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Onstad Blog

A SECOND AUTO ACCIDENT WHILE CLAIM IS PENDING ON FIRST AUTO ACCIDENT

Nov 19

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11/19/2014 12:49 PM  RssIcon

            Infrequently, but not uncommonly, I am handling a claim for damages sustained by my client arising out of being rear-ended while at a stop.  The client has soft tissue injuries, whiplash, or lumbar strain.  They have been in medical treatment, they are going to physical therapy, and they may have had epidural steroid injections.  They are doing much better, but not fully recovered or at maximum medical improvement.  Then out of nowhere, they are involved in a second rear-end collision and their symptoms are suddenly much worse, they are set back, and they either have new injuries or the existing injuries are made much worse.

            I recommend that they immediately go back to the physician who last evaluated and treated them prior to the second auto accident to be re-evaluated.  The client needs to make sure the treating physician knows exactly what their condition was prior to the second auto accident, and then do a detailed evaluation and document any and all changes that signify that a new injury has occurred or that the healing process of the first injury was disrupted and that the first injury has been exacerbated.  This re-evaluation needs to occur as soon as possible.  It is very important to take photos of the damage to the victim’s car to show the doctor, so that the doctor knows what kind of impact forces were involved in the second auto accident.

            When I make a claim against the insurance carrier for the party whose negligence caused the second auto accident and begin to produce my client’s medical records in support of such claim, that insurance carrier will see there is a previous auto accident for which my client is receiving medical treatment and most often that insurance carrier will deny the claim and take the position that all of my client’s injury and damages were caused by the first auto accident.  As soon as the insurance carrier for the party whose negligence caused the first auto accident learns of the second auto accident, that insurance carrier will point the finger of blame at the insurance carrier for the second accident and the insurance carrier for the second accident will point the finger of blame at the insurance carrier for the driver whose negligence caused the first injury.  At this point, it is inevitable to me that a lawsuit is necessary.  I am of the opinion that neither claim can get resolved fairly unless a lawsuit is commenced against the negligent drivers in both auto accidents.  Once discovery starts, the treating doctors will have to be deposed state their opinions as to what injuries and treatment were necessitated by which auto accident.  After those depositions take place, the both cases can usually be resolved by settlement.

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VERDICTS AND SETTLEMENTS in which Rockne W. Onstad was Lead Counsel or Co-Counsel

Gross Amount Client Recovery Attorney Fee Expenses Nature
$13,650,000 $8,055,000 $5,460,000 $135,000     Product Liability, Apache Helicopter Gear Box, Spinal Injuries (settlement)
$9,200,000 $6,320,064 $2,760,000 $119,358     Product Liability, Defective Aircraft Carburetor, Wrongful Death (settlement)
$6,800,000 $4,473,334 $2,266,666 $60,000     Premises Liability, Brain Injury, Water Park Slide (settlement)
$5,000,000 $3,662,224 $1,250,000 $87,775     Obstetrical negligence, cerebral palsy, Federal Tort Claim Act case (settlement)
$4,980,000 $2,437,000 $2,490,000 $53,000     Obstetrical Negligence, Fetal Asphyxia, Cerebral Palsy (settlement)
$4,300,000 $309,000 $138,000 $13,000     Pilot Error, Airplane Crash, Wrongful Death (jury verdict)
$3,850,000 $2,373,000 $1,425,000 $52,000     Labor & Delivery Negligence, Fetal Distress, Cerebral Palsy (settlement)
$3,500,000 $2,028,000 $1,400,000 $72,000     Product Liability, Design Defect, Spinal Cord Injury (settlement)
$3,235,000 $2,361,250 $808,750 $65,000     Brain Injury, Federal Tort Claim, FAA Negligence (verdict) affirmed on appeal
$3,000,000 $1,724,000 $1,200,000 $76,000     Neurosurgical Malpractice, Cauda Equina Syndrome (settlement)
$2,950,000 $1,731,000 $1,180,000 $39,000     Defective Design of Helicopter, Paralysis & Wrongful Death (settlement)
$2,900,000 $844,000 $694,000 $26,000     Auto Accident, Spinal Injury & Ankle Injury (jury verdict/settlement)
$2,800,000 $1,864,667 $924,333 $12,000     Premises Liability, Hotel Fire, Wrongful Death (settlement)
$2,500,000 $1,644,667 $833,333 $22,000     Product Liablity, Defective Farm Tractor, Arm Loss (settlement)
$2,300,000 $1,399,000 $960,000 $41,000     Anesthesiologist Negligence, Brain Injury (settlement)
$2,300,000 $1,091,000 $920,000 $59,000     Product Liability, All Terrain Vehicle, Spinal Injury (settlement)
$2,200,000 $1,321,000 $733,333 $44,000     Cerebral Palsy, Obstetrical Malpractice, Preeclampsia (settlement)
$2,200,000 $1,267,000 $880,000 $53,000     Construction Negligence & Insurance Bad Faith, Spinal Injury(settlement)
$2,200,000 $1,191,000 $880,000 $129,000     Product liability, subdural hematoma (settlement)
$2,183,796 $1,426,334 $557,666 $163,796     Hospital Labor Nurse Negligence, Fetal Distress, Cerebral Palsy (settlement)
$2,000,000 $1,303,334 $666,666 $30,000     Anesthesia Malpractice, Esophageal Intubation, Wrongful Death (settlement)
$2,000,000 $1,106,887 $800,000 $93,111     Radiologist Negligence, Brain Catheterization, Stroke (settlement)
$2,000,000 $976,484 $976,482 $47,034     Obstetrician Malpractice, Forceps Delivery, Cerebral Palsy (settlement)
$2,000,000 $972,331 $972,669 $55,000     Obstetrical Malpractice, IUGR, Cerebral Palsy (settlement)
$1,900,000 $905,000 $950,000 $45,000     Clinic Failure to Supervise Impaired Physician, 4 Injured (settlement)
$1,900,000 $73,000     Pilot Error, Helicopter Crash, Wrongful Death (jury verdict-no insurance coverage)
$1,860,000 $978,518 $645,000 $137,480     Neurosurgeon Negligence, Infection, Cauda Equina Syndrome (settlement)
$1,700,000 $1,130,730 $565,363 $3,907     Product Liability, Defective Design, Burns (settlement)
$1,500,000 $847,000 $600,000 $53,000     Defective Aircraft Component, Military Aircraft, Wrongful Death (settlement)
$1,425,000 $900,310 $457,571 $67,119     Intraoperative Spinal Cord Monitoring Negligence, Spinal Cord Injury (settlement)
$1,400,000 $848,221 $503,552 $51,227     Obstetrician Malpractice, Group B Strep Infection, Cerebral Palsy (settlement)
$1,400,000 $718,689 $560,000 $130,522     Neurosurgeon Negligence, Infection, Brain Injury (jury trial & settlement)
$1,400,000 $818,000 $560,000 $22,000     Auto Trucking Accident, Spinal Injury (settlement)
$1,350,000 $926,394 $370,835 $52,769     Wrongful death. Unnecessary hysterectomy (settlement)
$1,300,000 $718,689 $520,000 $26,000     Neonatal Nurse Negligence, Visual Impairment (settlement)
$1,300,000 $285,000 $250,000 $33,189     Emergency Room Negligence, Wrongful Death (jury verdict and settlement))
$1,237,000 $718,689 $400,000 $30,000     Cardiologist Negligence, Brain Injury (settlement)
$1,200,000 $659,879 $395,666 $144,455     Prolapsed umbilical cord, Labor Nurse Negligence (settlement)
$1,167,000 $594,086 $417,000 $72,513     Emergency Room Negligence, Heart Attack, Wrongful Death (settlement)
$1,150,000 $727,667 $383,333 $39,000     Obstetrician Negligence, Group B Strep, Cerebral Palsy (settlement)
$1,111,000 $594,933 $444,400 $71,623     Product Liability, Heart Stent, Heart Damage (settlement)
$1,100,000 $770,000 $440,000 $25,996     Radiologist Negligence, Failure to Diagnose Breast Cancer, Death (settlement)
$1,060,000 $532,715 $478,991 $48,810     Obstetrician Negligence, Breech Delivery, Cerebral Palsy (settlement)
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