This case involved an uninsured motorist arbitration hearing that stemmed from a motor vehicle accident that happened on February 12, 2003, on Mount Aukum Road in Amador County. The uninsured motorist crossed the center line and struck the claimant’s pickup head on. The claimant said that he “felt like I just got slammed into the steering wheel.” On the date of the accident, the claimant was 46 years old and worked in a family business.
The claimant’s injuries included headaches and pain in his neck, chest, shoulders, right wrist, and left foot. He was seen at his primary care physician’s office and by two other physicians and also had two separate courses of physical therapy. His medical bills totaled $6,034.00 and he claimed $7,188.07 for prescription medications, although Brian argued that most of the use of medications was unrelated to the accident. Brian contended that the claimant had fully recovered from his injuries within a few months after the accident and presented supporting testimony by deposition from one of the treating physicians and in person by Douglas Haselwood, M.D., who performed an independent medical examination. The claimant alleged that his symptoms were significantly reduced while he was on Celebrex, but that his symptoms reappeared when he stopped using it because of the Celebrex heart attack scare. The claimant’s insurer had paid $5,000.00 for medical payments coverage. He did not claim loss of income.
The offer before the arbitration hearing was $20,000.00. A demand was never made. The arbitrator awarded $20,012.16.