In a tragic rear-end auto accident a teenaged girl was seriously injured and robbed of a promising collegiate athletic career. The 15-year-old girl survived the crash but faced a very different future from what was expected on the day of the auto accident. When the vehicle behind the one she was traveling in with her parents failed to slow down for an upcoming construction area and rear-ended her vehicle and another at 70 mph everything changed.
The Rear-End Auto Accident
During her junior year in high school, Plaintiff was traveling by car (in the back seat) with her parents to an elite-level softball tournament. Traffic slowed at one point as it approached a construction site. The defendant was at the time driving a company vehicle belonging to the company he owned. Defendant failed to reduce his speed of travel from 70 mph and rear-ended the vehicle in which Plaintiff was riding. The tremendous force of the impact trapped the teen in the back seat, requiring emergency crews to remove her from the vehicle.
Injuries and Recovery
Plaintiff suffered a number of serious injuries requiring an initial hospitalization of more than one week. The injuries included:
- Multiple broken pelvic bones
- Broken bones in the neck
- Broken bones in the face
- Renal lacerations
- Perineal lacerations.
Treatment of the broken pelvic bones involved surgery to place an external fixator with rods that protrude from both hips. The fixator was removed two months later in another surgery. As a result of this treatment, Plaintiff was left with raised ”keloid scars” where the rods entered her body. One of the Plaintiff’s expert witnesses stated that her injuries are permanent. She was attributed a 15 percent impairment of her entire body. Plaintiff’s physicians also stated their expectation that she faces arthritis in the future and that she will probably walk with a limp when fatigued.
During recovery, Plaintiff was unable to attend school during an entire semester of her junior year in high school. In addition to loss of the opportunity to play collegiate sports, Plaintiff also lost a potential college softball scholarship. After the accident, Plaintiff’s parents modified the family home because she was unable to navigate stairs for months after the automobile accident.
The young athlete was recovering well and was succeeding in college after an unusually good recovery (in light of the severity and extent of her injuries). The case was settled in mediation two months prior to the scheduled trial. The settlement awarded to the Plaintiff was $1,200,000.
We never know when a tragic life-changing accident will occur. Any rear-end auto accident will typically result in some injuries to drivers and passengers involved. In this case, the force of the impact of a vehicle rear-ending another vehicle at 70 mph is likely to cause severe injuries to someone involved. In this case, most of the injuries will heal, although they will never be as they were before the crash. A 15-year-old softball player, with every reason to anticipate a college scholarship and a collegiate athletic career will endure some emotional scars, as well.
Call Altizer Law, P.C.
If you or a loved one is injured in an auto accident through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to a financial settlement for your hurts and harms. In this event, you certainly will want to work with a caring legal team. More important, however, will be your need for a trusted and experienced personal injury attorney with a well- earned reputation for aggressive and persistent advocacy for her clients. In these cases, you want the attorney who understands that in the face of losses and pain, it is about the money. Call Bettina Altizer when you need a compassionate and fierce personal injury attorney in Virginia.