Rear-end Collision Causes Dissection of Carotid Artery
Plaintiff was stopped at a red light when he was rear-ended by an inattentive driver. Plaintiff suffered from whiplash and resulting neck pain and headache following the collision. Three months after the collision, plaintiff suffered a stroke and doctor’s discovered that he had sustained damage to his carotid artery in the collision.
Plaintiff sued the inattentive driver that rear-ended him for negligence. Plaintiff argued that the forces of the accident caused damage to his carotid artery that eventually led to the dissection of the artery and resulting stroke.
Liability was uncontested, but medical causation was contested given the passage of time between the collision and plaintiff’s stroke. Defendant argued that the dissection of the carotid artery and resulting stroke was spontaneous and unrelated to the rear-end collision.
Plaintiff sustained damage to his right internal carotid artery in the collision. The damage to his artery led to an eventual dissection of the carotid artery within three months following the collision. The dissection caused plaintiff to suffer a stroke. The effects of plaintiff’s stroke include permanent partial hearing loss, problems with spatial orientation, facial asymmetry, decreased focus and impact on multitasking abilities. Medical treatment included surgery to correct the artery, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. Plaintiff also sustained a substantial wage loss.
Parties settled for $500,000, the full value of insurance available for this loss.