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Milwaukee.  A 62 year old West Allis woman, who was injured in an automobile accident, received a $300,000 settlement from American Family Insurance, according to court records released last week.

Barbara Dawson, an occupational nurse at Falk Corporation, injured her should in the accident when a vehicle she was driving was struck by another motorist at the intersection of S. 70th Street and Orchard Street in West Allis. The other driver was cited by West Allis police.

Dawson was represented by Gatzke Law. American Family was represented by in-house counsel.

Dawson was initially treated immediately after the accident for what appeared to be minor shoulder injuries. Within a week of the accident, she began to experience ongoing problems with the shoulder and returned to her physician. She ultimately endured months of physical therapy and chiropractic treatment before finally resorting to shoulder surgery nearly two years after the crash. That surgery was then followed by more than 15 months of post-operative therapy.

While the reconstructive shoulder surgery appears to have resoled Dawson’s pain complaints, she has never been able to return to the condition she was in prior to the accident. A doctor’s report provided by Gatzke Law indicated that Ms. Dawson had suffered a 10% permanent injury to the shoulder.

The payment from American Family represented the policy limits in the case. Gatzke had originally demanded the policy limits nearly a year before the case settled, but at that time American Family was only offering $15,000 to settle the claim.

“It was extremely frustrating to deal with American Family’s adjusters in this case because up until a week before the case was settled, they were continuing to deny that the shoulder injury was related to the accident,” Gatzke said. “They claimed that the lack of serious damage to the car was an indication that her shoulder injuries must have been related to some other incident.”

Once the attorneys at Gatzke Law were able to produce conclusive medical evidence linking the shoulder injury to the accident, American family quickly moved to settle the case.

Gatzke Law also represented Dawson’s 16 year old daughter, who was a passenger in the car and who was also injured in the crash. That portion of the case settled just over two years after the accident.