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Virginia Woman Awarded $320,000 Settlement Following a Collision

A Virginia woman received a $320,000 settlement after a collision with a pickup truck left her with severe injuries, including a damaged heart. The case was settled in Nottoway County Circuit Court on June 9, 2023. The plaintiff, whose identity has been withheld, claimed a variety of ailments, including neck, chest, leg, belly, hip, and ankle pain, but the damaged heart was the most concerning. This settlement, though less than her initial request of $425,000, demonstrates the complexities of personal injury cases.

The incident occurred when the defendant’s pickup truck collided with the plaintiff’s vehicle as she drove ahead at a stoplight. Although a surveillance camera captured the crash, neither party’s traffic light condition was captured. The ambiguity in the traffic light sequence was resolved with the assistance of a Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) engineer. They determined that the defendant’s traffic light was most likely red at the time of the accident. An eyewitness also testified convincingly that the defendant had run a red light. In their depositions, the defendant and his passenger insisted that they had a clear path.

As a result of the incident, the plaintiff experienced significant discomfort. Her neck, chest, legs, abdomen, hip, and ankle were all injured in the collision. Despite the fact that she was not transported to the emergency room by ambulance, she sought medical attention later. The majority of her pain was relieved with no additional treatment other than the initial emergency room visit. The most serious injury was a bruised heart, which manifested as chest pain and decreased heart function in post-accident medical evaluations. According to the plaintiff’s medical experts, her heart fully recovered within 18 months.

The case was further complicated by the defendant’s denial of guilt and the plaintiff’s claim of a bruised heart. The defendant’s legal team presented several of the plaintiff’s treating physicians as experts to argue that the low heart function could have been caused by pre-existing conditions rather than the collision’s shock. This raised doubts about the case. 

The legal process was challenging, with numerous settlement offers and negotiations. The defendant’s carrier first offered $50,000 as a “tender and walk” settlement offer, which the plaintiff’s attorney quickly declined. The dispute raged on, with no end in sight, until the underinsured motorist (UIM) carrier stepped in with a $270,000 offer a month before the trial. 

One important aspect of the case was the plaintiff’s substantial medical expenses, which totaled $101,575. As a result of the accident, the plaintiff required extensive emergency room treatment, which accounted for the majority of this amount, $91,000. The increasing medical expenses highlighted the seriousness of the injuries sustained and added weight to the plaintiff’s claim.

The final settlement of $320,000 is a reasonable compromise that recognizes the complexities of the case. It highlights the difficulties and uncertainty that frequently accompany personal injury lawsuits, particularly when injuries are not immediately apparent or can be attributed to pre-existing conditions. This case emphasizes the importance of tenacity, as well as the critical role that expert witnesses and legal arguments can play in resolving accidents for victims and their families. While the settlement does not fully compensate the plaintiff for her pain and suffering, it does provide some closure as well as financial assistance.


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