When a distracted driver caused a pileup that left a hard-working hairstylist with significant injuries and intractable pain, the Law Office of Matthew A. Lathrop was there to help set things right. Read on to learn how Matt and his team overcame denials of liability from the insurance company and COVID-related court delays to obtain justice and fair damages for this client.

The Accident

Our client, a professional hairstylist in her late 30s, stopped at a red light on an in-town highway with a speed limit of approximately 40 mph. As she waited for the light to turn green, a distracted driver approached from the rear and crashed into the vehicle behind her. This collision pushed the struck vehicle into our client’s and pushed her vehicle into the one in front of it.

As a result of the crash, our client suffered a concussion and was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome, which caused headaches and cognitive struggles requiring occupational and speech therapies to resolve. Doctors also treated her for neck, hip, and lower back pain. While her cognition has improved and much of her pain has lessened, she continues to live with unyielding neck pain, making it impossible to work her previous 50 to 60-hour-per-week schedule.

COVID Delays Necessary Treatment and a Just Resolution

Our client was injured and started treatment before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, when COVID arrived in Nebraska, it dramatically delayed her medical and monetary recoveries. We filed a lawsuit against the distracted driver’s insurance company at the beginning of COVID but had to wait two years for the courthouse to open back up to get a trial date. During this time, our client struggled physically and financially.

The Investigation

The driver who caused the pileup admitted to being distracted by her GPS as she struggled to find her destination and pled guilty in traffic court to failure to yield and following too closely. 

Her insurance company, however, did not admit liability for our client’s injuries. They fought her claim of concussion and post-concussion syndrome tooth and nail. Despite no previous complaints or treatment, they attempted to attribute the neck and back pain—and the degenerative damage shown on her X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans—to normal, age-related wear and tear.

The opposing side made it clear they were ready to play hardball. They requested our client’s social media passwords in discovery and went through everything with a fine-tooth comb, made her sit for a lengthy deposition, and had her examined by their own hired-gun doctor, who not surprisingly said her injuries were caused by aging.

But we were prepared—and we didn’t back down.  Sometimes, an insurance company wants to test our clients and us to see if we really intend to go to court.  So, we prepare every case for trial. 

The Resolution

Our trial date for this case was set for September 2023. However, a few weeks before the trial, the other driver’s insurance company conceded liability and damages and paid our client a confidential policy limit settlement. During our investigation, we discovered that the distracted driver had a business policy on her vehicle, which allowed us to recover greater compensation for our client.

More to Come

At the Law Office of Matthew A. Lathrop, we’re not satisfied until we’ve turned over every stone in search of compensation for our clients. We’re currently pursuing a claim against our hairstylist client’s own underinsured motorist coverage and will update this article when we’ve achieved a resolution.

We Can Help You Fight for the Justice and Compensation You Deserve

If you were hurt by someone else’s negligence, our accomplished Nebraska car accident attorney can help you understand your rights, explore your options, and stand up to the insurance companies to recover fair damages. Contact our Omaha law office to request a free initial consultation.