Automobile Accident - Leg Fracture and Psychological Injury
Plaintiff was a seventeen year-old high school student in her senior year when she was injured while riding as a front seat passenger in a friend's car. The car crash occurred as they were proceeding straight through an intersection with an on-ramp to Route 3 in Plymouth, Massachusetts, when then they were cut off by a left turning pick-up truck. The truck was owned by the defendant construction company, and was being operated by its president, though the accident occurred after working hours.
Plaintiff suffered a severe thigh bone fracture which required open reduction and internal fixation with a metal rod (intermedullary rod). She also suffered a patella contusion which required later arthroscopic surgery. Right after the rod was placed in the plaintiff's broken leg, the plaintiff suffered a fat embolism which greatly compromised her breathing; she was placed in a coma at Children's Hospital and was kept on a ventilator for several days. While she was in a coma, she was in critical condition.
Despite her broken leg, plaintiff was able to return to school after several weeks of recuperation, but was precluded from resuming any sports activities. She had previously been an active soccer player. Plaintiff was unable to return to her part-time jobs during this time.
Plaintiff recovered reasonably well from her physical injuries, with minor scarring from her operation, but with persistent knee pain and some compromised pulmonary function. Plaintiff did, however, continue to suffer psychologically from the post-traumatic stress, which required a period of counseling. She had recurrent, intrusive nightmares from the time that she was kept on the ventilator.
Plaintiff brought claims against the driver of the car she was in and the truck driver. The claims against her driver were settled quickly for the policy limits of $50,000. The balance of the settlement was paid by the insurer of the pick-up truck after two days of mediation.
Medical bills had been paid by PIP and by Mass Health. All outstanding insurance and medical liens were compromised for under $20,000.
The plaintiff almost lost her life in this very serious accident caused by a left-turning vehicle. Fortunately, she was treated in one of the finest pediatric hospitals in Massachusetts.
The driver who caused the accident had been playing golf with his friend all afternoon at a nearby golf club. There was suspicion that he had been drinking, which he denied. In the end, the case was resolved for its full value, even without proving that alcohol may have contributed to the accident.