$1.15 Million Recovery for Grandmother Who Was Hit by a Truck and Severely Injured

WHAT HAPPENED?

A 60-year-old mother and grandmother was outside her car dealing with a flat tire when she was hit by a commercial truck in Hampton Roads. The woman was commuting to work when there was a breakdown in her minivan.

She sustained serious injuries including fractures of her left leg, a broken bone in her neck, and a broken nose. CT testing at the hospital emergency room also showed bleeding on the brain indicative of a traumatic brain injury.

The injuries left the lady facing a long stay at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and then at a rehabilitation facility. Her medical bills exceeded $100,000.

The woman hired Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers after the accident. The extent of a brain injury proved to be important to the case. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are a challenge because the person may appear outwardly to be fine, although their head injury persists. Lawyers for the commercial insurance company covering the tanker truck disputed the traumatic brain injury as a permanent impairment.

Attorneys John Cooper and Jim Hurley pointed out the serious impact the traumatic brain injury had on the woman’s life. She was no longer able to return to her job as the foreman of a warehouse, losing employment worth $25,000 a year. The traffic accident and injuries forced her to go on social security.

Graphic photographs of the woman’s bloody and swollen face in the emergency room proved to be important evidence in the case.

Attorneys for the at-fault company claimed our client was partially responsible for her injuries. Contributory negligence is a total bar to recovering in Virginia personal injury lawsuits. The defense lawyers claimed the woman was in the wrong for changing a flat tire partly in the right lane of a highway at the time that she was hit, rather than pulling off the road. There was no useable shoulder. What was reasonable under the circumstances would have had to be decided by a jury.

The insurance company and lawyer also claimed our client was at fault because her vehicle was not in a good condition. However, anyone can have a breakdown, and our client did what she thought was right after the emergency happened including turning on her flashers during the attempted tire change. The hazard lights should have been seen by a professional driver. Our firm found a key independent witness who was able to safely pass by before the crash occurred.

Attorneys John Cooper and Jim Hurley highlighted factors that led to the failure of the trucker to see the woman by the roadside. The trucker had a history of untreated insomnia. Fatigue is a massive issue in the trucking industry and our attorneys have previously drawn attention to serious problems like chronic sleep apnea among truckers.

As well as facing lost wages and high medical bills, the grandmother faced high potential future medical costs including in-home care for her traumatic brain injury symptoms. A life care plan was developed by our lawyers and experts to know what her future health costs might be from the wreck.

OUTCOME

The case was settled for $1,150,000 at a lengthy mediation between the parties.