A single mother was injured when she was rear-ended by a dump truck on a major road in Virginia Beach. The truck was operated by a driver for a construction materials company.
Independent witnesses were found who verified that the commercial truck driver was solely at fault and that the woman who was hit did nothing wrong to cause the accident. This information contradicted the trucker who alleged that the claimant’s car was sitting still at a green light long after it changed.
The woman suffered a direct blow on the head and received a cut on her scalp. She was taken to the emergency room where she was diagnosed with a concussion. Her car was seriously damaged when it was hit by the heavy truck. Her driver’s seat was broken and the truck intruded into the back passenger area of the small sedan.
Although CT scans came back as negative, the woman developed cognitive deficits as a result of a mild traumatic brain injury she suffered. The word “mild” is often misleading in regards to brain injuries. A mild traumatic brain injury can cause serious and permanent harm. The woman suffered from memory lapses and difficulty concentrating. You can read more about cognitive deficits after a brain injury here on our injury law website.
The woman also suffered injuries to her spinal connective tissues which were treated by a chiropractor. Her medical bills amounted to more than $45,500. The client did not have health insurance which made the costs of treatment a major concern. She was able to return to work without a loss of income but felt her performance suffered for a long time after the wreck.
Attorneys John Cooper and Griff O’Hanlon of Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers filed a lawsuit on behalf of the woman in Virginia Beach Circuit Court. The case proceeded through depositions of the parties and eyewitnesses.
Defense medical experts hired by the lawyers for the dump truck driver and his company challenged the extent and ongoing nature of the woman’s symptoms. They argued that most minor-concussions heal within a short time and do not cause continuing problems.
Doctors hired by the defense team also argued our client only suffered from psychological harm in the form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), as opposed to a brain injury.
A neurologist hired by the defense team even claimed that depression or PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a less serious diagnosis than permanent brain injury, so that if the injured person had PTSD it was not much to worry about. The attorneys from Cooper Hurley maintained that the women sustained both psychological harm and ongoing cognitive deficits consistent with a mild traumatic brain injury.
A settlement of $675,000 was reached at a mediation hearing just two months before a jury trial was scheduled to begin in Virginia Beach. The strength of our likeable and hardworking client’s presentation as well as those of her friends and family and damages witnesses bolstered her case. The money clearly would help with some of the future medical needs of the woman and the financial needs of her family.
Disturbing facts about the record of the truck driver emerged during the litigation. He had a long felony record that practically prevented him from testifying. If called, we would have convinced the jurors that he should not be believed.
Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers represents many clients who are injured by tractor-trailers and dump trucks in Virginia and North Carolina. Often these wrecks are caused by drivers who should not have been behind the wheel of a big rig in the first place. In an era of a serious shortage of truckers, companies can be negligent in their responsibility to vet potential drivers for criminal convictions or other issues like health and accident history that should have prevented them from being hired.