$650K Result: Animated C4-7 Anterior Cervical Discectomy with Fusion

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A 58-year-old man broke his neck after his car was struck by another vehicle and his head slammed into the side window. After months of wearing a cervical collar and undergoing physical therapy, his doctor recommended that he needed to undergo a C4-7 anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, animated below.

However, the insurance company refused to cover the surgery, alleging that the Plaintiff’s condition was not caused by the collision. Instead, the company argued that his condition was the result of arthritis that existed in the patient’s cervical spine before the collision. The highest amount the insurance company was willing to pay was $200K for the Plaintiff’s incomplete recovery.

Heading into arbitration, Michael Sorich, Esq., and Patrick Richel, Esq., needed to prove that their client’s condition was the direct result of the collision, which fractured his C6 vertebrae and severely worsened his preexisting arthritis to the point that a discectomy and fusion were vital to his recovery. We delivered an animation that would achieve the following visual objectives:

- Highlight the Plaintiff’s severely damaged spine using color to emphasize the disc bulges and flattening of the spinal cord.

- Show how these herniated discs compressed nerves along the spinal cord, causing severe pain and suffering for the Plaintiff beyond mere arthritis.

- Demonstrate the recommended C4-7 anterior cervical discectomy and fusion.

- Reinforce the doctor’s testimony that his patient needed this surgery as a direct result of the whiplash that occurred during the collision.

The Plaintiff’s doctor used the animation in arbitration, which helped him show the disc bulges, spinal compression, and surgeries - rather than having to explain these points through complex medical terminology. The presentation ultimately helped the three-person arbitration panel understand why this injury was much more serious than the Defense was alleging. They awarded the Plaintiff a $650K result.