Nerve Damage in Arm from Car Accident Results in Two Surgeries - $145,000

This 37 year old restaurant cook was a passenger in a vehicle that was rear-ended while waiting to turn right onto a highway from a red light. There was no documented damage to either vehicle. At the time of impact, he was holding onto a handle bar on the dash, to the left of the passenger seat, with his left hand. Vibrations that ricocheted through his left hand and into his wrist and elbow initially caused a numb feeling, later developing into severe pain with tingling/numbness in the 4th and 5th fingers of his left hand. He was diagnosed with left cubital tunnel syndrome with ulnar nerve irritation, as well as medial epicondylitis. He received an injection and was referred for further evaluation. The specialist noted elbow pain with the hand parasthesia and weakness, and confirmed cubital tunnel syndrome before recommending ulnar nerve transposition surgery. Unfortunately, during the post-surgical healing process, the nerve slipped, causing ulnar nerve subluxation over the medial epicondyle, producing pain and radiating parasthesia from the elbow to the ulnar side of the hand and a very sensitive spot over the medial epicondyle. A second surgery was therefore required for revision subcutaneous transposition. Following the second surgery, he was left with pain and sensitivity on the medial side of his elbow, causing pain with work activities. After multiple diagnostic imaging and injection efforts, it was determined that he likely had a cutaneous neuroma in the incision, which was likely to cause medial elbow discomfort and limit his activities ongoing. His medical expenses totaled approximately $36,000. His lost wages following his two surgeries were approximately $2,500.

The No-Fault carrier was initially slow to process claims, and only did so once Denise Fullerton filed arbitration against them to force the issue. Shortly thereafter, all claims were paid up to the point of exhausting the $20,000 medical limit. Wage loss claims were paid at the same time.

Prior to Denise’s representation, the insurer for the at-fault party attempted to resolve their liability for injuries to this man with a payment of only $500. By presenting the claim to this insurer supported by expert opinions of the surgeon as well as medical illustrations, Denise was subsequently able to obtain the full $50,000 in policy limits from the at-fault party’s insurer, as well as another $75,000 in underinsured motorist (UIM) benefits from the insurer of the vehicle he was occupying at the time of the impact. The remaining medical expenses were extinguished with negotiated discounted payments.

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