On May 9, 2009, Christopher Billmann, 27, was stopped on Route 176 in Island Lake, Ill., when his car was rear-ended by the defendant Brian Freeman in what was described as a violent impact. Billmann sustained a lumbosacral sprain, soft tissue injuries and a bulging disc. Billmann claimed to have received $16,181 in medical bills, which were unpaid.
The defendant Freeman admitted negligence but disputed the nature and extent of Billmann’s alleged injuries. Billmann’s treating physicians opined that Billmann suffered a lumbosacral sprain that turned chronic. Another doctor, an orthopedic surgeon, testified that Billmann’s bulging disc was due to the trauma, since Billmann had no prior symptoms. He required an MRI and an injection for the pain derived from the bulging disc.
The defendant Freeman brought his own expert orthopedic surgeon to the jury trial who offered the opinion that Billmann suffered a self-limiting lumbosacral sprain, which required only six to eight visits to a chiropractor or physical therapist and that all other treatment was unnecessary and unreasonable.
The jury deliberated for only one hour before returning a verdict of $36,756 made up of the following damages:
• $16,756 for medical expenses;
• $10,000 for pain and suffering; and
• $10,000 for loss of normal life.
The attorney representing Billmann was Hans Mast. Before trial, Mast made a demand to settle the case for $20,000. He asked the jury to return a verdict of $40,000. The only offer to settle on behalf of Freeman was $15,000.
Christopher J. Billmann v. Brian C. Freeman, No. 10 AR-587 (McHenry County, Ill.).
Kreisman Law Offices has been handling automobile accident cases, rear-end automobile crashes, truck accident cases, bicycle accident cases and motorcycle accident 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 38 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Westchester, Worth, New Lenox, Niles, Morton Grove, Des Plaines, Arlington Heights, Antioch, Crystal Lake, Island Lake, Bellwood, Elk Grove Village, Countryside, South Holland, Chicago Heights, Blue Island and Alsip, Ill.
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