$700,000 Car Accident / Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Client: Lindsay S.; County: Sacramento

We represented a 27-year-old woman who was stopped at a red light when the defendant rear-ended the car directly behind her, pushing it into her vehicle. The property damage to our client’s vehicle was minor, but ultimately her injuries were serious. Immediately following the collision, our client felt pain in her left foot. However, she thought nothing of it initially as she focused more on her neck and back injuries. Eventually, the pain in her foot increased and she saw a podiatrist and pain specialist. Her foot pain continued to get worse and she was referred to a specialist who treats Complex Regional Pain Syndrome patients. This syndrome was known for years as Reflex Sympathy Disorder. It is a very painful condition – typically involving limbs – that usually starts with a minor trauma to the area.

The defense in this case argued that the forces involved were not sufficient to cause ANY injury and also that our client did not have CRPS, but instead had pain because of psychological issues. The defense hired a world-renowned orthopedic foot surgeon, as well as a well-known defense expert who claimed that CRPS does not exist.

Demas Law Group, P.C., hired the best available experts and took the deposition of the defense orthopedic expert who eventually conceded that CRPS does exist and that he himself had diagnosed CRPS on his own patients. After conducting extensive research on CRPS, we were able to get the defense orthopedic expert to agree to the criteria of diagnosing CRPS and prove that our client met the criteria. Shortly after this deposition, the defense withdrew another expert who claimed CRPS does not exist, and the case settled a couple of weeks before trial for $700,000. In light of the low amount of incurred medical bills, the mediator who settled the case commented that it was probably the largest settlement he had ever seen in similar cases.