$3.2 Million Settlement in Rear End Collision With 'Minor Damage'
On September 30, 2016, our client, Jessica Girard, was on her way home from work. She stopped to make a left hand turn. Lizette Guzman, not a party to the case, stopped behind her. The Guzman car was hit from behind by a pickup truck driven by defendant Eric Plourde and pushed into Girard's car.
What made the case difficult was that although there was heavy damage to the middle car, there appeared to be only light damage to the rear of Jessica's car. (See photo below.) The photo is deceiving. The reason there appears to be light property damage is because the middle car hit the tow hitch mounted under the bumper of Jessica's car. The tow hitch, made of heavy grade steel, was bent, twisted and sheared off its bolt on one end.
Jessica immediately felt back pain. She was taken by ambulance to the Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain. She was discharged that night, but returned three days later with excruciating back pain. She was diagnosed with a herniated lumbar disc. She had her first surgery five days after the collision; and over the next 2 years she had 4 more back surgeries.
Because of the appearance of light property damage to Jessica's car, the insurer put the case in their "low impact" basket. The insurer offered $34,500 before suit was filed. Jessica's lawsuit was filed on November 28, 2017.
In May of 2018, Jessica's husband Jason, was added as a plaintiff.
Three weeks before trial was set to begin the defendants' insurer agreed to pay $3.2 million in settlement of Jessica and Jason's claims.