Portner & Shure, P.A. in Northern Virginia is proud to announce that we recently helped a grieving family secure one of the largest settlements/verdicts in 2020 in Northern Virginia. Attorneys Jonathan Portner, Simran Rahi, and Valerie Portner, who were joined by paralegals Sarah Sadler and Stephanie White, closed a fatal pedestrian accident case with a $2.15 million settlement. We are hopeful that this large settlement amount will help them find financial stability in the future and act as a starting point for them to continue healing from this tragedy.
Details of the Fatal Pedestrian Accident Case
Our client, a mother, wife, and beloved community member, lost her life due to a negligent driver. She was walking her three dogs within a crosswalk when the driver crashed into her. Although she was able to receive emergency medical treatment, the injuries she suffered in the pedestrian accident would tragically prove fatal.
The defendant received a citation from the police and was found guilty in traffic court for failing to pay proper attention. Criminal courts are separate from civil courts, but the guilty finding is important for evidentiary reasons in any accident case.
The woman’s surviving family members, along with an out of state referring attorney, after looking at our past results, came to Portner & Shure, P.A. for legal counsel. We sued the negligent driver and sought justice on behalf of our client and her family. In filing suit for negligence and wrongful death we made it abundantly clear that this driver should be held responsible for the total failure to yield to a pedestrian and to pay adequate attention to the surroundings. This driver’s negligence permanently altered this entire family’s way of life.
Classic Defense Strategy Doesn’t Pay Off
Once the case was filed, the defense counsel argued that our client could not recover any damages because she was contributorily negligent or, in the alternative, that this was an unavoidable accident due to sun glare. Although there were no eyewitnesses, the defendant pursued these theories vigorously. At the same time, there was no evidence to show that our client was not using the crosswalk as intended and lawfully when she was struck. The scene of the crash certainly indicated that she had been dutifully using the crosswalk when the driver hit her, so the argument that she was contributory negligent was a classic stretch to avoid liability. Trying to blame the sun was also ridiculous, as every driver has a responsibility to take precautions when driving with a glare on their windshield, such as wearing sunglasses and slowing down to a safer speed.
The defense would initially not budge and retained a very expensive engineering expert team to aid their contributory negligence defense. If found even one percent contributorily negligent, our claim would have been totally lost. Nevertheless, we are proud to say that we were able to settle prior to trial despite the defense’s arguments. After two mediations before a sitting Judge in Northern Virginia and extensive back-and-forth discussions, we settled this claim for $2.15 million.
If you would like to know more about Portner & Shure, P.A. in Northern Virginia, please feel free to read more about our team, browse our case results, or contact us directly by dialing (855) 954-4141. Free consultationsare always available for inquiring clients.