue injuries.

Special Damages:

$35,800 (medical); $1,872 (lost wages)

Amount of Settlement:

$100,000 (policy limits)

Description:

Our client, a 28-year-old pedestrian, was struck by a car as she was attempting to cross the street in Leominster, Worcester County, Massachusetts. The operator of the car (through investigation) admitted to driving while distracted and not paying attention to the road. Our client was brought by ambulance to the emergency room with multiple injuries including fracture(s) of the tibia and leg, neck injuries, hip injuries and soft tissue injuries. She was an inpatient at the hospital for three days. She was discharged with a leg brace and cautioned against weight bearing on her injured leg. She returned to the hospital for pain management, injections and therapy. She continued treatment on her right knee injury. Over time, she graduated from brace to crutches. After several months of rehabilitation physical therapy, she was again able to walk normally.

The plaintiff was a worker at a large manufacturer of electronic equipment. She missed 18 days of work due to her auto accident-related injury.

The case settled directly with the insurer for the policy limits ($100,000) of the insured motor vehicle operator who struck our client.

Rear-End Collision

Facts:

A woman was injured when the car she was driving was struck from behind while she was stopped at a red light.

Case Name:

Client vs. Automobile Operator

Injuries Alleged:

Neck injury, shoulder injury, hip injury, knee injury, cervical disk injury, cervical radiculitis, and hand numbness.

Special Damages:

$12,700 (medical bills); no lost wages as client was a homemaker.

Amount of Settlement:

(policy limits)

Description:

Our client, a mother of two young children, was rear-ended while stopped at red light in Charlton, Worcester County, Massachusetts. The defendant operator was cited by the investigating officer. Liability was not an issue. Our client was not taken to the hospital by ambulance and did not see a doctor until approximately one month after the accident. The client had an MRI which revealed slight disc bulge and mild straightening of the cervical spine (indicating spasm). She was prescribed an anti-inflammatory medication. She treated with a neurosurgeon who ordered an EMG with negative findings. She opted for physical therapy over epidural injections for pain relief. She continued therapy for several months until terminating therapy on her own. The insurer took issue with the client's delay of treatment. The medical evidence related all injuries and treatment to the accident.

The client had difficulty caring for her two young children during her recovery period. She continued to perform home exercises. The case eventually settled for the policy limits of the insured due, in part, to the medical evidence indicating the severity of the injury and the likely degenerative affect of the trauma on our client's spine, which arguably, left her more susceptible to further difficulties in the future.

Dog Bite – Dog Attack

Facts:

A man was injured by a family member's dog while walking his own dog.

Case Name:

Client vs. Homeowner

Injuries Alleged:

Multiple puncture wounds, lacerations on hand, forearm and legs; emotional trauma and anxiety.

Special Damages:

$2,400 (medical bills); $1,096 (veterinarian bills)

Amount of Settlement:

$18,000

Description:

Our client, an elderly man, was bitten by an off-leash dog while walking his own dog in Gardner, Massachusetts. He was visiting family when their dog unexpectedly attacked him and his own dog. He was bitten several times on the hand and leg. His dog was also injured. He went to the emergency room where he received several stitches to his finger. He was given a tetanus shot and painkillers. Over the next several months, he returned to the doctor to complain of tingling in his fingers. He lost part of his fingernail where he was bitten by the dog. Eventually, the wounds cleared and scarring was difficult to discern from other marks on the client's hands.

Client was extremely distraught after the dog bite attack. He sought psychotherapy or therapy sessions after episodes of anxiety, depression and sleep problems. Over the course of several months the client's anxiety lessened and he was able to decrease his level of stress. The client's dog was injured. In addition to the client's medical bills, he was also compensated for the veterinarian bills incurred by his dog.

Slip, Trip And Fall

Supermarket - Wet Floor

Case Name:

Client vs. Local Supermarket

Injuries alleged:

Torn rotator cuff, lower back injury

Special Damages:

$5,408 (medical); $2,400 (lost wages)

Amount of Settlement:

$65,000

Description:

The plaintiff, age 76, was shopping at the defendant's supermarket in Leominster when she reportedly slipped and fell on an accumulation of water on the floor. The plaintiff alleged the defendant was negligent to timely remove the water or provide adequate warning of the accumulation. The defendant contested the length of time the water was on the floor and whether the defendant had notice thereof.

On the date of the accident, the plaintiff went to the emergency room at Leominster Hospital with complaints of left wrist, shoulder and lower back pain. The emergency room staff diagnosed her as having a wrist and shoulder sprain.

She elected treatment with a local chiropractor, who referred her to an orthopedic surgeon for evaluation. The chiropractor resolved neck and back injuries.

The plaintiff followed up with an orthopedic surgeon who confirmed a torn rotator cuff (right shoulder) via an MRI and bone scan. Arthroscopic debridement of the rotator cuff tear as well as AC joint excision was recommended.

The plaintiff elected, primarily due to her age, not to proceed with surgery.

The plaintiff provided the insurer with projected future medical expenses (surgical) and detailed information relative to the plaintiff's likely postoperative recovery period, which was anticipated to be lengthy.

Premises Liability

Stairway-Noncompliance with State Building Code

Case Name:

Guest vs. Property Owner.

Injuries alleged:

Left wrist and pelvic fractures

Special Damages:

$79,905 (medical)

Amount of Settlement:

$125,000

Description:

The plaintiff, a 74-year-old woman, slipped and fell on the front steps of the building where she was a tenant. The defendant was her landlord. The plaintiff alleged that the stairway was not in compliance with the local building code, nor equipped with required handrails. The defendant insurer contested liability citing the defendant's property was exempt from building code requirements because of "grandfather" status. After the fall, the plaintiff was transported to the emergency room via ambulance. She was admitted as an inpatient and required surgery for a complex fracture of her left arm; she also had to wear a back brace for a fractured pelvis. The plaintiff was released and transferred to a skilled nursery facility where she remained. She received physical and outpatient therapy.

The plaintiff's treatment was interrupted as she was admitted to the hospital for an unrelated medical condition. Upon her release, she was readmitted to a skilled nursing facility. A further surgery on her arm occurred in which a bone graft was required. The plaintiff remained in the hospital. She was readmitted to a skilled nursing facility. When the plaintiff was discharged to her home, she received in-home care.

The case settled due to the serious nature of the plaintiff's injuries. The plaintiff passed away several months after the settlement from unrelated causes.

Negligence

Horseplay - Injuries to Minor Child

Case Name:

Parent of Child vs. Homeowner

Injuries alleged:

Multiple fractures of left arm with resultant scarring

Special Damages:

$13,321 (medical)

Amount of Settlement:

$142,067 (including structured payout for minor)

Description:

The plaintiff and her minor child, then age 5, were visiting the home of the defendant in Leominster. At some point during the visit, the plaintiff left the room where her child was playing with the defendant, to use the phone.

A loud noise alerted the plaintiff where her child had been playing. The plaintiff returned to see her child on the floor suffering convulsions as a result of the fall. The defendant, also an adult, had been playing with the child, had allegedly thrown the child into the air and had failed to catch the child before he hit the ground. Upon impact with the ground, the child suffered multiple fractures of the left arm.

The child was taken to the hospital where he stayed for two days. A splint was inserted through a surgical procedure. Approximately a year-and-a-half after the surgery, the child developed complications from the plate attached to his bone. He underwent a second procedure to remove the plate.

During recovery, he developed an infection at the site. He was treated with various antibiotics and injections. Post-surgery and recovery, the child exhibited a scar on this arm. The minor child was evaluated by a plastic surgeon who opined that the scarring was likely permanent. The minor plaintiff initiated suit in the Worcester Superior Court on various theories of negligence. The adult plaintiff mother filed a loss of consortium claim.

The case settled shortly after suit was filed. A petition of approval of minor's settlement was heard and allowed by the court.

Slip, Trip and Fall

Snow and Ice on Parking Lot

Case Name:

Plaintiff vs. Local Warehouse Chain Store

Injuries alleged:

Partial rotator cuff of left shoulder

Special Damages:

$14,000.00.00(medical expenses)

Amount of Settlement:

$40,000

Description:

The plaintiff, a 69-year-old man, was at the defendant's parking lot in Leominster. Several steps from his vehicle, the plaintiff fell and injured himself on the slippery surface. The defendants' insurer, the store and plowing service argued that the plaintiff slipped and fell on a natural accumulation of snow and ice; hence, no liability attached.

The plaintiff successfully argued that the snow or ice that created the hazard — upon which the plaintiff fell — was no longer in its natural state. In fact, tire marks and rust allegedly had frozen underneath a natural accumulation of snow and ice, which had covered the tire ruts.

The plowing company and the defendant's insurer eventually settled on this point.

The plaintiff first presented himself at the Leominster Hospital Emergency Room two days post-injury. He was diagnosed with a shoulder sprain and treated conservatively with his primary care physician and prescribed physical therapy. He received corticosteroid injections from a rheumatologist.

Approximately one year later, he was diagnosed with a partial rotator cuff tear. Some six months later, his orthopedist performed arthroscopy on his should to repair the partial rotator cuff tear. The plaintiff continued with therapy and steroid injections.

Motor Vehicle Negligence

Rear-End Collision - Back Injury

Case Name:

Plaintiff vs. Defendant Operator

Injuries alleged:

Lower back strain, nerve root impingement of spine

Special Damages:

$27,306 (medical expenses); $26,086(lost wages)

Amount of Settlement:

$553,326

Description:

The plaintiff — then a 26-year-old married mother of two minor children — was rear-ended in her vehicle by the defendant's vehicle while stopped at an intersection in Lancaster. The defendant was driving a truck in the course of his employment for defendant employer. The plaintiff was transported via ambulance to the emergency room.

Initially, treatment focused on a lower back strain. The plaintiff was referred to her first course of physical therapy. An MRI revealed disc bulging at L4-5 and L3-4. The plaintiff was treated by an orthopedic surgeon who recommended microsurgery/disentomb on L4-5. Surgery was performed. The postoperative recovery was allegedly not good. The plaintiff developed concentrated and consistent pain in the lower back and into her buttock and right leg. The plaintiff underwent a second series of physical therapy and received coati/steroid injections. A second MRI revealed postoperative enhancing reactive tissue (scar tissue) at the laminectomy site.

The plaintiff underwent a third course of physical therapy and was treated by physiatrists over the next two years. She did not respond well to therapeutic modalities, including ongoing steroid nerve root injections and physical therapy. She reportedly developed pain while sitting, standing and walking.

The plaintiff's expert opined a 10 percent whole person impairment and a casual relationship to the motor vehicle accident. The defendant's experts opined a partial disability with restrictions.

The plaintiff reportedly had an episode where she fell at her home. An MRI revealed an additional disc bulge at L5-51. The defendant opined this as a new injury and the plaintiff argued her weakened condition contributed to her fall. The plaintiff continued to treat with prescribed narcotics to address her constant pain.

At the time of the motor vehicle accident, the plaintiff worked as a medical records clerk for an HMO. Immediately following the motor vehicle accident, she was out of work for six months. She attempted to return to work and reduced her hours over the next two to three years but was never able to tolerate full-time employment. Upon the advice of her treating physician, she went out of work permanently.

The case was mediated two weeks prior to trial and settled once week later. A portion of the settlement proceeds was placed in an annuity for the minor children's college fund.

Highway Collision —- Auto Vs. Parked Car — Settled For $50,000

Our client was traveling at night on a two-lane highway when he struck a vehicle that was parked and abandoned in the right travel lane. The vehicle was parked without hazard lights turned on to alert oncoming traffic. Emergency services were called and our client was rushed to the hospital emergency room via ambulance. Our client suffered a head injury, concussion and facial cuts, bruises and lacerations which resulted in two small facial scars. The full insurance policy limits were obtained from the insurer of the abandoned car while our client also was compensated from the underinsured coverage of his own insurance policy. These claims were settled out of court.

Pharmacy Error — Chain Fills Wrong Prescription — Settled For $40,000

Our client was given a written prescription for high blood pressure by his primary care doctor. He presented the written prescription to a local branch of a national pharmacy chain. Unfortunately, the script was incorrectly filled with another medication that had similar spelling. The pharmacy continued to incorrectly refill this prescription over the course of the next five months. The error was eventually discovered by the treating physician when he called the pharmacy to renew the prescription. Our client's blood pressure fortunately was not affected; however, he experienced side effects from the wrong medication that were interpreted as symptoms of unrelated illnesses and disease. As a result, he experienced significant distress and consequently underwent several unnecessary expensive and invasive diagnostic studies. Additionally, he went without treatment for his high blood pressure which put him at a significant health risk. Monetary settlement was negotiated out of court.

Wrongful Death — Mother And Unborn Child Vs. Motor Vehicle Accident — Settled For The Full Insurance Policy Limits

Our client, a 22-year-old pregnant woman, was a passenger in a motor vehicle that was traveling on a rainy evening. Their vehicle was struck head on by the operator of a van. The impact of the accident was so serious that the young mother and her unborn child were killed instantly. Our clients were the estates of the young mother and her unborn child. Monetary settlement was negotiated out of court and the full policy limits were obtained for both estates.

Rear-End Collision — Struck From Behind While Stopped At A Red Light — Settled For The Full Insurance Policy Limits

A young woman was driving her vehicle and stopped at a red light. Before the light turned green, she was struck from behind (rear-ended) by another driver. She sustained a neck injury or a cervical strain and a hip injury or strain (soft tissue). An MRI revealed she had bulging discs (in her neck or cervical area) at two locations. Her physician did not feel that the disc problems were causing her pain. She treated with physical therapy for about 12 weeks. She lost time from work and had significant lost wages. Monetary settlement was negotiated out of court.

Rear-End Collision — Struck From Behind — Settled For $75,000

Our client, an elderly woman, was driving her car and had stopped in traffic waiting to take a turn when she was struck from behind (rear-ended) by another driver. The impact was fairly light; however, the medical evidence revealed that she had sustained a cervical whiplash injury with strain and pain in her shoulders and thoracic region or upper back. As a young woman, she had a prior accident and sustained injury to her spinal cord which left her partially paralyzed in her lower extremities. Even prior to this accident, she was totally dependent on her upper body strength for ambulation, transfers and routine activities of daily living. We argued with the liability insurer that, despite her pre-existing condition and injury, she was nevertheless independent in all activities throughout her adult life. She worked full-time outside her home and drove herself to work daily. We argued that as a result of her cervical and neck whiplash injuries and multiple strains, her overall health condition worsened. Monetary settlement was negotiated out of court.

Passenger Injured In Car Accident — Multiple Vehicle Collision — Settled For $34,500

Our client was a passenger in a motor vehicle that was "sideswiped" by another vehicle and pushed into a third vehicle. There were two other claimants with serious injuries involving fractures, hospitalization and extended rehabilitation. The available insurance policy was insufficient to compensate all of the damages suffered by each of the claimants. Our client was the least injured, having sustained a partial torn cartilage or torn meniscus that did not require hospitalization or surgery. She received three weeks of physical therapy to her injured knee and recovered shortly thereafter. All claimants received a monetary settlement proportional to their injuries. In addition to recovering from the liable party, we were successful in obtaining additional settlement funds from the underinsurance coverage of the client's personal motor vehicle insurance policy. Monetary settlement was negotiated out of court.

Vehicle Passenger Injured By Low-Impact Collision

Front seat passenger suffers serious injuries despite low impact.
Case Name:

Passenger vs. Negligent Driver

Injuries alleged:

Right shoulder and neck pain, muscle spasms and tissue swelling of upper back.

Special Damages:

$ 8,000 (medical expenses) and a period of lost wages.

Amount of Settlement:

$ 40,000

Description:

Our client was a 22-year-old woman who was the front seat passenger in a vehicle that was sideswiped by another car in Leominster, Massachusetts. Her car was struck on the passenger side where the plaintiff was seated. Although the impact did not cause significant property damage to the vehicle, the impact did cause significant injury to our client. Immediately after the motor vehicle accident, she was taken to the hospital in an ambulance. Her complaints were of pain in the upper thoracic and cervical areas. Tests revealed the Plaintiff had limited range of motion of the neck at all angles with spasms of the right shoulder and tissue swelling of the upper back.

She was documented as having an extensive soft tissue injury. She underwent a course of physical therapy and was ultimately evaluated by a physiatrist who noted chronic cervical and thoracic strain, muscle hypertonicity and trigger points throughout her cervical and thoracic muscles. The doctor also provided several osteopathic manipulations. Her treating doctor's opined approximately 31 weeks of disability from her employment as a rehab aide. She was reimbursed, in addition to her settlement, for a portion of her lost wages from her PIP carrier.

This case is significant given the position of the liability insurance company. It argued that a low-impact collision could not have caused our client's extensive injuries. Our office cited medical opinions, research and studies to demonstrate how low-impact collisions have caused and can cause serious personal injuries.

Contact An Attorney Today

To learn more about the kind of representation that the lawyers at Roncone Law Offices, P.C., can provide you, contact us at 877-261-4389. Our Leominster, Massachusetts, office also serves the Fitchburg and Worcester areas.