Our client was a young Marine involved in a car crash when an elderly driver ran a red left-turn light in the Rancho Bernardo area of San Diego and struck the driver’s side of our client’s vehicle. Our client’s girlfriend‚ sitting in the front passenger seat‚ was badly injured and suffered facial fractures when her face hit the windshield.
By comparison‚ our client’s injuries seemed trivial to him. He had a sore neck‚ sore back‚ and a sore left shoulder. He treated with Marine doctors and went to therapists hoping his pain would go away. Several months passed and he was still in pain. He then came to our office looking for help.
We recommended that he finally see an orthopedic doctor outside the Marine Corps. and follow his advice. The pain seemed to get better in the back and neck‚ but the pain in the left shoulder remained. Our client’s orthopedic surgeon finally told him that there was nothing more that he could do and that he might have to live with the pain the rest of his life. By this time‚ the Marines had taken him off of active physical testing for several months. More time went by and our client thought the Marines would discharge him.
After more than a year of having continuous pain in his left upper chest and left shoulder‚ we recommended that he consult a neurosurgeon. Only after this consult did we find that our client suffered from thoracic outlet syndrome–a serious neurologic injury that can occur when the seatbelt pushes the collarbone and ribcage downward in a car crash–and needed surgery to fix it.
Because our client’s injuries were paid largely by the military‚ the medical bills were extremely low. Even with the low economic damages‚ our office obtained a settlement of $200‚000 for our client.
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