1/22/2006 - Posted by:
Gallagher Law Firm
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Amber Vought vs Stephanie Berendt, and Suzanne Berendt

Amber Vought vs Stephanie Berendt, and Suzanne Berendt
in the Circuit Court for the County of Livingston.

On the day after Thanksgiving in the year 2000, Amber, age 17, was a passenger in her friend’s automobile which was owned by the friend’s parents. The girls went to the 12 Oaks Mall to take advantage of the after Thanksgiving sales, arriving early in the morning; however, her friend Stephanie, ran a stop sign and crashed into the side of a bus.

Amber declined medical attention at the scene even though she was dazed and not thinking clearly, and her shoulder hurt. Then began a saga of misery for this young girl who was an Honor student and in her senior year of High School. Eventually she was not able to sit in the classroom and had to be home-schooled, missed her High School Graduation and the Senior Prom.

The initial x-rays for Amber did not reflect any fractures, however; as a result of her continued severe pain, her treating physician eventually ordered a bone scan which revealed that Amber had sustained a fracture of the sacrum. After two years of treatment, physical therapy, painful injections and prolotherapy, her treating doctor of physical medicine opinioned that Amber received in the car crash with the bus not only the fracture of the Sacrum but trauma to the ligaments that run through the sacrum, and that, even though these soft tissue injuries would not manifest themselves in any kind of an x-ray, that the injuries were real and debilitating.

Amber also received a traumatic brain injury which impacted her ability to focus and concentrate. She had to work much harder at her school studies. The case mediated for $450,000.00. The Defendant settled the case two days prior to the trial for an amount in excess of that awarded in the mediation rather than proceed to trial.

This excellent result occurred even though there was no objective evidence of injury; no objective testing to confirm the treating doctors opinions that the ligaments in the sacrum area were bruised. It required extensive effort and work with the treating physicians over a course of years to achieve cooperation and a willingness to give such opinion testimony.
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