She walks through the newly refinished part of campus on a rainy night with her friend. As the pair begin to cross the walkway, she observes an oncoming vehicle. In a moment of selflessness, she pushes her friend out of danger and is struck. Her injuries are extensive - traumatic brain injury, residual cognitive deficits, orthopedic injuries, a severe pelvic ring fracture, and more.
A negligence action was filed against the driver who struck her that night and settled in the amount of $1,275,000. What makes this case even more interesting is that a second suit was filed against the parties who designed and placed the crosswalk. The crosswalk was not properly marked with MUTCD signage, was not properly illuminated, and was improperly located 65 feet in advance of the stop bar at the intersection - which violates MUTCD, AASHTO, and VDOT standards. Defendants attempted to claim that plaintiff was contributory negligent for failing to see the approaching vehicle, but because she had no memory of the accident, there is a presumption that she exercised reasonable care. The second suit settled for $2,400,000.
At Portner & Shure, we always stress that, in the event of an accident, it is essential to recognize every possible party responsible for the accident. While many pedestrian personal injury attorneys would have just been happy with the success of the suit against the driver, experienced attorneys understand that there are often parties that are not so readily seen.