A jury was asked to determine if an auto accident caused an aneurysm. In this case, a man claimed a number of injuries after an auto accident of moderate impact. The plaintiff said that he was able to get out of his vehicle after the accident, call his family, and decline emergency transportation to the emergency room.
The most serious of these injuries was a brain aneurysm of the basilar artery. Surgery was necessary to place a stent. The stent failed, which caused a pontine stroke. This required additional surgery.
Medical costs amounted to more than $400,000. The driver of the car that caused the accident had $100,000 in liability insurance and $400,000 in Uninsured Motorist Insurance. The plaintiff claimed that the auto accident caused the aneurysm. He asked for $800,000.
During the trial, the plaintiff’s treating neurologist testified that the aneurysm was a direct result of the auto accident. He supported this opinion by pointing to the type of aneurysm and its size, and the plaintiff’s claim that there were no prior complaints of aneurysm-related symptoms. The neurologist also explained that the plaintiff suffered from “intrinsically weak blood vessels of the brain.” This condition, according to the neurologist, was exacerbated by the trauma of the auto accident. Thus, the neurologist attributed the aneurysm to the accident.
While testifying during the trial, the plaintiff admitted that he had experienced severe migraine headaches, dizziness, and blurred vision in the past. He testified that visited an emergency room with these symptoms before the accident occurred. The physician assistant who treated the plaintiff on this occasion testified that the plaintiff had indicated that the particular migraine was worse than his earlier migraines. This testimony undermined the plaintiff’s claim that there were no prior complaints of aneurysm-related symptoms.
The defense team engaged a neurovascular surgeon from a local teaching hospital. This expert reviewed all of the plaintiff’s medical records. The records included both MRI and CT scans of the plaintiff’s brain. This expert testified during the trial that there was no “objective evidence” that the auto accident caused the aneurysm.
He testified that if the accident had caused the aneurysm, it would have quickly grown to its current size – a matter of just a few weeks. Further, if the aneurysm had grown this quickly, there would have been significant swelling in the brain stem. The location of the aneurysm would have caused the brain stem swelling.
The expert also testified that after extensive review of the relevant literature he was unable to locate a single case of a brain aneurysm resulting from an auto accident unless the injuries included partial decapitation.
The jury deliberated for less than two hours. They returned a verdict of $25,000 for the plaintiff.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, and through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to financial compensation for the hurts and harms resulting from the accident. When you call Altizer Law, P.C., our team carefully analyzes the details of the accident and of your injuries and medical treatment. If we believe the facts support a demand for compensation for those injuries, we will prepare a case on your behalf. Bettina Altizer, a trusted auto accident attorney, will represent you in either mediation or in a court trial with her usual tenacity and determination to ensure that you receive the maximum appropriate compensation for your hurts and harms.