Accident victim with fractured humerus does not have "serious" injury
This week, a panel of the Court of Appeals concluded that the 13 year-old passenger could not recover for injuries she suffered when her car was struck broadside by a vehicle that ran a red light. The young woman is right-hand dominant, and suffered the fracture in the large upper bone of her left arm. It was treated with a splint and pain medication. She remained in a splint for 3 months and required attendant care assistance for that period. Within a month, her doctor recorded that she had minimal pain; and at two months, she reported no pain in the arm. When the splint was removed, she was cautioned against heavy lifting for four weeks and required no further care, although her attorneys contended that she had to use a sling occasionally when she experienced discomfort. She was told to stay out of recreational sports for a year or two, but she had never participated in any organized sports prior to the injury. She claimed an inability to engage in heavy cleaning activities, however, the medical record did not support this limitation after the four week recovery from being splinted. On this basis, the Court of Appeals concluded that she did not meet the Kreiner standard of "serious impairment of bodily function" as the restrictions on her activity level were, for the most part, self-imposed. Self-imposed restrictions, the Court said, whether based on real pain or perceived pain, are not sufficient to establish a residual impairment.