We Get Results For Auto Accident Victims
THE FOLLOWING ARE ARTICLE SUMMARIES FROM A VARIETY OF PUBLICATIONS. THE RESULTS DESCRIBED IN EACH CASE OR CASE SUMMARY CONTAINED BELOW DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE. CASE RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE UNDERTAKEN BY THE ATTORNEYS OF Becker, Kellogg & Berry, P.C.
Pedestrian’s Estate Obtains $1.67 Million Settlement After Being Struck in the Highway Median by a Texting Driver
Plaintiff, who was five months pregnant, was driving and struck a deer in the highway, which disabled her vehicle. She put on her flashers and walked to the median to call a tow truck. Meanwhile, Defendant, who was texting while driving, did not notice the emergency flashers on the stopped vehicle until it was too late, whereby she swerved her vehicle onto the median and struck and killed Plaintiff. Two other good samaritans who stopped to assist Plaintiff were also struck and killed by Defendant. Their cases also settled for the same amount for each. The total settlement was $50,000.00 for the three families, which was the maximum amount of insurance coverage available.
Injured Passenger Obtains $1.2 Million Settlement Against his Driver for Running off the Road
Plaintiff was a passenger in a friend’s car, who was driving erratically and ran off the road and struck a pole. Client sustained serious life-threatening injuries that required an emergency brain surgery, shoulder surgery and knee surgery, with hardware implants in the shoulder and knee. Medical bills totaled $471,000 and lost income from operating his store totaled $25,000. Client returned to work full time without restrictions in only three months after the accident. Fourteen months after the accident, Client followed up with an orthopedist for knee complaints and had several injections that did not relieve his symptoms. However, the orthopedist was unsure if the knee complaints were related to the injury or surgery since Client had pre-existing osteoarthritis in his knees with prior injections. The pre-suit settlement offer was $900,000. Shortly after the lawsuit was filed, the offer increased to $925,000. After Plaintiff’s expert designations and before depositions, the case settled for $1.2 million.
Pedestrian Obtains $796,839 Settlement After Being Struck by SUV Causing Numerous Fractures and Three Surgeries
Plaintiff was crossing a street outside of a crosswalk in Tysons Corner, Virginia, when he was struck by a SUV traveling approximately 25 miles per hour. The impact caused Plaintiff to be thrown into the air. Plaintiff was immediately taken to the emergency room where he underwent surgery for a fractured left scapula and humerus. He also suffered fractures of the left fibula and tibia and phalanx of the right great toe. Plaintiff continued to have neck pain resulting in an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion at three levels twenty-one months post-accident. Plaintiff eventually returned to work full-time in construction. Total medical bills were $237,000 and $67,000 in lost wages.
Client Obtains $500,000 Policy Limits Settlement in Pedestrian vs. Motor Vehicle Accident
Plaintiff was conducting traffic control as part of his work duties as a U.S. Military Police Officer in Prince William County, Virginia, when Defendant failed to obey Plaintiff’s hand/arm signals/warnings directing Defendant to stop. As a result, Defendant’s vehicle struck Plaintiff, a pedestrian, at a high rate of speed. Plaintiff suffered bilateral full thickness tears of the shoulders requiring bilateral arthroscopic rotator cuff repairs other significant post-operative treatment. Plaintiff also suffered injuries to his left hip, left and right ankles, lumbar, thoracic, and cervical spine, left knee, tibula-fibula and pelvis. The case settled six weeks before trial after Plaintiff’s deposition was taken and significant trial preparation. Plaintiff’s attorney retained several experts, to include a life care planner, vocational rehabilitation expert, and economist to testify regarding Plaintiff’s future medical treatment and lost wages.
Injured driver recovers $400,000 in rear-end auto accident in Fairfax County
Plaintiff was rear-ended in her SUV by a 1995 Chevy S-10 truck that was driven by an employee of an HVAC company. Plaintiff’s vehicle was pushed into another vehicle. There was moderate damage to Plaintiff’s vehicle and severe damage to the front of Defendant’s vehicle. Plaintiff went to her primary doctor several days later and treated with a chiropractor, orthopedist and physiatrist. Plaintiff had a neck surgery due to an MRI finding of a significant disc herniation at C5-6. The surgery failed and a second neck surgery was performed due to an MRI finding of a broad-based disc protrusion at C4-5. A plate and screws were inserted in her neck and the vertebrae were fused together. Plaintiff had $93,500 in total medical bills and $12,000 in lost wages. Plaintiff’s neck surgeon issued a 35% permanent impairment rating due to Plaintiff’s ongoing pain, the need to wear lidocaine pain patches, limited range of motion, keloid scar and other limitations.
Deceased Driver’s Estate Recovers $350,000 In Rear-End Auto Accident
Plaintiff was rear-ended by a dump truck while stopped in traffic in his pick-up truck in Fairfax County. Plaintiff complained of lower back pain when he arrived at his doctor’s office several days later. Over the next several months, Plaintiff returned to his doctor with continued low back complaints. Plaintiff had an MRI that revealed a small central disk extrusion at L4-5 in his low back and was prescribed physical therapy that he underwent.
Over the next couple of years, Plaintiff had continuing low back complaints and a second MRI, which revealed a worsening disk extrusion at L4-5 and a new small central disk herniation at L5-S1. The decision was made to have back surgery based upon this second MRI and Plaintiff underwent a left L4-5 TLIF (transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion) using a Globus cage and Medtronic Sextant screws, and was discharged from the hospital.
Tragically, Plaintiff later died from a pulmonary embolism. Plaintiff had no dependents and was single. Plaintiff’s estate filed a wrongful death and survivorship lawsuit and the case settled shortly after mediation and within three weeks of trial. Plaintiff’s total medical bills were $96,000 plus funeral and other related expenses of $16,000.
Injured Passenger Recovers $300,000 In Single Vehicle Crash
Plaintiff was a passenger in a car with four other people. The Defendant driver was speeding and was told to slow down but did not. Subsequently, Defendant lost control of the vehicle and ran off the road and struck a tree at a high rate of speed. Plaintiff suffered from a mild concussion, a fractured left wrist, a right elbow lacerated to the bone for which he had at least two surgeries (debridement and skin grafts), a fractured right femur (for which he had surgery), a frayed coronary artery, and neck pain.
Plaintiff saw multiple specialists and physical therapy. He was in the hospital for many days, had a cast on his arm and leg and required use of crutches and a wheel chair, among other things. He has permanent scarring and limitations.
Injured Driver Recovers $300,000 From T-Bone Collision
Plaintiff was stopped at an intersection waiting to turn left in Fairfax County, Virginia when Defendant lost control of his vehicle and T-boned Plaintiff’s vehicle on the driver’s side. Plaintiff had to be cut out of his vehicle before being transported to the hospital, also lost consciousness after impact and awakened in the hospital.
Plaintiff suffered a lacerated liver, hematuria (blood in urine), a concussion, neck and back injuries and ultimately underwent a neck surgery (posterior cervical decompression laminectomy to C3-7 with posterolateral fusion and instrumentation). Plaintiff was reliant on pain medications and a cane to walk as part of his daily life following the accident.
Plaintiff incurred $125,000 in medical bills and had a lost wage claim of almost $19,000. Plaintiff was a civilian employee for the U.S. Department of Treasury. The case settled before trial for policy limits of $300,000.
Injured Passenger Plaintiff Recovers $225,000 For Severe Knee Injury In T-Bone Truck Accident
Plaintiff was a passenger in her daughter’s vehicle, which was northbound on Route 1 in the Woodbridge area. Route 1 was a four-lane roadway with a center turn lane for both directions of traffic. Plaintiff’s daughter was intending to turn left into a shopping center, which was 100 yards ahead. Plaintiff’s vehicle drove into the center land and, as she continued toward the turn, she struck a large box truck driver by Defendant.
Defendant driver was in the course of his employment with Defendant L & M Produce at the time of the collision. He had just made a delivery on the right side of the road and had been waived through the two lanes of stopped northbound traffic so that he could turn left into the southbound lanes of traffic. As he crossed the center turn lane, he was struck by Plaintiff’s vehicle.
Plaintiff alleged that defendant driver failed to yield the right-of-way and failed to properly observe traffic. Plaintiff claimed a significant knee injury, which would require two knee replacements over the course of her lifetime. She further claimed to be disabled from working in a daycare, as she could no longer lift children or bend her knee.
Defendants contended that plaintiff’s driver caused the accident by getting into the turn lane too soon and using it as a travel land so that she could bypass the stopped traffic. Defendants also argued that plaintiff would only need one knee replacement over the course of her lifetime due to the new technology employed in knee replacement surgery.
Auto Accident Victim Recovers $250,000 Settlement From Drunk Driver
Plaintiff’s vehicle was struck on the right rear side by Defendant, who pleaded guilty to drunk driving and had a blood alcohol content of .17, more than twice the legal limit in Virginia, for which a presumption of punitive damages applies. Plaintiff suffered herniated disks at two levels in her lower back, for which she had back surgery. Plaintiff had two prior back surgeries before the accident but was in good health with no complaints on the day of this accident. Plaintiff incurred over $110,000 in medical bills. After Plaintiff’s attorney filed a lawsuit for $1.5 million, the case settled for Defendant’s $250,000 policy limits shortly thereafter.
Plaintiff Recovers $245,000 Settlement In Auto Accident
Plaintiff was driving on a four-lane divided road in Lynchburg, Virginia, when Defendant pulled out from her employer’s parking lot in front of Plaintiff’s vehicle in an attempt to turn left, which caused the front of Plaintiff’s vehicle to strike the driver’s side of Defendant’s vehicle. Plaintiff suffered injuries to her neck and back with radiating pain and numbness down her arms and legs.
The MRI of the lumbar spine showed a small central posterior annular tear with a superimposed small broad based disk protrusion at L5-S1. A lumbar myelogram found some extrinsic mass effect on the right nerve roots exiting at the L4-5 level. Plaintiff had several sets of epidural steroid injections to her L4-5 and L5-S1, cervical medial branch blocks at C2 and C3 (due to symptomatic disk bulges found on MRI), physical therapy and pain management and a large lost wage claim (she claimed she could no longer take care of elderly clients, which required much driving). She also used a cane at times to walk.
This case involved extensive negotiations with Defendant’s auto liability insurance carrier and the workers’ compensation carrier to reach a global settlement of her bodily injury claim and workers’ compensation claim.
Injured Plaintiff Driver Recovers $245,000
Plaintiff was traveling through an intersection when she was struck on the driver’s side by a drunk driver attempting to turn left from the opposite direction. The driver refused to submit to the required breath test at the station but he failed the field sobriety tests at the scene. Defendant’s air bags deployed due to severe front end damage to Defendant’s car and there was moderate damage to Plaintiff’s front driver’s side. Plaintiff was unable to move in her car and was taken by ambulance to the hospital with complaints of neck pain and other complaints.
Over the next eight months, Plaintiff treated with her family doctor, a pain management doctor and had physical therapy, including injections, cervical traction and use of pain patches for neck pain and radiating pain, numbness and tingling in her arms and hands. Plaintiff had a three-level neck surgery (anterior discectomy with fusion) with a neurosurgeon due to an MRI finding of a disk herniation at C4-5 and severe stenosis at C5-6 and C6-7. A titanium plate and screws were inserted in her neck after three disks were removed and the vertebrae were fused together and secured with a plate and screws.
Plaintiff had over $67,000 in total medical bills and $5,200 in lost wages. Plaintiff made a good recovery with the expected residual limitations in range of motion and some residual neck pain. Defendant alleged that Plaintiff was suffering from pre-existing cervical disease, based on pre-accident chiropractic visits, which the surgery was largely directed at resolving.
Injured Driver Recovers $215,000 In High-Impact Collision With Disabled Tractor Trailer On I-95
Plaintiff was driving a Krispy Kreme truck at night and rear-ended Defendant’s disabled tractor-trailer on I-95 at 60 mph. The Defendant’s truck had no lights on and there were no reflective triangles in the road. Immediately after the accident, Plaintiff alleged that he staggered to the front of Defendant’s truck and saw the hood open and Defendant appeared to be working on his truck. Plaintiff was bleeding profusely from his injuries to his elbow and knee and allegedly requested help but Defendant ignored Plaintiff’s requests and continued to work on his truck.
Fortunately, witnesses arrived shortly thereafter and administered aid and called for help. Plaintiff had extensive physical therapy, work hardening and eventually required a diagnostic knee arthroscopy and missed a total of 18 months of work. The case settled one week before trial at mediation.
Injured Driver Obtains $200,515 Verdict In Rear-End Impact
Plaintiff was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer in Hagerstown and sustained very minor property damage. Plaintiff had been in pain management for chronic low back pain for four years leading up to the accident. Liability was stipulated but defense claimed Plaintiff sustained no injuries due to the same old problem and continuing treatment for same before and after the accident.
Plaintiff claimed that she required a lumbar ALIF surgery (removal of the L5-S1 disk with insertion of a cage and screws) following a positive discogram, then experienced complications (an incisional hernia), for which Plaintiff underwent an open ventral hernia repair (with insertion of a mesh patch). Plaintiff also claimed the back surgery was unsuccessful and put additional pressure on the L4-5 disk, for which another decompression surgery was recommended by her neurosurgeon. Plaintiff played video testimony of her treating neurosurgeon and pain management doctors.
Defendant surprisingly decided NOT to play the expert Ronald Cohen, M.D.’s video at trial (saying that Plaintiff’s attorney’s cross examination was 75 percent of the 2.25-hour long video testimony).
State Farm’s pretrial offer was a mere $10,000.
Injured Plaintiff Recovers $200,000 For Damaged Breast Implants In Rear-End Auto Accident
Plaintiff slowed for traffic in her 2000 Ford truck on southbound Interstate-95 before the defendant, who was driving a 1999 Freightliner Classic tractor-trailer at 50 mph, rear-ended another vehicle and then rear-ended plaintiff’s truck. Plaintiff’s vehicle was then pushed into another vehicle at an angle. Plaintiff’s truck was totaled and almost unrecognizable. Plaintiff sustained a cervical and low back strain, lacerations to her head that which required sutures and resulted in a faded scar, headaches, dizziness, short-term memory loss, pain in her left elbow, bruising to both knees and to her head and chest.
Plaintiff has seven physical therapy sessions on her neck but her most significant injury was leaking breast implants and asymmetry of her breasts from the accident, which resulted in the surgical removal of her existing breast implants (which she had for 15 years without problems) and insertion of new implants (reconstructive breast surgery). Plaintiff also claimed some physical limitations in her ability to work out and lift weights. No quantifiable lost wage claim was submitted.
Injured Passenger Recovers $200,000 In Rear-End Multiple-Vehicle Tractor-Trailer Collision
Plaintiff was a passenger in a work van that was rear-ended in a chain reaction collision caused by a tractor-trailer. Plaintiff went to the hospital, had physical therapy, an MRI of his right shoulder, which showed a grade 2 AC separation and shoulder surgery to repair a rotator cuff tear, a type 2 superior labrum anterior posterior tear and a subluxed biceps with marked fraying intra-articular biceps injury. The case settled just a few weeks before trial and after a mediation.
Injured Passenger Husband Recovers $192,000 For Hip Surgery And More
Plaintiff was an 81-year-old front seat passenger involved in a car accident in Pennsylvania in which her husband, the driver, was at fault for losing control around a turn. Plaintiff and her husband live in Virginia. Plaintiff suffered a comminuted fracture of her proximal femur and underwent an open reduction and internal fixation of her left hip, which involved insertion of a nail into her left femur. Plaintiff was discharged to a nursing home for four weeks after surgery and had physical therapy for one month. Plaintiff made an excellent recovery.
Absent settlement, suit would have been filed in Virginia pursuant to Pennsylvania tort law.
Pennsylvania law apparently did not allow plaintiff to reclaim the amount of medical bills as part of the settlement for this case. The settlement was for pain and suffering and payment of the Medicare lien.
Victim Recovers $140,000 Against Drunk Driver In Rollover Truck Accident
Plaintiff, a 61-year-old male, was operating his 1995 King F8 box truck southbound on Route 123 at approximately 45 mph. Defendant, who had a blood alcohol content of 0.19 percent, was operating his 1999 Ford Taurus directly behind the plaintiff’s vehicle at a high rate of speed (at least 55 mph). Defendant failed to maintain control of his vehicle and collided into the rear of the plaintiff’s vehicle. The high-speed rear collision caused plaintiff’s vehicle to strike the guardrail, become airborne, overturn and roll down a 20-foot embankment. The roof was torn off the claimant’s truck and his blood was splattered on the windshield and seats. Plaintiff’s vehicle was totaled.
Plaintiff was transported by ambulance to the hospital with complaints of pain in his right side, right elbow, head, chest, ribs, and upper and lower back. He also had several scalp lacerations that required sutures.
Plaintiff returned to the hospital once to have his sutures removed before leaving for five weeks for his previously planned honeymoon out of the country. Upon his return, plaintiff sought treatment with a chiropractor for low back pain, which consisted of 28 sessions over a four-month period. He made a full recovery, with some minimal scarring and indentations remaining on his scalp.
The statutory presumption of punitive damages based upon the BAC level of the defendant was the most significant factor in the settlement of the case. Defendant’s DUI charge was dismissed in the criminal court because he was arrested and administered a breath test more than three hours after the accident occurred. Plaintiff decided to settle rather than wait a year to roll the dice for more money at trial.
Injured Tractor-Trailer Driver Recovers $137,500 For T-Bone Truck Accident
Plaintiff was driving a tractor-trailer in the city of Winchester, Virginia, and was T-boned by a Dodge Ram truck that was towing several tons of hay bales. Plaintiff suffered a herniated disk in her neck and back and was a questionable surgical candidate. She went to the hospital, had physical therapy, saw orthopedists and neurologists, had an epidural injection, underwent MRIs and had a history of three prior back surgeries. There was a $94,000 workers’ compensation lien on the case that was negotiated and reduced to help position the case to settle.
Injured Plaintiff Recovers $125,000 For Back Surgery After Rear-End Crash
Plaintiff was rear-ended by defendants, both sisters, who were following each other. Plaintiff’s car was also pushed into a vehicle in front and sustained approximately $16,000 in property damage. Both defendants’ vehicles were totaled. Liability was not seriously contested but damages were.
Plaintiff went to the hospital on the day of the accident and followed up with a chiropractor for neck and low back and radicular complaints about six to eight weeks later and treated with the chiropractor for the next two years. After one year of chiropractic treatment, plaintiff decided on her own to seek a second opinion from her primary physician and obtained an MRI of her lower back, which revealed a disk herniation. Plaintiff continued treatment with the chiropractor for another year before seeing a neurosurgeon, who performed an ALIF fusion procedure with insertion of LT cages. Plaintiff claimed permanent injuries associated with her back and neck.
Defendants argued that plaintiff only suffered soft tissue strains to her neck and back that should have resolved after no more than three months after the accident. Defendants argued that plaintiff overtreated and her low back surgery was not related to the accident and that plaintiff did not suffer a herniated disk, despite the radiology report finding. Video depositions were conducted of both experts prior to settlement of the case. The maximum insurance coverage available was $175,000.
Plaintiff Pedestrian Recovers Maximum Amount Available For Auto Accident
Plaintiff attempted to cross a low-traffic, two-lane side street (with a center turn lane) between intersections from her place of employment to her car, which was parked across the street. The nearest intersection was a very busy intersection with a main road about 50-75 years away, but the intersection has no marked crosswalks or pedestrian crossing signals. The intersection also had a two-way service road, which resulted in approximately seven to eight ways for cars to approach from various directions. Plaintiff alleged that the intersection was more dangerous for pedestrians to cross than the side street where she attempted to cross.
Plaintiff also introduced evidence from former co-workers that the area where plaintiff was hit was well lit at night due to large nearby commercial lights from the dealership where plaintiff worked.
Plaintiff alleged that defendant, a former co-worker, turned left from the dealership to go home and stopped about two-three car lengths away from plaintiff, so that plaintiff assumed that he was allowing her to cross. However, after plaintiff took one to two steps into defendant’s travel lane, she heard an acceleration and saw bright lights approaching. She attempted to turn to return to the center lane but was hit.
It was undisputed that defendant did not see plaintiff at any time before striking her. A former co-worker of plaintiff testified that defendant told him after the accident that he was trying to “catch the light.”
Defendant alleged that he did not stop after starting his left turn from the dealership. Defendant contended that he was in the process of completing his left turn by crossing over the center turn lane when he heard a noise (the impact) and believed that plaintiff merely walked into the driver’s side mirror of his car, which has no damage.
Plaintiff and defendant agreed to try the case on liability only and entered into a high/low agreement of $100,000/$25,000 because defendant’s liability limits were $100,000 and no additional coverage was available.
The jury returned a special verdict form, which found that defendant was negligent, that defendant’s negligence proximately caused the accident, and that plaintiff was negligent but plaintiff’s negligence was not a proximate cause of the accident.
Injured Police Officer Recovers $75,000 Settlement After T-Bone Accident
A police officer injured in a motor vehicle accident while responding to an emergency agreed to settle her injury claims for a total of $75,000. The tortfeasor paid $25,000 toward the settlement and the underinsured motorist carrier paid the balance of $50,000. The underinsured carrier also waived its subrogation lien for workers’ compensation benefits.
Alexandria City police officer was driving her police vehicle on South Glebe Road near the Arlington/Alexandria City line. She was on an emergency run with her siren activated and emergency lights flashing. As she attempted to go through the red light at the intersection of South Glebe Road and Mt. Vernon Avenue, she was “T-boned” by a vehicle driver Defendant Jose Soriano. Defendant has the green light, but admitted that he failed to yield the right-of-way to an emergency vehicle. Plaintiff sought damages for her shoulder injury from the tortfeasor and from her employer, Defendant City of Alexandria, for underinsured motorist benefits.
Plaintiff claimed she suffered a torn rotator cuff which required surgery and follow-up treatment for more than one year. She claimed medicals and lost wages from a second job as a result of her injuries.
Defendants disputed the nature and extent of plaintiff’s injuries, but ultimately settled her claims prior to the lawsuit being served. Defendant City of Alexandria also waived its subrogation life for workers’ compensation benefits as part of the settlement.