Driver ran stop sign, injured plaintiff in T-bone collision — $470,922.02 verdict

Virginia Lawyers Weekly//July 1, 2022

Driver ran stop sign, injured plaintiff in T-bone collision — $470,922.02 verdict

Virginia Lawyers Weekly//July 1, 2022

Type of action: Personal injury

Injuries alleged: Neck strain, low back strain, lumbar facet joint aggravation

Name of case: Swope-Campbell v. Smith

Court: Richmond Circuit Court

Case no.: CL20002348-00

Tried before: Jury

Name of judge or mediator: Judge Claire G. Cardwell

Date resolved: 2/23/2022

Special damages: $120,922.02 in medical costs

Offer: $41,000

Verdict or settlement: Verdict

Amount: $470,922.02 plus prejudgment interest

Attorneys for plaintiff (and city): Robert C.T. Reed and Randall Lee Appleton, Richmond

Description of case: The plaintiff sustained injuries to her neck and low back on July 3, 2018, when the defendant disregarded a stop sign and pulled in front of her causing a T-bone collision. The plaintiff resolved her claim with the defendant’s liability carrier and released the defendant prior to trial. She then proceeded with the claim for her underinsured motorist coverage. The defense admitted liability and contested the extent of her damages. The plaintiff’s neck strain resolved within approximately three months after a cervical epidural steroid injection. Despite no previous history of low back problems, she developed chronic pain in her low back after the crash. She quickly came under the care of a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist, who attempted several interventions to resolve her persistent lumbar pain and radiating symptoms. Over the course of three years, she underwent several rounds of physical therapy as well as multiple lumbar facet injections, sacroiliac joint injections, medial branch block injections, radiofrequency ablation procedures and implantation of a lumbar peripheral nerve stimulator. Her pain management physicians opined that she sustained injuries to the facet joints in her lumbar spine as a result of the crash, which were demonstrated by her positive response to diagnostic injections. The defense retained an orthopedic surgeon to opine that she only sustained neck and low back strains that should have healed within 12 weeks of the collision. Plaintiff’s counsel sought $350,000 in closing. The jury awarded the plaintiff everything she asked for on top of her claimed medical costs and added pre-judgment interest on the amount of her medical bills starting from the date of the collision.

Counsel for the plaintiff submitted case information.



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