What HappenedOur Virginia car accident injury client suffered forearm and lower leg fractures when a negligent driver struck him in a crosswalk in Norfolk, VA. The pedestrian crash happened at dusk near the intersection of Colley Avenue and Spotswood Avenue, and our client spent several months undergoing intensive physical therapy to regain the use of his right arm and to walk without an exaggerated limp.
Our client, who is a retired school administrator, was using a marked crosswalk when a driver turned onto Colley Avenue. The driver claimed to have never seen our client and did not reduce speed before the collision.Repairing the injured pedestrian’s closed intra-articular fracture to the distal end of the radius and closed displaced fracture of the styloid process in his right forearm required implanting K-wires, screws, and plates (see the image to the left). The fracture to the man’s tibial plateau just below his knee prompted his surgeon to implant screws and a device called a variable angle LCP (see the image to the right).
Both surgeries were successful, but our client remained at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital unable to move his right arm or walk for weeks. Following a transfer to a long-term rehabilitation hospital, the injured pedestrian spent several more weeks rebuilding arm strength and relearning to walk on his rebuilt leg.By the time our client returned home, he had accumulated more than $125,000 in unpaid medical bills.
Key Legal Strategy
The at-fault driver’s car insurance company did not contest liability, but our Virginia car accident injury lawyers wanted to maximize recovery for their client. He faced even more physical therapy and a possible lifetime of follow-up treatment that could include replacing the hardware in his lower leg.
The negligent driver had $300,000 in coverage for causing injuries. Our client carried an umbrella insurance policy with coverage up to $1 million. We learned, however, that the injured pedestrian would only be able to access that umbrella coverage if he inflicted injuries. In other words, accessing his own coverage would require our client to accept fault for an accident that was caused entirely by the negligent driver.
Another complication was that if our client accepted any fault in order to pursue a settlement through his own umbrella policy, the actually at-fault driver’s insurer could argue that an admission of contributory negligence relieved it of all duties to offer a settlement. In light of such difficulties, we advised the injured pedestrian to accept the maximal settlement offer from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. He did so and received $300,000 to pay off existing medical bills and to fund ongoing medical care.