Injuries From Car Crash Caused by Failure to Yield Right of Way Merit $1M Insurance Settlement | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

What Happened

Our Virginia Beach car accident client suffered massive injuries to his feet, ankles and legs when a turning driver collided with his vehicle. The crash left our client disabled and needing a wheelchair to travel any distance greater than a few steps. He also faces a future wracked with painful and debilitating post-traumatic arthritis in his damaged joints.

The crash happened on Virginia Beach Boulevard when the at-fault driver failed to yield right of way while attempting to turn left from a side street. The at-fault driver faced a stop sign, but he did not wait for approaching traffic to pass before entering the state highway.

After being taken to hospital, our car accident client was diagnosed with fractures in his feet, a shattered ankle, a broken femur and numerous other injuries to his knees and lower body. He remained hospitalized for several weeks while having his left ankle fused and undergoing three other orthopedic surgeries.

The injured man was sent home in a wheelchair with a plate in his upper leg. His surgeons also informed him that he would likely need a right knee replacement and a fusion of his right ankle. While our car accident client eventually learned how to walk again with assistance from a walker, he will never regain the mobility he enjoyed before getting hit and injured by the driver who failed to yield right of way.

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Key Legal Strategy

The Virginia personal injury lawyers the car accident victim hired to handle his case focused on obtaining an insurance settlement that would cover the man’s lost lifetime earning and future medical expenses. The attorneys first hired a vocational expert to calculate what their client would have earned had he not become disabled in the crash. Based on his salary at the time of the accident and the number of years he had until becoming eligible for retirement, the injured and disabled man had the potential to earn $612,000.

Our personal injury lawyers next consulted with orthopedic surgeons and health care experts to obtain an estimate of future medical bills. The agreed-upon total was $830,000, or $30,000 per year.

Last, in case the at-fault driver’s insurance company tried to challenge claims by arguing that our car accident client was not seriously injured or significantly disabled, our attorneys filmed the car crash victim at his apartment for two days. That footage captured the difficulties the man faced getting into and out of his wheelchair, walking even the shortest distance, climbing and descending the stairs to his second-floor apartment, and using the small bathroom in his residence.

Late in the pretrial process, our personal injury attorneys discovered that the at-fault driver carried a $1 million umbrella policy that could be substituted for auto insurance liability. After much back and forth between our firm and the two insurers, a settlement was agreed to that resulted in the injured and disabled man receiving a payment of $1 million.

As this case illustrates, many car accident victims never fully recover from injuries inflicted by negligent or reckless drivers. Our attorneys work hard to discover every possible source of compensation for their clients. In this instance, those efforts resulted in securing the permanently disabled man a significant amount of the money he will require to pay ongoing medical bills and support himself without being able to do the work he had performed prior to his accident.

Court and Date: Virginia Beach Circuit Court, Virginia Beach, VA

Staff: Richard N. Shapiro, staff attorney, and a former law partner