Car crash: $100,000

Location: Prince William County
Injuries: Orthopedic Injuries
Verdict: $100,000

The plaintiff was a 31-year-old female who worked as an assistant manager at a coffee house in Prince William County. On April 13, 2019, she was on her way home after working the night shift. As she traveled I-66, a major Norther Virginia highway littered with construction area, she experienced a mechanical failure.

Due to construction, the shoulder in that area was only two feet wide, and the plaintiff was forced to bring her vehicle to a stop partially in the travel lane. The plaintiff activated her flashers and called 911. Approximately four minutes later,  she was rear-ended by the defendant. The moment of impact was captured on the 911 call, which was played for the jury.

The defendant stated that he was not at fault. He claimed, wrongly, that the plaintiff did not have her flashers on and therefore could not be seen, due to dark lighting conditions. He claimed that she was obstructing the highway and “probably” ran out of gas.

Our plaintiff’s injuries included non-displaced fractures of the pelvic ring, which did not require surgery. Her treatment was limited to an ER presentation and a few follow-up visits with an orthopedic doctor. The treatment window was approximately a month and a half, and the medical expenses were close to $15,000.

Our plaintiff filed suit against the defendant for failure to keep a reasonable lookout, which resulted in her injuries. The defendant subsequently counter-sued and the cases were consolidated into a single trial.

Wilson Van Winkle overcame many trial challenges, including:

  • A defense expert/mechanical engineer who flew in from out of state and charged $20,000 to speak at the trial. His testimony was sharply limited by motions to exclude, and at the end of the day added essentially nothing to the case.
  • Multiple witnesses described a crash scene that was completely dark, without flashers.

The jury had heard the entire case by the end of day two, and elected to start deliberations on day three. They deliberated for most of the day, and returned with a verdict for our plaintiff awarding her $55,000.00. However, pursuant to an agreement negotiated by Van Winkle prior to trial, which included stipulations as to damages, our plaintiff collected $100,000.