Car Accident

Hanover County, VA
Type Of Case:Car accident
Injuries Sustained:Back and neck pain, significant tooth loss
Place of Accident:Hanover County, Virginia
Suit Filed:Hanover Circuit Court
Verdict or Settlement:Settlement
Key Takeaways:Injuries to teeth can take a long time to manifest. A tooth can slowly die over time due to an acute injury like a car accident. They are challenging injuries prove as causally related to a collision.

Our client was significantly injured in a three-car collision on I-95 in Hanover County, Virginia. She client was traveling in her lane when she was rear-ended by a vehicle and side-swiped by a second vehicle trying to merge into her lane. Her initial injuries involved her neck and back, but it quickly became apparent that she had damage to her teeth. Ultimately, she ended up losing fifteen teeth in total.

Collisions involving multiple vehicles can be complex in determining liability because all parties will want to point fingers at each other, alleviating themselves of responsibility. The injuries were largely contested in this particular case because some problems with different teeth did not manifest until months and even a year after the accident. Trauma can cause a tooth to die but it is likely that the problem will not be immediately apparent. As one can imagine, the pain of losing that many teeth over time was significant. As each tooth died, the pain would become severe, followed by all of the dental work needed to pull the tooth and then supply bridges or implants. Our client had a very tough couple of years following this accident because the pain was constantly there and would affect every aspect of her life.

We worked with three of the many dentists and an oral surgeon that treated our client. Fortunately, all of her dental providers supported that her injuries came because of trauma from the collision, although they had to concede that the dental problems our client had could have come from other causes. While her dental providers were willing to assist, her main treating doctor, who was out-of-state, would not speak with me. Unfortunately, we are finding it is becoming more difficult to have doctors help with our client’s cases, as some physicians are unwilling to even speak with us, much less testify on their patient’s behalf.

This case was filed in Hanover Circuit Court and counsel agreed to mediation. There was some argument as to how the collision occurred and who was liable for the accident. In situations where all defendants agree to some responsibility, liability can be divided between the at-fault parties and then they work out their percentage of payment to the plaintiff. But in situations where one or more parties is declaring themselves innocent of liability, it can be much more difficult to resolve the case. In this particular situation, one defendant maintained they were not responsible for the accident even though they agreed to participate in the mediation. Ultimately, with the help of the mediator, we got the main defendant to offer a significant amount of money. When we were going to agree to settle with that defendant and leave the defense to the second defendant, the second defendant agreed to contribute more to the settlement to get the case resolved.

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