Helping injured victims is why I became an attorney.
Norwalk, CA (PRWEB) October 26, 2009
The California personal injury lawyers of BISNAR | CHASE (http://www.BestAttorney.com) convinced a jury in a Los Angeles County Superior Court in Norwalk that an ambulance driver and the company that employed him were at fault for the injuries sustained by two passengers in an ambulance accident. The action was brought against the defendants by Shawna Alonzo, a respiratory therapist, and Traci Mucklevane, a pediatric nurse. Both were employed by the Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) at the time of the accident.
Jury Awards Injured Passenger $164,000
Alonzo sought economic and non-economic damages for the injuries sustained by the accident, on-going costs and loss of income due to those injuries. The jury awarded Alonzo nearly $164,000. "Given the fact that the defendants made no pretrial offer, and that jury's verdict substantially exceeds the settlement demand, we think it was an excellent result for the client," noted personal injury lawyer Scott Ritsema, part of the BISNAR | CHASE legal team.
Plaintiffs Allege Ambulance Driver Fell Asleep at the Wheel
The suit alleges that on October 17, 2006, Casey Brennan was driving a Lynch-owned ambulance on Whittier Blvd. at approximately 45 mph. Shawna Alonzo was seated in the rear of the ambulance with only a lap belt to restrain her. When Brennan fell asleep at the wheel, the front wheel of the ambulance struck the curb, causing the tires to separate from the wheels. As Brennan swerved to regain control of the ambulance, Alonzo was jerked violently in her seat and struck her head on a metal gurney. Traci Mucklevane was also injured.
Plaintiff Suffers Neck and Back Pain, Dizziness and Depression
In the emergency room, Alonzo complained of head and mid/upper back pain. A cervical x-ray showed degeneration of the inter-vertebral disc. She was diagnosed with muscle strains, given prescriptions and placed on temporary disability. She underwent physical therapy, was treated with various prescription medications, and was either on temporary disability or restricted duties. She later underwent cervical and lumbar MRIs. The cervical MRI revealed a bulging disc; the lumbar MRI revealed a disc dessication without stenosis. Throughout her treatment, Alonzo suffered neck and upper back pain radiating into her left shoulder and left arm.
Alonzo was subsequently placed on temporary disability for four weeks and underwent additional physical therapy. During a neurological consultation, she complained of frequent headaches, dizziness, depression, fatigue, insomnia, sciatic pain and constant neck pain with spasm radiating into her left arm. Her injuries were making it difficult to care for her child who has cerebral palsy.
Accident Caused 25% Whole Person Impairment
A psychiatric evaluation revealed pain disorder with both medical and psychiatric components, including dysthymic mood disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, a fear of being in cars, grief response and insomnia. Psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy were prescribed. A neutral doctor in the worker's compensation case found that all of her treatment to date had been appropriate. He recommended a trial of acupuncture. Doctors also prescribed on-going pain management care and found her to have 25% whole person impairment due to the accident. Alonzo initially returned to work about one week after the accident. She worked a few shifts but was placed back on temporary disability.
The Alonzo case marked the first time BISNAR | CHASE accident attorney Jerusalem Beligan second-chaired a jury trial. "This was a very exciting and rewarding experience," noted Beligan. "Helping injured victims is why I became an attorney."
The injury accident case (number VC 051815) was filed in the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, Norwalk Division.
About BISNAR | CHASE
The BISNAR | CHASE law firm's Orange County personal injury attorneys represent people who have been very seriously injured or lost a family member due to an accident, defective product or negligence throughout California. The law firm has won a wide variety of challenging personal injury and defective product cases, involving car accidents, on-the-job accidents, dog attacks and defective products made by Fortune 500 companies. For more information, visit http://www.BestAttorney.com and http://www.CaliforniaInjuryBlog.com.
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