Our client was driving to an art store to get brushes to paint her 4-year-old daughter’s playhouse when an elderly man took a turn too wide and clipped the front of our client’s car. The jolt from the collision caused our client to hit her left elbow on her driver’s side door. Our client did not feel any pain at first, so she exchanged insurance information with the other driver and went home.
Our client started to feel soreness in her left arm and numbness in her left hand later that evening, and went to the emergency room to make sure she was alright. The doctors said she had sprains and strains and sent her home with prescriptions for Norco and Motrin.
Unfortunately, the numbness in our client’s hand never went away. Our client’s primary doctor eventually referred her to a specialist who ordered a nerve conduction study. The nerve conduction study revealed that our client was suffering from “cubital tunnel syndrome.” This is a condition in which the ulnar nerve (also known as the “funny bone” nerve) gets compressed in the elbow. Our client underwent a cubital tunnel release surgery on her elbow in order to free the ulnar nerve from its entrapment.
Cubital tunnel syndrome is usually the result of repetitive elbow stress, but we knew that our client’s condition and resulting surgery were due to the crash. The medical evidence was on our side, because our client never had any symptoms before and she reported the numbness to the emergency room doctors on the evening of the collision.
We made a policy limits settlement demand to the insurance company that laid out the medical evidence and explained the devastating toll the injury and surgery had taken on our client’s life. The insurance company knew that letting this case go to court was too risky, so it paid the $50,000 policy limits without having to file a lawsuit.