Rosella, her daughter, and grandson were driving from their home in Louisiana to a wedding in South Carolina. They stopped to get gas in Madison, Georgia and were driving back to the interstate. Another driver was turning left out of a restaurant and didn’t see Rosella coming. She pulled out and struck Rosella’s car, causing it to lose control, flip over and crash.
Rosella suffered a herniated disc in the wreck and ultimately required a cervical fusion surgery to fix it. Despite the Georgia State Patrol finding the other driver at fault, the other driver’s insurance company denied responsibility for the wreck. That’s when Rosella reached out to BBGA attorney Michael Ruppersburg. Michael filed suit, prepared the case for trial and was able to secure a $450,000 settlement, nearly three times Rosella’s medical bills. Notably, the case was filed in federal court in Athens, a conservative venue not known for significant verdicts and settlements.
Here’s what Rosella had to say about Michael’s representation:
Injuries, Medical Treatment & Surgery
EMS transported Rosella by ambulance to a nearby hospital where she was treated for her injuries and then released. When she got home to Louisiana, she saw her family doctor and chiropractor, both of whom diagnosed her with strains and sprains of her neck and back. The doctors also diagnosed her with cervical radiculopathy, which is where a herniated disc in your neck causes pain to radiate down your arm.
Rosella’s back got better with treatment, but she continued to have neck pain and radiculopathy. After 6 months of treatment without improvement, her doctor referred her to an orthopedic surgeon. The orthopedic surgeon ordered an MRI of her neck, which showed a herniated disc at the C5-6 level. The herniated disc was impinging her spinal cord and the surrounding nerves, meaning it was pressing on the cord and nerves, and causing her neck pain and radiculopathy.
The orthopedic surgeon ordered a series of three epidurals for Rosella’s herniated disc. Epidurals are where a needle is used to inject a steroid into the herniated disc to calm down the nerves and make them less painful. Rosella underwent the epidurals and while they helped for a while, the pain and radiculopathy came back.
Because Rosella kept having neck pain and radiculopathy, her orthopedic surgeon recommended that she have a cervical fusion surgery. A cervical fusion surgery involves making an incision in the patient’s throat to reach the patient’s spine and removing the herniated disc, replacing it with a bone graft and then “fusing” it to the bone above and below using metal screws and plates.
Rosella chose to undergo the surgery and it thankfully went well. While she required several months to recover and several more months of physical therapy, she has made a full recovery and is pain-free and able to lead a full and active life again.
Lawsuit & Settlement
Michael filed a lawsuit in the case and prepared it for trial. Because the other driver and her insurance company, State Farm, continued to deny responsibility, Michael retained an accident reconstruction expert witness who helped prove the accident was indeed the other driver’s fault. Michael also made multiple trips to Louisiana to meet with and record the video testimony of Rosella’s primary care doctor, chiropractor and orthopedic surgeons.
Shortly before the case was set to go to trial, State Farm offered a $450,000 settlement, which Rosella chose to accept. We’re pleased to have helped Rosella with her case and glad we could secure a favorable result for her.