Motorcycle Rider Rear-Ended at Red Light by Inattentive SUV Driver | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

What Happened

Our Virginia personal injury client was an active duty member of the U.S. Navy when an SUV driver rear-ended his motorcycle at a red light in Virginia Beach. The collision left our client with injuries to both his legs and a thoracic herniated disc. Treating the man’s persistent middle back pain required epidural steroid injections and extensive physical therapy.

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Key Legal Strategy

The motorcycle accident victim received emergency treatment at a Sentara hospital and then relied on Navy health care for follow-up diagnoses and therapy. Proving the nature and extent of his lower limb and spinal injuries required obtaining his medical records from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Overcoming that challenge required close cooperation between our attorney and the client, as well as a fair amount of patience.

Once the medical evidence became available, determining what amount represented a fair and just insurance settlement required figuring out how debilitating the crash-related injuries would be over the long term. Since nearly all of our Virginia personal injury client’s hospital and therapy bills were at the time being covered by the Navy and VA, our claim would primarily reflect demands for compensation for pain and suffering. We also wanted to make sure our client received some money to defray lifetime medical expenses he would incur after he left active duty in the military.

The final piece of the legal puzzle involved showing that the driver of the SUV caused the rear-end collision in which our client suffered his leg and spinal disc injuries. This turned out to be relatively simple. The police report and statements from the driver indicated that the motorcycle rider was stopped at the red light and the driver was distracted while approaching the light.

The case settled without going to trial, and our client received $50,000.

Motorcycle riders depend on car, truck and SUV drivers to share the road safely and responsibly. No driver can do that after taking his or her eyes and mind off traffic conditions, signs and signals, and other vehicles on the road. This particular distracted driving crash in Virginia Beach represents just one of the tens of thousands of preventable traffic injuries that occur each year.

Court: Virginia Beach Circuit Court, Virginia Beach, VA

Staff: Staff attorney