A female victim was walking her dog in a crosswalk when she was hit by a negligent driver. The victim was knocked down and suffered a foot injury. Although there was no fracture, it was extremely painful for several weeks thereafter requiring physical therapy. The claim was made that the stress of the event and the sequel of the injury triggered the victim’s underlying autoimmune disorder, resulting in alopecia universalis (severe hair loss) several months after the accident. The case settled at mediation for $100,000 plus the cost of mediation and an expert witness deposition fee.
The importance of this result is not the dollar amount. Rather, it is significant because it spotlights the legal principle that a wrongdoer “takes his victim as he finds her”, i.e., it is no defense that the victim was more susceptible to harm or injury. Of additional importance is the reminder that knowledgeable and credible medical experts are a must.