On August 4, 2003, at approximately 5:00 p.m., in Jersey City, New Jersey, the plaintiff was stopped in traffic in the left-hand lane of northbound Routes 1 & 9. Directly behind her was another stopped vehicle. Suddenly the driver of the vehicle behind her drove over the concrete island to their left. That driver then crossed an emergency lane and continued into the northbound express lanes, where traffic was moving at high speed striking a truck. The high-speed collision propelled the vehicle back over the emergency lane, and back over the concrete island into plaintiff's local lane. The vehicle then smashed head-on into plaintiff's driver's side.
Plaintiff braced herself with both hands on the wheel just before impact. Although plaintiff was seatbelted, the impact whipped her head and body back and forth and smashed her left arm and shoulder on her driver's side door. Plaintiff had to be extricated from the vehicle by the "jaws of life."
An MRI revealed a tear of the right rotator cuff with spurring of the acromioclavicular joint. Later MRI testing of her cervical spine revealed a disc herniation at C5-6, contacting the anterior aspect of the spinal cord. EMG/NCV testing indicated cervical radiculitis at C6. The plaintiff underwent right-shoulder surgery, including distal clavicle excision, acromioplasty, and rotator-cuff repair.
The personal injury case settled shortly after a three-member panel arbitration hearing involving the plaintiff's UM carrier.
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