Rear-ender results in UIM arbitration award. $59K. Los Angeles County.


Plaintiff says the impact caused neck and back problems; defendant disputes extent of injury and necessity of treatment.

The Case

  • Case Name: Jesus Lopez v. Allstate Indemnity Company
  • Date of Arbitration Award : Monday, October 28, 2019
  • Type of Case: Underinsured Motorist
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Richard A. Stone (Ret.)
  • Plaintiffs:
    Jesus Lopez
  • Defendants:
    Allstate Indemnity Company
  • Type of Result: Arbitration Award

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $59,866.12

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Southwest Legal Group by Theodore Cox, Woodland Hills.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Law Offices of Gregory J. Lucett by Karen Brockenbrow and Ani Garibyan, Glendale.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    On or about June 29, 2014 claimant (46 at the time of the accident) was stopped at a red light in his 2008 Mercedes-B CLS550 in the number-two lane of westbound Sherman Way, at the intersection of SR-170 and Sherman Way in North Hollywood. At that time, the uninsured driver was also travelling westbound in the number-two lane of Sherman Way, approaching the the same intersection in his gray Toyota Venza when the uninsured driver rear-ended  claimant's  vehicle.

    The  collision  damaged  claimant's  car,  and  claimant sustained injuries for which he received medical treatment.

    At the time of the accident, claimant was wearing his seatbelt and the airbags did not  deploy. After the accident, claimant got out of his vehicle and exchanged information with the other driver.

    Both vehicles were drivable from the scene. Claimant did not seek medical treatment for more than one week and testified he had no pain for two to three days after the accident.

    On July 7, 2014, eight days post-accident, claimant presented to his primary care physician (PCP) at Kaiser Permanente seeking treatment for a cold sore on his lip. Claimant did not mention the vehicle accident or any related injuries despite his claim of significant pain for which he was taking over-the-counter medication.

    On July 10, 2014, claimant again presented for treatment at Kaiser. Notes from his July 10, 2014 visit confirm he was seen for left arm numbness and left shoulder pain that began one month earlier, which claimant claimed the doctor had incorrectly attributed to exercising. The records also indicated that claimant's neck had decreased range of motion and that there was pain with extension, rotation to the left and lateral flexion to the left. The July 10, 2014 Kaiser records also indicated a primary-encounter diagnosis of cervical radiculopathy to left arm and that his motor vehicle had been rear-ended. Claimant noted the earlier error in the records regarding exercising and later sought to have them amended to properly indicate the cause of his pain was the motor vehicle accident.

    More than three weeks after the accident, on July 21, 2014, claimant underwent chiropractic treatment outside of Kaiser with Armain Heshmati, D.C. At that time, it was reported that claimant injured his neck, mid- and lower back and left shoulder in the accident. Claimant subsequently underwent 25 treatment visits from July 21, 2014 through October 23, 2014.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That the impact of the rear-end collision was significant and his car was pushed four to six feet.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    That claimant's medical treatment was unreasonable and excessive. Respondent also disputed the need for any future treatment for claimant as a result of the June 29, 2014 accident.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Cervical spine sprain/strain, cervical disc protrusion, thoracic sprain/strain, lumbar spine sprain/strain, left shoulder sprain, left shoulder derangement, and ligament instability.

Additional Notes

Approximately $13,800 in medical payments was paid by Allstate. Claimant demanded the balance of $100,000 policy which was $86,200. Allstate offered $1,500.