Medicolegal Case Study

Road Traffic Accident: Medicolegal Case Study

Mr Tom Cosker has extensive experience in providing his professional expert medical opinion on orthopaedic personal injuries sustained in road traffic accidents, producing over 5,000 medicolegal reports over many years of practice. In his role as a Consultant Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon and expert in human anatomy specialising in road traffic accident related personal injury, he had the privilege to meet Mrs. D, a widow who was unfortunately involved in a road traffic accident. During the road traffic accident Mrs D was driven into with force from behind, sustaining multiple injuries.

Following an instruction from the Claimant’s solicitors, Mr Cosker met with the Claimant at the Oxford Consulting Rooms to produce a professional medicolegal report. During the consultation, Mr Cosker listened to the Claimant’s description of the road traffic accident, documented the personal injuries that she had sustained, and performed a careful clinical examination to assess the extent of the personal injury caused by the road traffic accident.

Spinal Injuries

Among the personal injuries that Mrs D sustained during the road traffic accident were spinal injuries to both the cervical and thoracolumbar areas. Spinal injuries, particularly to the lower back and neck (whiplash-type injuries), are one of the most frequent personal injuries that Mr Cosker sees in his professional medicolegal practice.

Careful clinical examination of Mrs D revealed tenderness along the vertebrae of the cervical spine. Utilising his years of experience as a Consultant Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon, including work at one of the top Spinal Injuries Units in the UK, Mr Cosker determined that the Claimant urgently required an MRI scan to assess the extent of the spinal injuries sustained in the road traffic accident.

Seatbelt injuries and Road Traffic Accidents

Alongside the spinal injuries that Mrs D suffered from the road traffic accident, she was also unfortunate enough to sustain a soft tissue personal injury to the right hip due to the contraction of the seatbelt against the pelvis during the accident. Seatbelt injuries are not an uncommon personal injury resulting from road traffic accidents and in extreme cases can result in pelvic fractures.

Drawing on his expertise from his professional medicolegal practice as well as in his work in the NHS, Mr Cosker could assess Mrs D’s pelvic injuries, determine that in this case they were soft tissue injuries, and propose a course of treatment to resolve the Claimant’s ongoing pain. In Mrs D’s case Mr Cosker concluded that an ultrasound-guided steroid injection to the trochanteric bursa (hip) would be the most appropriate course of treatment for the seatbelt injuries that she had sustained.

Personal Injury and Exacerbation Injury

A common problem that faces professional medical experts in their medicolegal practice is the issue of personal injury and exacerbation injury. In Mrs D’s case, she had undergone a lumbar spinal fusion in 2009 to address her prior lower back pain, which had been very successful. Unfortunately, the recent road traffic accident had markedly flared up the pain in the lumbar spine.

Determining how to distinguish new pain from cases of exacerbation following road traffic accidents can pose significant problems for professional medicolegal orthopaedic experts. In this case, Mr Cosker elected to gather new imagining of the lumbar spine, such was the severity of Mrs D’s injuries. By utilising MRI investigation, medical experts can assess the degree to which a personal injury sustained in a road traffic accident is a new injury or an exacerbation injury, determining the causation of the Claimant’s pain.

Expert Medical Knowledge

Through years of medical training, practice, and medicolegal experience as a Consultant Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon and specialist in human anatomy, Mr Cosker was able to produce a professional medicolegal report drawing on his specific expert medical knowledge. In the case of Mrs D, this allowed him to determine the causation and severity of the personal injuries that she had sustained in the road traffic accident, as well as plan further investigations and treatment to help her with her ongoing pain and difficulties.

Speak With A Medicolegal Expert

Mr Tom Cosker, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, is available for instruction by solicitors on medicolegal cases. For further information please contact

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