A Newark woman whose knee was hit by a car twice in one day will receive over $4 million in damages, personal injury attorneys in New Jersey report, thanks to a verdict from an Essex County jury earlier this fall. Although the court has yet to determine the actual amount that the plaintiff will recover, the victory is a welcomed response for the plaintiff, who has been involved in the legal battle while dealing with medical complications since the 2010 accident.
On January 17, 2010, Cynthia Conyers, the plaintiff, was injured in two back-to-back car accidents that left her with lower back disc protrusions, as well as a fracture and tear in her left knee. Both injuries have cost her time and money in surgeries, physical therapy and ongoing repairs.
Conyers v. Spring
The first accident occurred when William Spring, of Jersey City, rear-ended a car in which Conyers was a front seat passenger. The car containing Conyers was stopped at a red light. After the crash, Conyers stepped out of the vehicle. Another car, driven by Newark resident Louis Wilson, collided with Spring’s car and pushed the vehicle into Conyers’ knee. Her official list of injuries includes a three-level lower-back disc protrusion from the first accident, and a displaced fracture of the tibial plateau below her left knee and a meniscal tear from the second.
At the trial, the medical expert reported the extent of Conyers’ injuries, as well as the lasting impact it has had on her day-to-day life. Conyers is now 60 and walks with the assistance of a cane. To correct her injuries, she has undergone open reduction and fixation surgery, as well as a procedure to repair her meniscus. Additionally ,she takes medication daily to stabilize her knee pain and runs the risk of arthritic degeneration in her knee.
Conyers was also forced to retire from her job as a gym teacher, as she can no longer move to keep up with her students. In her lawsuit, she sought restitution from both Spring and Wilson for her injuries, her medical bills and the loss of her livelihood.
Two Cars, Two Insurance Claims
Part of the legal battle involved the insurance claims, personal injury attorneys say. The lawsuit was complicated by the fact that the accident involved two drivers and two separate insurance claims. Wilson had a $50,000 policy and conceded his liability and proximate cause for the second accident, so he deposited the full amount of his policy with the court. The other driver, Spring, settled before trial for the full amount of his $50,000 policy.
However, Conyers still had to contend with her own insurance provider, State Farm. She has filed an additional lawsuit against the company, claiming they acted in bad faith by not paying $50,000 from her $100,000 underinsured motorist coverage policy. She claims that State Farm asked to apply the first $50,000 towards the second accident claim because a $100,000 claim would eliminate underinsured motorist coverage liabilities.
When you have been injured in an accident involving multiple vehicles, you may have to go through several hoops with a variety of insurance companies to get a proper resolution. At Helmer, Conley, and Kasselman, PA, our personal injury attorneys represent clients who have been injured in any type of accident and have had trouble dealing with insurance companies, including their own.