The Plaintiff was a 45-year-old driver of a motor vehicle, which was struck in the rear by the Defendant’s vehicle and forced into a vehicle that was parked on the side of the road. The Plaintiff was transported to the emergency room by ambulance where she was treated primarily for complaints of cervical pain. Upon discharge, the Plaintiff’s cervical pain worsened and she began to experience the onset of headaches, lightheadedness, and symptoms of vertigo. Over the following two-year period, the Plaintiff underwent numerous consultations with her primary care physician who prescribed a CT scan of the head and a cervical MRI, both of which appeared normal. Nevertheless, the plaintiff continued to suffer considerable physical pain as well as anxiety, apprehension, and sleep deprivation, which she attributed to the subject accident. She underwent a course of treatment for post-traumatic stress syndrome. Further, in an attempt to effectuate a cure for her physical injuries, the Plaintiff tried a number of treatment alternatives, including physical therapy, chiropractic care, massage therapy, a neurological consultation, and a consultation with a physiatrist.
Due to her complex presentation, the plaintiff was referred by her treading physiatrist to a pain management specialist. The Plaintiff underwent a number of cervical facet injections which did alleviate her pain, but only on a temporary basis. Her treating pain doctor was prepared to testify that the plaintiff suffered from a permanent, irreversible condition, which in his opinion was clearly related to the subject motor vehicle accident. He was also prepared to testify that the Plaintiff should consider changing her occupation, which was that of a physical education teacher. The Plaintiff missed approximately 56 days from her occupation and she incurred medical expenses totaling approximately $42,000. The parties agreed to arbitrate the matter prior to trial.