If a driver had insurance that met minimum legal requirements, but did not have payment limits high enough to pay for damage caused by an accident, that driver would be considered underinsured. In 2007, it was estimated that the amount of uninsured/underinsured motorists could average as high as 25% of the population in some areas.
The victim in this Florida uninsured motorists case was in the process of making a legal left turn when an uninsured/underinsured motorist failed to yield the right-of-way to a red traffic signal and plowed into the side of the victim’s vehicle, causing a massive collision in the middle of the intersection. Fortunately, the victim was wearing his seat belt when the accident occurred.
Paramedics transported the victim from the accident scene via ambulance to the emergency room with initial complaints of pain to his right shoulder and hip. After undergoing a thorough examination and diagnostic workup, he was eventually released with instructions to follow up with a physician. Subsequently, he followed up with a local chiropractic group with continued complaints of pain to the left shoulder and hip. In addition, he developed severe pain in the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine. As a result, he was diagnosed with severe traumatic cervical hyperflexion/hyperextension injury with radiculopathy to the left upper extremity, left shoulder arthralgia, severe traumatic thoracic myositis and severe traumatic lumbar myositis with sciatica to the left lower extremity.
Due to his complaints and the physical examination, the victim was immediately placed on a conservative chiropractic/therapeutic rehabilitation program consisting of ultrasound, electrical muscle stimulation, moist heat, cryotherapy, mechanical traction, massage therapy, active range of motion exercises and adjustment manipulations. In addition, he was immediately referred to an orthopedic surgeon. The orthopedic surgeon found that he was suffering from a shoulder separation, as well as what he believed to be a lumbar disc herniation with radiculopathy.
The orthopedic surgeon performed surgery on the victim’s lumbar spine at a local surgery center which included provocative discography at L2-L3, L3-L4, L4-L5 and L5-S1. The post-operative diagnosis included confirmed herniated discs at the L3-L4, L4-L5 and the L5-S1 levels. Based upon the discography findings, he was immediately scheduled for surgery on the lower back.