Motorcycle crash – $450,000

Location: Lynchburg
Verdict: $450,000

On July 27, 2015, the plaintiff was riding his Suzuki sport motorcycle on Fort Avenue in Lynchburg, when he was struck by the defendant, who was also riding a sport motorcycle. The plaintiff was severely injured, with multiple fractures to his left lower extremity. He ultimately underwent four different surgical procedures, including the insertion and removal of hardware in his left leg, and was left with significant scarring and only 20 percent range of motion in the left knee.  The plaintiff was kept out of work by his doctors for approximately eight months.

Due to the trauma involved, the plaintiff had no memory of the accident.  The defendant, however, claimed that he was riding on Fort Avenue in the left lane when the plaintiff suddenly pulled out in front of him from a private driveway on the right, leaving him with no time to react, and causing a T-bone collision. An eyewitness to the collision testified that the defendant was speeding in the moments prior and that she saw the plaintiff driving down Fort Avenue in the right lane and move into the left lane just before the impact.  The investigating officer measured a skid mark belonging to the defendant’s motorcycle of 98 feet.

The insurance company refused to make a settlement offer in the case based on the argument that the plaintiff was contributorily negligent by pulling in front of the defendant and cutting him off, thereby barring the plaintiff from making a recovery under Virginia law.  After a one-day trial, the jury deliberated for approximately one hour before returning a verdict in favor of the plaintiff for $450,000.