The victim of a car accident who suffered a head injury after a highway rear-ending has settled the case after a judge ruled to keep out testimony concerning the forces involved in the crash, reports Virginia Lawyers Weekly.
The $2.45 million settlement goes in favor of the plaintiff who was facing scientific evidence that claimed to give proof that the forces of the crash were not severe enough to have caused the injuries the plaintiff claimed to have suffered.
The victim suffered a mild traumatic brain injury stemming from an afternoon rear-end accident on Interstate 95 in Richmond, VA. The 49-year-old plaintiff, a construction project manager, was slowing down his pick-up truck as traffic ahead of him came to a halt, and an asphalt spreader truck struck him from behind. The asphalt truck left 140 feet of skid marks in its wake before it hit the pick-up’s rear bumper and tailgate.
The plaintiff said he felt dazed, but got out of the truck and took photographs of the damage, even measuring the length of the skid marks using a measuring wheel. The damage amounted to between $5000-$6000. After refusing an ambulance at the scene, the plaintiff’s condition worsened, and he went to the emergency room at Richmond’s VCU hospital. He reported nausea, confusion, neck and jaw pain, and a sever headache.
A CT scan by doctors revealed nothing out of the ordinary, and he was diagnosed with a cervical strain and concussion and released. However, four days later his wife found him at the bottom of the stairs, confused and disoriented. He was then diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome, but continued to complain of headaches, confusion, nausea and balance troubles after being discharged.
A month after the accident, a neurologist declared the plaintiff had a severe concussion, with MRI’s showing normal activity with some possible signs of head trauma. The plaintiff missed three months of work with the injury, and when he returned, he exhibited a short temper and a difficulty focusing. He was laid off a month later and never returned to his job.
Three months after the plaintiff suffered the injury, a neuropsychiatrist diagnosed him with a traumatic brain injury resulting in a number of impairments, including short-term memory, problem solving, processing and perception. He also suffered vision impairment from post-traumatic vision syndrome.
The plaintiff’s health care providers all agreed that his impairments were permanent and resulted from the collision. His future costs for healthcare would be $1 million, with greater than $1.4 million in lost wages.
Despite the evidence that the collision caused the plaintiff’s injuries, the defense did not concede liability. They brought in five expert witnesses who declared that the plaintiff had not sustained any brain injury, had no permanent problems from any brain injury, did not need brain injury treatment now or in the future, and was completely capable of working.
The defense contended that the plaintiff’s problems were emotional in nature and were not connected to the accident. They used an EdCrash program to conclude that the force on the truck was only two to three times that of gravity, and the accident was therefore not sufficient to cause the type of brain injury the plaintiff suffered.
The judge eventually bared all expert witness testimony unless it was used towards a medical opinion. We will keep you updated on the ramifications of this ruling.
The Parrish Law Firm traumatic brain injury attorney works with northern Virginia residents who have suffered brain injures and are looking for fair compensation. Call us at 703-906-4229 or send us an email and tell us about your case.
A representative of the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC researched and wrote this article with Mr. Parrish’s consent. If you have any questions regarding the legal implications of what you have just read, please send us your question by clicking here so we can have our attorney review it.