By Deborah Elkins
Published: February 22, 2010
Liability was extremely difficult as the physical evidence established that both the plaintiff and the defendant were on the wrong side of the road at the time of this collision. The collision took place on an entrance/exit road in a Fairfax County industrial park.
The plaintiff, a 48-year-old self-employed carpet installer, was exiting the industrial park on his motorcycle. He was forced to go around an illegally parked truck that was partially blocking his path. According to the owner of that truck, he was told to park in that location by a garage owner in the park who was going to do repairs on his truck. As the plaintiff was passing that truck, he encountered the defendant driver who was also on the wrong side of the road. Defendant driver has just entered the park and retrieved his company’s mail from a roadside mail box. Both drivers were in the process of returning to their respective lanes when they collided. There was also strong evidence that the plaintiff was traveling at a high rate of speed at impact.
The plaintiff’s injuries were significant. He sustained complex fractures of the pelvic ring and acetabulum. He was transported and admitted to INOVA Fairfax Hospital for seven days, where he underwent surgery to repair the fractures. Following his discharge, he received follow-up care from his orthopedic surgeon and family doctor. Medical expenses totaled $57,503.65. The plaintiff made a good recovery considering the severity of his injuries. Any future medical care was in dispute.
Suit was filed against defendant driver and his employer, the owner of the illegally parked truck and the garage owner. That garage owner was uninsured and he could never be located. His garage closed shortly after the collision. The case settled two weeks after mediation for $210,000. Nationwide contributed $110,000 on behalf of defendant driver and his employer, while Cincinnati Insurance contributed $100,000 on behalf of the owner of the illegally parked truck. The carriers also paid the cost of mediation.
Type of action: Negligence – motor vehicle collision
Injuries alleged: Pelvic ring and acetabulum fractures
Name of case: Philip Schanke v. Bass, et al.
Court: Fairfax County Circuit Court
Case #: CL2007-2418
Special damages: Medicals – $57,503.65
Verdict or Settlement: Settlement
Date: Aug. 14, 2009
Expert: Adel Kebaish MD
Insurance carriers: Nationwide and Cincinnati Insurance
Plaintiff’s attorneys: David M. Williams Jr. and Douglas A. Barry, Fredericksburg
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