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Man rear-ended during rush hour on I-64 – $400,000 Settlement

Virginia Lawyers Weekly//May 14, 2018

Man rear-ended during rush hour on I-64 – $400,000 Settlement

Virginia Lawyers Weekly//May 14, 2018

Plaintiff was a passenger traveling on westbound Interstate 64 during Friday afternoon rush hour. Defendant failed to brake when the heavy traffic stopped and rear-ended the vehicle in which plaintiff was riding, causing a chain reaction crashing into the next two cars. In total, four cars were involved in the wreck. Property damage to the client’s car was only moderate.

Immediately prior to the impact, plaintiff had unbuckled his seatbelt to reach into the backseat. When the defendant struck the vehicle, the unbuckled plaintiff was thrusted forward and his face struck the dashboard. Although plaintiff did not immediately complain of any injuries, he later began experiencing neck pain and headaches. The force of the impact with the dashboard broke plaintiff’s jaw and necessitated the removal of three teeth. Over six months after the wreck, a neuropsychiatrist diagnosed plaintiff with a mild TBI. Among his TBI symptoms, plaintiff suffered from anxiety, mood swings, and depression as a result of the wreck. Additionally, in the periodontal procedure to repair his teeth, nerve damage resulted from a surgical complication and plaintiff has had tingling and numbness in the area since the surgery.

Disagreement existed between the two sides as to the extent of plaintiff’s injuries. Plaintiff’s counsel argued that although plaintiff’s treatment was conservative, the TBI, the direct impact with the dashboard, the broken jaw, and subsequent nerve damage are all very real injuries. The defense argued that there were no signs TBI at the scene, nor closed head injury claimed at the hospital emergency room, and that the TBI diagnosis was not made until months after the wreck.

The case settled at mediation one month prior to trial.


Type of action: Personal Injury

Court: Newport News Circuit Court

Tried before: Mediation

Name of mediator: Alan B. Rashkind

Date resolved: Feb. 20, 2018

Special damages: $26,000

Verdict or settlement: Settlement

Amount: $400,000

Attorneys for plaintiff: John M. Cooper and Michael O. Snellings, Norfolk; Steve Mirman, Norfolk

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