Joseph Vargas, from Lakewood, New Jersey, was a passenger in a vehicle proceeding northbound on New Hampshire Avenue in Lakewood, New Jersey, when a southbound SUV unexpectedly made a left turn, crossing over northbound New Hampshire Avenue, causing a collision.
The accident occurred on October 28, 2013. Mr. Vargas was a passenger in a Ford Taurus operated by Krystel Badajoz, of Toms River. The driver of the SUV, a Toyota Sienna, was Sarah Rosenfeld, also a Lakewood resident. Ms. Rosenfeld claimed her vision had been obstructed by another vehicle, a school bus.
At the time of the accident, Mr. Vargas was already disabled. He had a history of neck and back injuries, as well as anxiety and depression. Following the accident, Mr. Vargas was diagnosed as having sustained a herniated disc at L4-5 and a herniated disc at C5-6; together with significant aggravations of his prior back and neck injuries, according to his attorney, James Maggs, of Maggs & McDermott. Mr. Vargas underwent a number of epidural injections, as well as an EMG, which demonstrated evidence of acute left L4 and L5 radiculopathy, says Maggs. Eventually, Mr. Vargas was required to undergo a lumbar fusion at L4-5.Mr. Vargas’ orthopedic expert, Dr. Robert Dennis, concluded it was likely Mr. Vargas would require an extension of the fusion to L5-S1.Mr. Vargas’ medical bills totaled $293,771.86, according to Maggs.
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