Martha was a wife, outdoor enthusiast, skier, exercise guru, and incredibly hard worker at the time of the accident. She was an avid Orange Theory Fitness go-er and enjoyed hiking, kayaking, walking, and biking. Prior to the motor vehicle accident, Martha used to bike approximately 40 miles roundtrip from Marymoor Park to South Lake Union. In addition to biking, Martha would go on steep hikes with her husband and even went backpacking. Unfortunately, Martha’s activity level took a backseat when she was involved in a car accident in 2018.
On February 1, 2018, Martha was travelling with her husband as a passenger. The two were travelling eastbound on State Route 900 near mile point marker 21. Martha’s vehicle came to a stop. The vehicle directly behind Martha’s came to a stop as well. Defendant G who was the third vehicle, failed to come to a stop, collided with the vehicle directly behind Martha’s vehicle causing the middle vehicle to collide with the rear of Martha’s vehicle. This was a three-car pileup.
It was no secret that Martha was experiencing pain complaints prior to the 2018 motor vehicle accident. Unfortunately, Martha had been involved in a motor vehicle accident in 2016. Prior to the 2018 motor vehicle accident, Martha was still experiencing left shoulder, mid back, low back, and hip pain. However, her pain complaints were no longer daily and when she would experience pain, Martha rated the pain as a 4/10. Further, it is important to note that Martha never had prior pain complaints of radiation from her right shoulder into her right fingers. Despite Martha’s prior pain complaints, the revolving door of treatment had returned.
Immediately following the motor vehicle accident, Martha presented to the emergency room at Swedish complaining of headaches, neck pain, left shoulder pain, and mid back pain. Martha underwent a CT of her head, cervical spine, and thoracic spine and a left shoulder X-ray. Martha suffered neck, back, and shoulder injuries when the defendant driver rear-ended her at a stop light. Following a year or so of conservative care, including physical therapy, chiropractic therapy, and massage therapy, Martha attempted steroid injections. While she had experienced some relief, her pain had ultimately returned. In October of 2020, Martha underwent C5-C6 artificial disc replacement, but she continued to have pain in her day-to-day activities.
During her course of treatment, Martha slowly returned to biking, the length of her rides had dramatically decreased to approximately 10 to 12 miles roundtrip. Martha also has been unable to return to the steep hikes she used to partake in with her husband and the burden has mainly shifted to him to carry all of their gear. Martha continues to live with the reminder of this accident daily. While Martha has scars on her neck from the surgery which has emotionally engraved this traumatic incident in her brain, her neck, shoulder, and back continue to be problematic. Martha is incredibly embarrassed about her scar and lives with the reminder of this scar every time she looks in the mirror.
In advance of trial, this case went to Mediation. Defendant G.’s experts claimed that the Plaintiff only suffered a strain/sprain due to the collision and that the need for surgery was due to degenerative conditions and prior motor vehicle accidents. However, Martha’s treating surgeon testified that prior to the motor vehicle accident she had no radicular symptoms and thus her complaints could not be due to prior accidents. Ultimately, Martha’s case was settled at mediation for $225,000.00.