Our Virginia car accident injury client was a commercial truck driver who needed two rotator cuff repair surgeries after a person who was delivering a recently purchased vehicle to the customer of a local car dealership hit his big rig head-on. The accident happened on a four-lane divided highway in the western part of the state.
No one disputed that the person behind the wheel of the car was traveling at a high rate of speed and caused the head-on collision by driving across the grassy median of the highway. Our truck driver client went to the hospital with shoulder, hand and knee injuries.
Recovering from the first surgery to repair his shoulder kept our client out of work for about six months. The second shoulder surgery was pending when we took his case.
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Key Legal Strategy
Representatives from the car insurance company that covered the vehicle delivery driver refused to offer a settlement on the injured truck driver’s claims for medical expenses and lost wages. The insurance company reps argued that an unexpected medical emergency caused the person in the car to lose control. They further claimed that the second shoulder surgery was needed to correct a degenerative condition that existed before the crash happened.
Our investigation revealed that the vehicle delivery driver had a seizure disorder that developed years before he began working for the car dealership. If he did lose control of the car for a medical reason, we reasoned, that was not unexpected.
The insurance company eventually agreed to enter into mediation in order to avoid a civil jury trial. That alternative dispute resolution process concluded with our Virginia car accident injury client accepting $550,000 in compensation and monetary damages.
Court: Virginia state court, January 2016
Staff: Randall E. Appleton, staff attorney