Our Virginia car accident injury client needed several years of increasingly intense treatment for neck pain and stiffness following a collision in New Kent County, VA. She was 17 and in high school when a driver backing out of a driveway onto a rural highway caused the accident.
The young woman went home immediately after the wreck, but escalating neck, shoulder and back pain convinced her to go to the emergency room five days later. Doctors diagnosed a neck ligament strain and advised our client to seek follow-up care from her primary care physician (PCP).
Over the next four years, the injured car crash victim used an array of anti-inflammatory medications and muscle relaxants, participated in multiple rounds of physical therapy and eventually began using a TENS unit.
Key Legal Strategy
As soon as the young woman hired one of our Virginia car accident injury attorneys, he contacted the other driver’s car insurance company and offered to negotiate a settlement. Insurance company representatives refused, arguing that our client shared equal blame for causing the crash.
The police report confirmed, however, that our client had done everything possible to avoid the collision. The other driver unexpectedly entered the highway at night during a snowstorm. The young woman we represented then slammed on her brakes and swerved, but the other driver’s car was already blocking too much of the roadway.
When the insurance company continued refusing to settle, we filed a civil lawsuit. The other driver finally admitted his liability hours before the trial started, but the insurance reps offered a last-second pretrial settlement of just $5,582. By that time, our client had racked up approximately $18,500 in medical bills and was facing many more years of post-crash care.
The insurer’s settlement offer was based on testimony from a rehabilitation medicine physician who never treated our client but did review the young woman’s medical records. The insurance company also thought it had a strong case for denying or lowballing a settlement because our client acknowledged that she would temporary feel better after completing each round of physical therapy.
Our Virginia car accident injury attorney countered each of the insurance company’s arguments. The injured young woman’s mother, who served as a deputy sheriff for the county and responded to the crash scene, affirmed the other driver’s fault. Or client’s PCP, Dr. Brian McCormick, told jurors that the pain relief from physical therapy was short-lived, with the periods between physical therapy courses growing shorter each time.
After listening to all the testimony, the members of the jury awarded our client $43,522 for past medical bills, future medical expenses and pain and suffering.
Court and Date: New Kent County Circuit Court, 2018
Staff: Randall E. Appleton, staff attorney