OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION:
One evening, the plaintiff, a 34 year-old, self-employed construction worker, finished a contracted job at a client’s house in Wilmington. In an attempt to help one of the trucks pull out of a driveway onto the busy main road, the plaintiff walked to the end of the driveway and stood on the side of the road. He then began to direct the truck out of the driveway and onto the main road. As he was standing on the side of the road, a vehicle operated by the defendant struck the plaintiff. The defendant denied seeing the plaintiff prior to impact. As a result of being struck by the defendant’s vehicle, the plaintiff suffered serious injuries to his left foot.
The plaintiff was immediately transported by ambulance to Lahey Clinic where he was admitted for evaluation. The orthopedic surgeon reviewed the x-ray of the left foot and diagnosed the plaintiff with a dislocation at the tarsal, metatarsal joint with the metatarsal dislocated laterally. The plaintiff also suffered a compression of the cuboid and navicular bone along with fractures at the bases of the 2nd through 4th metatarsals. The next morning, plaintiff underwent a closed reduction percutaneous pinning with application of a catheter to the left lower extremity. The plaintiff returned to Lahey Clinic five days later for a second planned surgery. On that day, he underwent an open reduction with tarsometatarsal fusion of the joints 1, 2, and 3.
The plaintiff remained non-weight bearing for three months and then began a course of rigorous physical therapy. The plaintiff continued to follow-up with his orthopedic surgeon for two years. During that time he underwent a third surgery to have a screw removed which was causing additional pain and also underwent a second course of physical therapy.
As a result of his injuries, the plaintiff incurred $70,938.29 in medical expenses all of which were unpaid because the plaintiff did not have health insurance coverage. In addition, the plaintiff was out of work for about 3 ½ months.
The defense of the case focused on two issues. First it focused on the lighting conditions at the time of the accident. The defense argued that at the time of the accident it was dark out. The defense further argued that the plaintiff was wearing dark, (non-reflective) clothing, and he was not carrying a flashlight to alert on-coming traffic of his presence in the road. And second, the defense argued the plaintiff was standing in the main road at the time he was struck. The defense argued that the plaintiff’s comparative negligence was significant and would result in a limited recovery if the case went to trial.
Despite these viable defenses, the case successfully resolved for the aforementioned amount after several tense discussions with the hospital that had placed a lien on the third party case. The hospital lien was significantly reduced which allowed the case to resolve without the need of a trial.
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