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Home / Verdicts & Settlements / Steering rack failed, causing vehicle to strike pedestrian — $450,000 settlement

Steering rack failed, causing vehicle to strike pedestrian — $450,000 settlement

Type of action: Personal injury

Injuries alleged: Closed fractures of the skull, left femur, left humerus, left tibia, several bones in the hand and general severe blunt trauma

Date resolved: 1/25/2023

Special damages: $230,407.11 in past medical bills

Demand: $500,000

Offer: $450,000

Verdict or settlement: Settlement

Amount: $450,000


Attorney for plaintiff: Larry W. Lockwood Jr., Hampton

Description of case: Plaintiff, who was 27 years old at the time of the injury, was walking along the side of a busy road in Hampton when he was struck by a vehicle which had veered off the road traveling approximately 35 mph. The driver of the vehicle told police at the scene that he had lost all steering suddenly and unexpectedly, causing the collision. He also advised the police that a local auto repair company had replaced the steering rack in his vehicle approximately three months prior to the accident. Suit was brought against the driver to establish the aforementioned facts, and that the vehicle had been in no other accidents and was only used by the driver since the repair. Suit was then brought against the auto repair facility, a Virginia LLC. In preparation for suit against the repair facility, plaintiff’s counsel had obtained after accident repair records and pictures showing the rack was not installed correctly, the vest camera footage of the police officers who confirmed that the steering wheel was “free wheeling” when examined by them at the scene, and vest cam footage showing the plaintiff in a severely injured state. The repair business had ceased business soon after the accident, but had $500,000 in general liability insurance, and no assets. Driver insurance paid $25,000 and the repair insurance $450,000, for a total of $475,000. Due to substantial pre-litigation preparation of the case, the matter was settled shortly after suit was filed, with no necessity for the repair facility to engage in discovery. Plaintiff did engage in discovery. Settlement was conditioned upon confidentiality.

Larry W. Lockwood Jr., counsel for plaintiff, provided case information.