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Surgery Keeps Woman Out of Work


A woman was driving her car sometime on June 10, 2005. She was involved in a vehicular accident. The impact caused her neck to snap back and her entire body was shaken violently. She lost consciousness and she was taken to the hospital by the emergency services. She experienced excruciating pain in her neck and left shoulder. An x-ray was taken of her and she was observed overnight in the hospital. The next day she was discharged but was advised to go for follow-up a neurologist. The woman experienced tingling and numbness from her back to her hips and from her shoulders to her fingers. Her neurologist advised her to undergo physical therapy.

The physical therapy alleviated the tingling sensation somewhat but the numbness persisted. The neurologist referred her to a neurosurgeon who advised her to undergo surgery on her spine. The woman was afraid of having any surgery on her spine so she went to a chiropractor instead.

Until the trial, the Queens woman testified that her arms, shoulders and hips become numb when she holds a position for a long period of time. She has trouble turning her neck and she has trouble lifting things. The woman is a nurse who works with newborns. She assists in deliveries of infants and she also cares for newborns in the intensive care unit. Her work involves standing for long periods of time which she now finds difficult to do without experiencing pain and numbness.

She claims that she has had prior injuries in 1986 when she sustained a concussion in a car accident. She also suffered injury in her right arm in 1992. She slipped on the ice in 2001 and at work a heating lamp fell on her which injured her shoulder.

The woman filed a cause of action in damages against the driver of the other car involved in the car accident. She claims that the car accident caused a serious injury for which she now claims compensation in damages.

In support of her claims, her personal Staten Island physician submitted a report which stated that the woman was undergoing treatment for chronic knee pain caused by sprain of the ligaments in the knee and in the patella. The doctor’s impression was that the woman needed a blood work-up to determine if she is suffering from rheumatism.

A radiologist also provided a report on an MRI which was performed on the woman’s neck at or around the time of the accident. The radiologist saw that there was degeneration in the cervical spine of the woman. There was narrowing and dehydration of her discs. The radiologist failed to state the probable cause of the degeneration in the woman’s cervical spine.

A psychiatrist who was also a neurologist also examined the woman and she reported that the range of motion of the woman’s lumbar spine was normal. However, there is nothing in the report that states what kind of range of motion tests were performed on the woman. The doctor opined that the woman has no neurological disability or limitations. The doctor could not see any reason why the woman cannot continue her usual and daily activities.

The opponent of the woman in this suit (the driver of the other car involved in the accident) filed a motion for summary dismissal asking that her cause of action be dismissed.

The Court held that the conflicting medical reports of the doctors who examined and treated the woman’s spine give rise to an issue of material fact that must be tried by a jury. The Court denied the motion for summary judgment and remanded the case for trial.

Did you sustain a spinal injury in a car accident? Are you thinking of filing a suit in damages? It would be most prudent if you seek the advice of a New York City Spinal Injury attorney. A New York Spinal Injury lawyer will inform you of the causes of action available to you given the facts of your case. At Stephen Bilkis and Associates, their NYC Spinal Injury lawyers are willing to represent you and to present evidence in your behalf. Come and visit any of the offices of Stephen Bilkis and Associates in the New York area and speak with any of their NY Spinal injury attorneys.

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