Our client, a Virginia Tech college student, was crossing a 4-lane road adjacent to university apartments in a marked crosswalk when he was hit by a pickup truck. The truck driver was actually employed by Virginia Tech. Although this happened in broad daylight on a fairly straight road, the truck driver told the police officer that he had checked his side view mirror for a couple seconds and when he looked back ahead he couldn’t avoid striking our client.
Key Legal Strategy
First, through our investigation we were able to determine that the truck driver was provided insurance on his truck by Virginia Tech under a commercial insurance policy that had $1,000,000.00 in insurance coverage.
Turning to the liability of the truck driver, the police officer charged the driver with not having the right-of-way and not having his eyes on the road. Our team of car accident lawyers also argued to the insurance company that the following laws applied particularly to the operation of the truck driver's vehicle and his obligations
According to § 46.2-924 of the Virginia Code:
"The driver of any vehicle on a highway shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian crossing such highway at any clearly marked crosswalk, whether at mid-block or at the end of any block; at any regular pedestrian crossing included in the prolongation of the lateral boundary lines of the adjacent sidewalk at the end of a block; and at any intersection when the driver is approaching on a highway or street where the legal maximum speed does not exceed 35 miles per hour... No pedestrian shall enter or cross an intersection in disregard of approaching traffic. The drivers of vehicles entering, crossing, or turning at intersections shall change their course, slow down, or stop if necessary to permit pedestrians to cross such intersections safely and expeditiously. Pedestrians crossing highways at intersections shall at all times have the right-of-way over vehicles making turns into the highways being crossed by the pedestrians."
Medically, our client was taken by ambulance with complaints of right shoulder pain and left leg and knee pain. X-rays and CT scans of the right shoulder indicated there was a dislocation of the humerus and that she had a fractured deformity of the posterior humeral head. Because they could not reduce the dislocation manually, our client had to undergo anesthesiology in what was called a closed reduction in the operating room. She was released and her right arm was put in a sling. Because she had increasing pain in her knee and resided in Virginia Beach, Virginia over the summer, she then treated at Portsmouth Naval Hospital in Portsmouth for further right shoulder pain and increasing left leg and knee pain. Testing of her left knee showed that she suffered both an ACL and an MCL sprain. Further an MRI of her right shoulder showed that she did have a possible tear within the anterior labrum. Additionally, we turned our attention to lost wages because she was employed as an aide to a local police department. We presented all the lost wage information and the intermittent problems that our client had with her shoulder and her knee, which required her to withdraw from several classes, setting back her graduation date at Virginia Tech.
Unfortunately, the insurance company offered little more than the outstanding medical expenses. Accordingly, we filed suit and planned to take the case to trial. After the case was filed in a local circuit court near Blacksburg, the parties agreed to voluntary mediation with a retired circuit judge. At mediation, the case was settled for $130,000.00, an increase of more than twice what the insurance company offered before we filed suit and pursued litigation.
$130,000.00 settlement for college student struck pedestrian (shoulder & knee injuries)
Court Where Suit Was Filed
State Circuit Court in Virginia, 2017
Richard N. Shapiro, Attorney
Roz H., Paralegal
Paula M., Paralegal