What we’ve done
DISCLAIMER: Please note that every case is different and these verdicts and settlements, while accurate, do not represent what we may obtain for you in your case.
UIM Coverage at issue in Drunken Driving Crash
On May 28, 2007, Plaintiff, age 53, who well known in the local racing circles as a five time Dominion Raceway champion, was injured while standing outside his rollback tow truck operating the controls of the truck to load a minivan which had broken down in the right lane at the intersection of Route 1 and Route 697. The overhead lights of the truck and four way turn signals were all flashing. The Defendant, who was seen by witnesses as driving erratically before the collision tailgating and passing cars, speeding and switching lanes, his speed estimated by one eyewitness at as high as 80 mph, sped up to the flashing tow truck failing to realize the tow truck was stopped and struck the driver as well as the tow truck at highway speed. The Defendant who originally gave a false name, had a BAC 2 hours later of .17% w/v. Plaintiff’s expert toxicologist, based on deposition testimony, was prepared to testify that the Defendant’s BAC at the time of the incident was a minimum of .15% w/v and as high as .21% w/v.
Plaintiff suffered severe comminuted fractures of both lower legs as well as a fractured pelvis and fracture of the cervical spine. He underwent six separate surgeries, and had rods and hardware put in both legs. He suffers from permanent neurological injury to his left foot resulting in a drop foot . After his most recent surgery, he suffered a serious staph infection which took several months to heal. As a result of his injuries, he suffers permanent restriction of his movement; he cannot run or even walk fast, he must push himself up from any reclining position. He cannot do any heavy lifting. He suffers from chronic pain and depression. Plaintiff hired a life care planner who had, based upon the surgeon’s recommendations, set his future life care needs at $311,621. At the time of this collision, Plaintiff was the President and sole owner of a trash hauling business established by his father and was able to retain his full salary following the collision, although his business had to hire other people to cover duties he previously performed.
Defendant had a minimal policy; Plaintiff had four policies which shared UIM coverage.
Plaintiff brought negligence and punitive damage claim against the driver. A separate lawsuit for negligent entrustment was filed against the owner of the Defendant’s vehicle based upon Defendant’s testimony at sentencing with regard to the owner’s knowledge of his drinking and driving, which Plaintiff argued potentially doubled the coverage available under the policies which were non-CSL. Depositions taken on that issue arguably established a jury question. The primary UIM carrier (who did not participate in mediation) insisted on an offset of double coverage on both driver and owner, which in turn reduced what the other UIM carriers would pay. The case was mediated by Judge Bruce Bach of The McCammon Group.
Awarded: 1,025,000 Settlement