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Scottsdale Car Accident Attorneys File New Lawsuit for Couple Injured in Crash

By: Scottsdale Injury Lawyers LLC February 14, 2023 no comments

Scottsdale Car Accident Attorneys File New Lawsuit for Couple Injured in Crash

Last week, the car accident attorneys at Scottsdale Injury Lawyers filed a new lawsuit. The new lawsuit was filed for a couple that was injured in a Scottsdale area car crash. The couple was rear-ended at a high rate of speed over two years ago and both suffered injuries.

The car accident lawsuit was filed in Maricopa County Superior Court. The case is entitled Updike v. Mackenzie and assigned case number CV2023-050456. The case is pending before the Honorable Melissa Julian in the Northeast courthouse.

The Details of the Car Accident

On February 9, 2021, at approximately 1:00 PM, the couple was travelling on Thomas Road near 27th Avenue. The husband was driving his Lexus sedan and his wife was riding in the front passenger seat. The husband stopped at a red light. He was then rear-ended at approximately 30-35 miles per hour by a vehicle behind him.

Photo of the vehicles at the crash scene.


The vehicle that crashed into the Lexus was a 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee. The Grand Cherokee is a much heavier vehicle than the Lexus. Due to the speed and weight of the Grand Cherokee, it propelled the Lexus forward. The Lexus was struck with enough force that it was pushed into the vehicle in front of it.

The Lexus hit the vehicle in front of it with enough force to cause front-end damage as well. As a result, the client’s vehicle sustained both rear end and front-end damage. The damage to the front-end included the embedding of a trailer tow hitch into the Lexus’ front left bumper. The Lexus was totaled as a result.


The Lexus was pushed into another vehicle causing damage from the tow hitch.

The Injuries Suffered in the Car Accident

The husband and wife were not expecting the crash. As a result, neither braced for the impact. Both the husband and wife were of advanced age. They were both in their late sixties at the time of the crash. The husband and wife suffered injuries as a result of the car accident.

The husband suffered a head injury and whiplash. He had headaches that lasted for several weeks and musculoskeletal pain in his neck. The husband was evaluated by a doctor the day after the crash for his symptoms. He was instructed to return home and rest. After his symptoms did not improve over the next several weeks, he returned for follow up treatment.

The husband was prescribed physical therapy. He attended several sessions before finishing his treatment at home. Eventually, he made a full recovery, but it took him several months before he was pain-free and his range of movement was fully restored.

However, the wife was not as fortunate. She suffered more serious injuries and never fully recovered. She suffered spinal injuries and has consistently experienced pain following the crash.

The wife had no prior neck or back problems in her life. In fact, she never had so much as a single chiropractic appointment, much less a massage. The crash caused pain throughout her neck to mid and low back requiring her to receive medical treatment ever since.

You Can Receive Compensation if Your Condition is Made Worse in A Car Accident

The wife’s diagnostic tests showed that she had serious degenerative spinal conditions. This included:

  • Cervical Spinal Stenosis
  • Cervical degenerative disc disease
  • Inflammatory spondylopathies in her cervical spine
  • Thoracic spine pain
  • Lumbar degenerative disc disease.

Since the wife never had pain or problems with her neck and back, the crash was the triggering event that caused her problems. Even though her spinal problems were the result of degenerative conditions, those conditions were not symptomatic and caused her no problems before the crash. The wife may have never had problems from these degenerative conditions if the crash never happened.

an individual is entitled to recover compensation for pre-existing medical conditions if those conditions are made worse by someone else’s fault.

Under Arizona law, an individual is entitled to recover compensation for pre-existing medical conditions if those conditions are made worse by someone else’s fault. Arizona’s form jury instruction provides the law which recognizes this. Personal Injury Damages Jury Instruction 2 is entitled “Pre-Existing Condition, Unusually Susceptible Plaintiff.” It sets forth:

“[If a] Plaintiff had any pre-existing physical or emotional condition that was aggravated or made worse by Defendant’s fault, you must decide the full amount of money that will reasonably and fairly compensate Plaintiff for that aggravation or worsening.

In sum, even if you were compromised and had a pre-existing injury, you can still recover compensation if someone else is at fault for making that condition worse.

Two People Can Suffer Different Degrees of Injuries from the Same Car Accident

It is not uncommon for different people to suffer different injuries from the same car accident. This is due to several factors. These factors include the following:

  • Health of the individual
  • Location of the individual in the vehicle
  • Forces exerted in the crash
  • Restraint systems used
  • Ability to brace for the crash or expect it

Our office has handled cases where multiple clients are involved in the same crash. One of the clients may sustain serious injuries, while the other client, who was riding in the same vehicle, may sustain minor injuries. This happens frequently and is the result of the factors listed above.

Last year, our office handled a car accident case where the father was driving his wife and adult son. The wife was in the front passenger seat and the son was in the rear right passenger seat. Their vehicle was in a t-bone car accident at a high rate of speed.

The wife suffered critical injuries including a fractured sternum and damage to internal organs. She was hospitalized for over a month in the intensive care unit. The son fractured his femur requiring a surgery to install a metal rod. He was also hospitalized for several weeks. The father walked away with no real injuries and only suffered minor bumps and bruises.

Auto Insurance Companies Only Pay Car Accident Claims When There Is Medical Treatment

The compensation paid for car accident claims can be very different. This is true, even if two people are in the exact same crash and suffer the exact same injuries. The insurance companies look at the amount of medical treatment someone receives and this is the number one factor they consider in paying car accident claims.

For example, two people can suffer identical injuries in a car accident, but if one receives medical treatment and the other does not, the insurance company will only pay compensation to the person who was treated. This is true even if the person who did not receive treatment was injured worse. That person could have elected to receive no treatment and push through a painful recovery at home. Nevertheless, the insurance company will not believe that the person who treated at home was injured.

The insurance companies look at the amount of medical treatment someone receives and this is the number one factor they consider in paying car accident claims.

Simply put, insurance companies do not reward individuals who do not receive treatment. They do not believe individuals who tell them they were actually hurt and that it took a long time to recover. The bottom line is that if there is no medical treatment, there is no evidence of injury to the insurance company. The insurance companies simply do not believe what individuals tell them, they want proof of injury in the form of medical treatment records.

Contact One of Our Experienced Car Accident Attorneys to Handle Your Car Accident Claim

If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident in Scottsdale or the greater Phoenix area, contact our law office today. We specialize in serious injury cases and regularly handle car accident claims. We have handled hundreds of car accident claims and can guide you through the process. With our legal advice, you will not be taken advantage of by the insurance companies and can follow the steps required for a maximum payout. A consultation is free and we only earn a fee if we recover money for you.

About the author: The content on this page was provided by Scottsdale personal injury attorney and civil rights lawyer Tony Piccuta. Piccuta graduated with honors from Indiana University-Maurer School of Law in Bloomington, Indiana (Previously Ranked Top 35 US News & World Report).  Piccuta took and passed the State bars of Arizona, California, Illinois and Nevada (all on the first try). He actively practices throughout Arizona and California. He is a trial attorney that regularly handles serious personal injury cases and civil rights lawsuits. He has obtained six and seven figure verdicts in both state and federal court. He has been recognized by Super Lawyers for six years straight. He is a member of the Arizona Association of Justice, Maricopa County Bar Association, Scottsdale Bar Association, American Association for Justice, National Police Accountability Project and Consumer Attorneys of California, among other organizations.

Disclaimer: The information on this web site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The information on this page is attorney advertising. Reading and relying upon the content on this page does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, you should contact our law firm for a free consultation and to discuss your specific case and issues.

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