Our client was an avid bicyclist out for a morning ride when a careless driver made a left turn in front of him. The bicycle crashed into the side of the defendant’s car and launched our client onto the pavement. Our client landed on his shoulder and suffered a severe separation of his acromioclavicular (“AC”) joint.
The AC joint is a joint on the top of your shoulder where the clavicle (collarbone) connects to the scapula (shoulder blade). Traumatic forces can cause the ligaments that connect the collarbone and shoulder blade to stretch and tear. AC joint separations are classified into types, with Type 1 being the least serious and Type 6 being the most severe. Our client suffered a Type 5 separation.
An orthopedic surgeon at Palo Alto Medical Foundation repaired our client’s damaged AC joint by drilling holes in his collarbone and shoulder blade and reconnecting them with wire. It took six months, but our client eventually made an excellent recovery.
The at-fault driver’s insurance company tried to argue that our client’s case was worth was less than the $50,000 policy limits because his medical bills were only $14,000. We called the insurance company’s bluff by sending a forceful demand letter that detailed how our client’s pain and suffering were worth far more than the medical bills. The demand letter included pictures of our client’s dislocated shoulder and a YouTube link to a graphic video showing the invasiveness of the surgery that the doctor had performed. We gave the insurance company two weeks to turn over its $50,000 policy limits or face a lawsuit. The insurance company backed down and agreed to pay the $50,000 limits the day before the settlement deadline.