Vehicular

WASHINGTONMETROLAW.COM
LAW OFFICES OF LEONARD P. BUSCEMI
 
Truck - Loss of Control - Crossing Median - Wrongful Death – Interstate Collision

Trucker on Interstate 81 in Harrisonburg, Virginia reached for a soft drink, lost control of his tractor trailer, crossed the center median and collided head-on into a Chevrolet Express Van occupied by a couple from Western New York. The van was pushed through a guardrail and over an embankment. The driver of the van was pronounced dead at the scene. His female companion died on arrival at the hospital. An adminstrator for the estate of the van driver was appointed in Virginia and a wrongful death suit was instituted in Rockingham County Circuit Court against the truck driver and trucking company. The deceased van driver had no children and no relative by blood, marriage, or adoption residing with him at the time of his death. Settlement proceeds were distributed to the deceased’s surviving mother, five brothers, and three sisters who comprised the entire class of beneficiaries under Virginia intestate succession laws.

 
Construction Company Truck – City Intersection Collision

Suit in Washington, DC on behalf of driver injured in intersection collision caused by construction company/driver/truck. The parties reached a $435,000.00 settlement before trial with the mediation assistance of the presiding trial judge.

 

Dump Truck - 60,000 lbs.- Rear End Collision - Stopped Vehicle - Fire Truck/Siren

Jury verdicts against trucking company and for plaintiff husband/driver and plaintiff wife/passenger who were in their 1964 Chevrolet fully stopped at an intersection waiting for siren activated fire trucks to pass through the intersection. The truck driver of a fully loaded (60,000 lbs.) “Mack” dump truck violently crushed into the rear of the Chevy. The treating orthopedic surgeons for each plaintiff and the medical doctors for the insurance company gave medical testimony concerning the severe flexion and extension involved and the resulting cervical strain, right brachial plexus injury, C-6 nerve root irritation, reversal of lordotic curve, and trauma induced cervical degeneration and bone spurring at the neural foramina. The case is reported in Metro Verdicts Monthly, Volume 2, Number 4, Page 163, Auto/Truck Accident Rear-End Stopped at Light.

 
Motorcyclist - Four Vehicle Collision - Prominent Fauquier Co. Resident

Fairfax County Circuit Court suit against a major local publisher (net worth reported in excess of $100,000,000) on behalf of a motorcyclist for permanent injuries (torn meniscus of both knees, acute L1 and L2 spinous process fractures; disk protrusion at L3-4) he sustained in a four vehicular collision near Great Meadows on Route 17 and Old Tavern Road in Fauquier County, VA. The driver/publisher violently crashed his Jeep vehicle into the back of the Harley Davidson motorcycle that was slowing along with other vehicles ahead and threw the motorcyclist from his motorcycle.

The driver publisher lived near the scene of the accident. He was returning to his estate. He denied he had been drinking at the Great Meadows Fourth of July party he sponsored and where alcohol was served. The investigating officer testified that the first thing the driver said without prompting when encountered by the officer was “I wasn’t drinking.” No officers at the scene performed a sobriety test on the driver either at the scene or at any subsequent time.

In the “crash description” section of the report of the investigating officer’s report, a deputy sheriff found the driver had committed a “Failure to Maintain Proper Control” violation but did not charge the driver. The deputy sheriff was asked in deposition why she did not charge the driver. She stated under oath that the decision not to charge the driver was not made by her and the decision was made instead by her superiors. The deputy sheriff testified that if it had been her decision she would have charged the driver and she testified that the decision not to charge was influenced by the driver’s prominence in Fauquier County.

 
Motorcyclist - Road Contractors – Failure to Weight Traffic Control Barrel

A traffic control barrel placed along a road construction work zone on New York Avenue in the District of Columbia was sucked into the roadway by the vacuum effect of a passing tractor-trailer thereby rolling directly into the path of and injuring a motorcyclist. Suit on behalf of motorcyclist against several road contractors for negligence in failing to sufficiently weight (sandbag) the barrel, a negligence per se violation of federal regulations, i.e., Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways, Part 6F5 (1993) resulted in settlement with road contractors with the assistance of a court provided mediator.

 
Intersection Collision - Red Light - Vertebral Injuries to 91 Year Old

Suit and settlement on behalf of 91 year old male passenger against a driver of a vehicle that at high speed ran a red light in violation of Virginia Code § 46.2-833 and crashed broadside into the passenger’s vehicle being operated by his son. The elderly passenger sustained compression injuries to the 1st and 3rd lumbar vertebrae, and a severe fracture of the 12th thoracic vertebral body. The 12th thoracic vertebral body required “kyphoplasty,” a procedure where a needle is inserted into the broken vertebra and inflates a balloon to expand the bone to its former height, and an acrylic cement is injected into the hollow created by the balloon to stabilize the vertebra and correct the posture. Before the accident, passenger was walking outdoors as often as 30 minutes per day on a regular basis. After the accident, he needed to utilize a wheelchair or mobile scooter and his walking was limited to very short distances.

 
Head On Collision – Teenager – Future Hip Replacement - Osteoarthritis

Bodily injury suit and settlement for 14 year old passenger who suffered a right hip dislocation and a fracture of the femoral head in a head on vehicular collision caused by a vehicle that crossed the median line into the path of the teenager’s vehicle. The treating orthopedic surgeon stated that arthritis, and a significant loss of the articular cartilage could be expected and put the teenager at great risk to develop osteoarthritis in the hip and made her a candidate for total hip replacement as she matured.

 
Three Car Collision – Following Too Closely- Rupture L5-S1 - Intervertebral Disc

A three-car collision on Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD caused the L-5-S1 intervertebral disc to rupture. Defendant found at fault for following too closely in violation of MD Code § 21-310 and improperly turning, slowing and stopping at signal in violation of MD Code § 21-604.

 

Five Bus Passenger Injuries - Pick-up Truck -Drunk Driver - Red Light Collision

Five court ordered substance abuse program enrollees were passengers on a Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and returning to their residential program from an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting that they had just attended when the driver of a large pick-up truck under the influence of alcohol (VA Code §18.2-266), ran a red light and slammed into the bus causing each of these passengers to receive various orthopedic injuries. Five lawsuits were filed on behalf of each passenger and each of the five cases were settled early in the litigation.

 

Chartered Bus – Negligent Application of Brakes- Three Drunk Passengers -Fractures-

Suit and settlement on behalf of three passengers against a bus company hired to transport a busload of Fairfax bar patrons on an excursion to a Baltimore Orioles baseball game. By the time the game was over and the bus was departing Camden Yards a good number of the passengers where inebriated and the bus driver became irritated with their rowdiness. Then, with no traffic conditions warranting it, the bus driver suddenly and it appeared deliberately slammed on his brakes and suddenly stopped the bus. Three bus passengers that were standing in the aisle of a bus sustained fracture injuries.

 

Passenger – Windshield – Laceration - Scar – Midline of Forehead and Face

Settlement of lawsuit in Montgomery County Circuit Court of a 19 year old female passenger in a vehicular collision sustained a facial laceration from impact with the windshield. Passenger was left a scar on the forehead several inches long and situated prominently in the mid-line of the face from the middle of the forehead down to between the eyes that understandably made her self-conscious and insecure in public.

 

Passengers – Taxibab- Speeding - Freezing Rain – Interstate 395 –Guardrail Collision

Suit on behalf of two Regan National Airport taxi cab passengers injured when the cab, traveling at a high rate of speed on Interstate 395 in freezing rain, that collided with a guardrail.

 

Pedestrian - Crosswalk – Proximal Tibial Fracture– Permanent Injury -Butler

Personal injury suit and settlement on behalf of a hotel butler walking in the crosswalk on his way to work when a vehicle from behind a stop sign lunged forward and slammed into his left leg causing a proximal tibial fracture, the type which usually result from a lateral bending force (e.g., when a car strikes a pedestrian from the side). A surgical fixation of left proximal tibial fracture was performed involving a submeniscal arthrotomy and the use of significant amounts of bone graft and K-wires, clamps, screws, and the affixing of an anterolaterel plate. The pedestrian, a former Ethiopian pilot, came to the United States to work as a butler for an Alexandria hotel to supports his family in Ethiopia. His job required constant standing, walking, running, climbing, kneeling, bending, squatting and all activities impacted by the leg injury.

 

Pedestrian Crosswalk - Constitution Avenue - Washington DC Wrist Fracture

Federal jury verdict of $150,000.00 for elderly Office of Personnel Management employee, who sustained a fractured wrist when struck by a vehicle while crossing all six lanes of Constitution Avenue and 19th Street N.W. in Washington D.C.

 

Pedestrian – Runner - Roadway– United States Park - Police Motorcyclist

Federal trial under the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S. C. 2671 involving the collision of a U.S. Park Police motorcycle and a pedestrian running near the curb of a roadway in Anacostia Park.

 

Pedestrian - Nursing Home Resident – Crosswalk – U.S. 29 - Inattentive Motorist

A resident of nearby nursing home, crossing Lee Highway (U.S. 29) in a pedestrian crosswalk that runs between the nursing home the Safeway across the street was struck and injured by an inattentive motorist.

 

Pedestrian – Speeding Vehicle—Urban Street- Loss of Control - Raised Road Median

Pedestrian while standing at intersection on a raised concrete median of four-lane urban street near Ballston Mall in Arlington was struck and injured by a speeding vehicle that lost control.

 

Pedestrians - Minors

15 year old, crosswalk, Anne Arundel County, MD

9 year old, skate boarder, intersection, Springfield, Virginia

7 year old, shopping center parking lot, Alexandria, Virginia

 

Defense of Bodily Injury Suit – Expired Insurance Coverage

Defense of plumbing contractor in Alexandria General District Court personal injury trial brought by taxi cab passenger (rear end collision between contractor’s truck and taxicab). Plumbing contractor’s insurance company would not defend against the claim or insure against any losses based on its assertion that it gave notification of cancellation of the policy before the accident was mailed to the policyholder pursuant to VA Code §38.2-2212. The contractor had to retain his own counsel to defend the suit because the insurance company would not accept coverage and defend.

 

United States Government Employee – Vehicular Accident – Federal Tort Claims Act

Trial in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia involving a Federal Tort Claims Act under 28 U.S.C. § 2671 against U.S. Government involving a vehicular accident between their employee/driver and the plaintiff who sustained an exacerbation of pre-existing spondylolisthesis and lumbar disc degeneration.

 

Uninsured Motorist Coverage –Shoulder Joint – Tear of the Superior Labrum

Suit and settlement of an intelligence officer’s claim against his insurance company for uninsured motorist coverage losses he sustained in an accident involving an uninsured driver who crashed into the rear of his stopped vehicle. The force of the rear end collision propelled him sharply and rapidly forward causing a tear of the superior labrum at the biceps anchor of the right shoulder. According to his treating orthopedic surgeon, and the Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, Sixth Edition, by the American Medical Association, Table 15 -- 5, "Lambral Lesions Including Slap Tears" the shoulder sustained permanent impairment. Two arthroscopic surgeries to repair the right shoulder did not resolve persistent pain, immobility, side effects of medication, and sleep disturbance that diminished the intelligence officer’s ability to maintain the same level of job performance he enjoyed before the injury pre-injury.

Comments