$276,000 Jury Verdict for Woman Driver Injured in Rear-End Crash

On Oct. 12, 2010, the plaintiff Christina Marshall was driving southbound on Route 71 in Ottawa, Ill.  When stopped behind a line of backed up traffic waiting for a school bus to drop off children, the driver traveling behind Marshall slammed on his brakes and swerved his van onto the northbound lane to avoid striking the plaintiff’s vehicle. The driver behind the van, the defendant, Callie K. Steith, 27, also braked but was unable to stop in time and rear-ended the Marshall vehicle.

Marshall, 25, contended that the impact caused a herniated C5-6 disc, which led to an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion.

The defendant argued that Marshall made an unnecessary sudden stop, the view of Steith of the roadway in traffic was obscured because it was downhill, the crash was low speed with minimal impact and Marshall suffered only a neck strain.

The defendant Steith was allowed to introduce vehicle photos showing no damage to either vehicle over the objection of Marshall’s counsel.

The jury’s verdict of $276,008 included $201,008 for past medical expenses; $75,000 for past pain and suffering.

The attorney representing Christina Marshall was Joseph A. Mueller.  The demand to settle the case before trial was the automobile policy limits of $100,000, which was withdrawn. The jury was asked to return a verdict of $400,000. The only offer made by the defendant Callie Steith was $20,000.

At this jury trial, the plaintiff introduced experts in orthopedics and neurosurgery. The defendant presented an expert in neurosurgery.

Christina N. Kantor Marshall v. Callie K. Steith, No. 12 L 48 (LaSalle County, Illinois).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling automobile crash cases, truck collisions, motorcycle injury cases and bicycle injury cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 40 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Evanston, Naperville, Wheaton, Orland Park, River Grove, Waukegan, Joliet, Elgin, Geneva, Aurora, Elmhurst, Bridgeview, Mundelein and Lincolnshire, Ill.

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