$425,000 Recovery: Workers’ Comp – Rear End Crash
Vernon Jones Injury
A St. Louis County jury said the driver of a shuttle bus rear ended by another vehicle was entitled to $342,020.32 after viewing evidence that the spinal injuries he suffered were not adequately represented by damage at the scene.
Vernon Jones was on the job driving a shuttle bus for his employer on Airport Road near St. Louis Lambert International Airport. According to information presented at trial, Jones was stopped at a traffic signal when a car driven by the defendant, Ronald Bova, at an estimated 20 to 30 miles per hour hit Jones’ vehicle from the rear and “submarined” beneath the rear of the shuttle bus.
Plaintiff’s attorney Spencer Farris explained that Jones experienced leg and back pain shortly after the crash. Jones, who had a pre-existing back injury and no health insurance, sought medical care through the Division of Workers’ Compensation.
At first, Jones’ employer denied the crash and subsequent injury were work related since Jones had been hit by another car. After a year of negotiation, Jones’ employer did agree to pay for an MRI and possibly provide some medical care. Ultimately, it was determined that Jones suffered from a burst fracture at the L-1 area of his spine.
Before the MRI took place, Jones went to a hospital emergency room where the fractured vertebrae was diagnosed, resulting in surgery with the attachment of medical hardware to create a fusion between the spinal regions from T-12 and L-2.
“I really think what happened is that the defendant’s car went under my client’s car and kind of tossed it up. That’s why there is no property damage. The photographs show little or no damage. But he still absorbed a crash to his back,” Farris said.
After adding interest for delay by the insurance company, Jones collected $425,000.00.
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