The Illinois auto accident took place on October 19, 2010, at approximately 8:00 a.m. The client was injured when the automobile she was driving was rear-ended by another motorist.
The plaintiff was driving northbound on I-294 at or near mile post 31.0, Proviso Township, Cook County, Illinois. The defendant was also driving his automobile northbound on I-294, behind our client. She came to a stop in stop-and-go traffic on I-294. The other driver failed to stop and/or reduce the speed of his vehicle and struck the plaintiff’s vehicle. The front of the at fault driver’s vehicle hit the rear of our client’s vehicle in a rear-end type of collision.
The Illinois State Police responded to the scene of the collision. After speaking to both parties, the investigation officer placed the defendant at fault for the collision. The investigating officer determined that he was distracted and exceeding safe speed for conditions at the time of the collision.
The defendant failed to stop and/or reduce his speed to avoid a collision, was driving at an excessive rate of speed, failed to pay proper attention to the road conditions, and failed to exercise due care for the safety of those in the area, including our client.
Following the collision, the plaintiff had an immediate onset of neck, back, chest, and shoulder pain.
Shortly after, she sought medical care from a physician. She complained of pain in her mid back and upper back that was worse with movement. A history was taken, a physical examination was performed and diagnostic tests were ordered. She was diagnosed with upper back strain, instructed to rest, and to have a physical therapy evaluation. Her doctor instructed her to follow up in one week.
Due to ongoing and increasing pain, our injured client returned to her physician for treatment on October 23, 2010. She complained of increased pain in her upper back as well as pain in her mid back, arms, and chest. Because of the increased pain, she was unable to obtain the physical therapy evaluation as instructed the physician. A physical examination revealed supraspinous tenderness and weakness in her arms. The doctor diagnosed her with back pain, instructed her to not lift or pull anything heavier than five pounds, and once again ordered a physical therapy evaluation. Her doctor also ordered a CT scan of her chest.
Following her physician’s recommendation, she attended physical therapy on October 27, 2010 and November 4, 2010. She complained of pain in her right hip as well as pain in her back and neck. She stated that the pain traveled from her left shoulder through the middle of her back and down to her right hip. The client described numbness in her gluteal region as well as numbness going down to her left hand. She also said she had stabbing pain that started in her back and spread to her check. She was diagnosed with neck sprain/strain, lumbar sprain, and brachial neuritis or radiculitis. During therapy, she engaged in stretching exercises as well as therapeutic exercises to decrease her pain and increase her functionality.
Our client next saw her doctor on October 28, 2010, where she continued to complain of upper and lower back pain as well as pain in her chest. An X-ray of her cervical spine was ordered, which revealed moderate decreased height of the C4-C5 disc space. The doctor instructed her not to lift, push, or pull more than five pounds and referred her to an orthopedic surgeon.
She next treated with a surgeon at the Illinois Bone and Joint Institute on November 3, 2010 for an orthopedic consultation. She complained of pain in her neck, mid back, and low back. She said the pain was sharp, severe, and constant and that it was worse with standing, walking, sitting, lying down, and climbing up stairs. The doctor took a history and preformed an examination. He also reviewed the X-rays of her cervical spine. He diagnosed her with low back pain and cervical and thoracic strain.
The client saw another physician on November 9, 2010, complaining of left arm pain and back pain. A history was taken and she was examined. Based on his assessment, the doctor diagnosed her with cervical radiculopathy and recommended an MRI.