A college student was crossing with a friend in a crosswalk at a newly signalized intersection. The college student saw a vehicle barreling down the street with no intention of stopping. The college student, just moments before the collision, pulled her friend out of the way of the vehicle and took the hit instead. Sadly, this heroic college student suffered permanent, life-altering injuries as a result.
This brave college student wound up suffering a traumatic brain injury with hemiparesis and residual cognitive deficits. In addition, she suffered severe orthopedic injuries including a pelvic ring fracture, a superior anterior pubic ramus fracture of the left side, right pubic fracture, left iliac wing fracture extending to the left sacroiliac joint and a left sacral fracture stabilized with external fixation.
The college student’s family wisely retained a lawyer to take action against the at-fault driver. Katherine Fogarty, counsel for the severely injured college student, filed a negligence action against the driver and settled for all available insurance coverage in the amount of $1,275,000.
Mrs. Fogarty also filed a claim against the parties that designed the crosswalk. Why? Because the crosswalk was not properly marked with compliant signage under the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). She also argued that the crosswalk was not properly illuminated and was not properly located 65 feet in advance of the stop bar at the newly signalized intersection. This constituted a violation of guidelines established by the MUTCD, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).
Mrs. Fogarty also argued that the roadway plan was not submitted to VDOT for approval, which is a requirement.
A jury trial was scheduled, but three weeks before that trial, a settlement in the amount of $2.4 million was agreed to during a mediation proceeding.
Both settlements meant that the injured college student obtained $3.6 million in restitution.
We congratulate Mrs. Fogarty on securing a sizable settlement for her severely injured client. The facts make clear that her client will need a lifetime of care and the settlement proceeds will help in delivering that care.
This case illustrates the type of legal action that could potentially be taken if you or a loved one suffered a serious injury in a crosswalk accident. For more information about crosswalk accident injuries and the applicable regulations, check out these articles: