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$1.52 Million Binding Arbitration Verdict For Mild Brain Injury Sustained During Low Speed Collision

Attorneys Alan M. Feldman and Daniel J. Mann represented a plaintiff who was stopped at a light on Bustleton Avenue at its intersection with Trevose Road in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A van owned by an electrical contracting company had pulled out into the intersection ahead of the plaintiff, but because the light was red, the van had to back up to get out of the flow of traffic. It was during this low speed back-up that the van struck plaintiff’s Cadillac at a very low rate of speed.

There was no damage to the van, and there was only a small amount of damage to the bumper of the car in which plaintiff was driving. The plaintiff did not sustain a loss of consciousness, or any immediate memory problems or dizziness when the accident occurred. After the accident, she began to complain of headaches, but it was not for several months before her physicians diagnosed her with “post-concussion syndrome.” This diagnosis eventually led to neuropsychological testing being performed, which showed that the plaintiff had sustained a mild traumatic brain injury.

In order to demonstrate that the relatively insignificant contact between the vehicles resulted in a head injury, which had left this 55-year-old manager at the Internal Revenue Service completely disabled, Feldman Shepherd retained neuropsychological experts, who performed testing that established the existence of a head injury. Reports were also obtained from a neurology specialist, who opined that low-speed impacts such as this could result in head injuries. A psychiatric expert was also called upon to discuss the psychiatric effects of a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) on a person such as the plaintiff. Feldman Shepherd also retained a biomechanical expert, who analyzed the collision forces and the manner in which the plaintiff’s head would have moved in the accident, in order to demonstrate that the accident caused these injuries.

Economic and vocational reports were also obtained to support plaintiff’s lost earnings claim.

Both the plaintiff and the defendant agreed to place this case in binding arbitration in order to expedite a decision in this matter, and to foreclose any appeal that could occur at trial. The arbitrator awarded $1.52 million to the plaintiff and her husband.