By Mike Snellings, Virginia Injury Lawyer
Interstate 95 can be a treacherous stretch of highway in Virginia. In 2012, a woman and her family were driving from New York to Florida when their vehicle was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer hauling sewage sludge in Stafford County. Luckily, the woman’s husband and children, who were all asleep at the time of the wreck, were uninjured. The woman, however, sustained serious injuries which did not intensify until some time after the accident.
As a personal injury attorney in Virginia, I know that frequently when a person is involved in an accident, they may not experience symptoms of their injuries until later. With the adrenaline pumping throughout the body, an injury may not truly present itself until days after the wreck. As Virginia Lawyers Weekly reported, this is what happened with the woman in this case. After the wreck with the commercial truck, the woman did not take an ambulance to the hospital, nor did she immediately seek medical treatment. Although the woman complained of a headache, she and her family rented a vehicle and continued their trek to Florida.
After returning to New York, the woman received treatment for headaches and was diagnosed with a mild traumatic brain injury, herniated disks in the lumbar and cervical regions, occipital neuralgia, and sleep/mood impairment.
A major part of the woman’s subsequent claim relied on the fact that the company hauling the sludge was negligently hired. The woman’s attorneys argued that the company that hired the trucking company should have researched the numerous safety violations by the trucking company and that the hiring company was the statutory employer of the driver, making the hiring company vicariously liable for the actions of the driver under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
All cases are unique and we cannot guarantee the result of a case with similar circumstances, but this case settled for $1,150,000. The woman’s attorneys—Peter Everett, Robert Stoney, Mark Towery, Chidi James, and Jessica Sura of Fairfax—did well to diffuse the defense’s likely arguments that the injuries sustained by the victim could not have been that extensive due to the fact that she did not immediately seek treatment, was well enough to continue her trip to Florida, and an MRI of her brain came back negative.
The high volume of large, commercial trucks on the interstates in Virginia make it both nerve-wracking and dangerous to drive along these routes. Trucking accidents often involve catastrophic injuries to the passengers of a vehicle pitted against a tractor-trailer. Many times, the unfortunate result is a fatality. If you have been injured in a trucking accident, please give Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers a call at (757) 455-0077 for a free, no obligation consultation.