In June 2017, Plaintiff was operating a Ford Escape which was traveling on Enterprise Drive at or near where it intersects with an access road to the parking lot of Walmart in Rockaway, New Jersey. At that time, an Acura MDX owned and operated by the Defendant was traveling on the aforementioned access road. Defendant negligently disregarded the stop sign which controlled his direction of travel and/or otherwise failed to make proper observations when he pulled out onto Enterprise Drive and struck the front of Plaintiff’s vehicle. The responding Police Officer attributed the accident to the Defendant and issued him a citation for failing to stop and/or yield to the right of way, in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-144.
Plaintiff immediately experienced pain to his neck and back and was transported via ambulance from the scene of the accident to the hospital. He was examined and diagnosed with back and cervical strains and was prescribed medication for his pain. When his pain grew increasingly worse over the course of the next few days he presented to a chiropractor where he immediately commenced a course of conservative treatment consisting of chiropractic care and physical modalities. During the course of his treatment, he was referred for diagnostic testing in order to better ascertain the nature and extent of his injuries. In September 2017, he underwent MRI testing to his lumbar and cervical spine. The lumbar spine MRI revealed a central disc herniation at L3-L4 with associated compressive deformity of the dural sac; and a central disc herniation at L5-S1 with associate compressive deformity of the anterior aspect of the dural sac. As to the cervical spine, the MRI report revealed a right paracentral disc herniation at C5-C6 with encroachment of the anterior aspect of the spinal canal. During the course of his treatment he also consulted with a pain management doctor.
In October 2017, Plaintiff’s pain management doctor administered a lumbar epidural steroid injection at L5-S1. A few weeks later, he administered a cervical epidural injection at C6-C7. In addition, in December 2017, after his chiropractic treatment concluded, he commenced acupuncture care. After each injection, Plaintiff experienced a few days of relief but his pain would eventually return to the same level of severity and frequency suffered prior to the procedure. In order to assess his radicular complaints, he was referred for electrodiagnostic testing of his upper and lower extremities. The EMG/NCV study, which was performed in January 2018 revealed evidence of left C6-C7 radiculopathy. When his pain failed to resolve following his course of conservative treatment, he consulted with a neurosurgeon.
In June 2018 he ultimately underwent left L5-S1 laminotomy and discectomy. He treated post-operatively and was discharged in August 2018.
The case settled for the amount of $115,000.00 prior to the scheduling of a trial.