Ms. Morris, a 56-year-old resident of New Kent County, won a hefty $235,000 verdict when a jury found in her favor on the question of damages following a T-bone collision in a case recently heard in Henrico Circuit Court.
Mr. Mankins, the defendant, admitted fault for the collision, therefore the trial centered on the severity of Ms. Morris’s injuries.
|Type of Action
|Name of Case
|Attorneys for Plaintiff
|Dashboard injury to left knee, aggravation of previously asymptomatic arthritis in lower back radiating into left hip
|Morris v. Mankins
|Henrico Circuit Court
|Judge Randall Johnson Jr.
|$55,395.75 in past medical bills
|John J. “JJ” Siegner III, Petersburg; Bradley Kent, Richmond
The Accident and Injuries Alleged
The airbags in Ms. Morris’s vehicle failed not to activate during a T-bone collision on September 13, 2020. Ms. Morris’s left knee jammed into the dashboard in the jarring hit, inflicting a contusion-like injury.
Her sister-in-law took her to the hospital immediately. Ms. Morris’s lower back and left hip started hurting in the days after the accident, thus the effects of the collision were far from over.
Medical Treatment and Expert Testimony
Ms. Morris went to the hospital because of her wounds. She had extensive physical treatment for her left knee and lower back/left hip problems for around three months.
Ms. Morris had radiofrequency ablation, medial branch blocks, and selective intrathecal neurectomy (SI) injections for her chronic lower back and left hip pain.
The plaintiff presented testimony from a medical expert to back up his claim that his injuries were caused by the accident and were treated as a result. Through a video deposition, Dr. Scott Kling confirmed the significance of the damage to Ms.
Morris’s weaker knee. He added that while the cortisone injection she got did help, it was only temporary and that the discomfort could come back at any time.
Dr. Robert Winfield provided similar testimony in his video deposition, arguing that Ms. Morris should have therapy for her lower back and left hip. She had asymptomatic degenerative disc degeneration in her lower back, but the collision worsened it and injured her sacroiliac joint, he said.
All of Ms. Morris’s medical attention following the accident was approved by Dr. Winfield as appropriate for her injuries. He warned her that, while it was difficult to say for sure, she would probably live with chronic discomfort in her lower back and left hip after the injury.
Defense Focus and Contested Claims
The defense argued that Ms. Morris’s lower back condition was the result of an exacerbation of preexisting degenerative abnormalities, and focused on the delay in treating her left knee.
This strategy attempted to cast doubt on how much the accident was to blame for the victim’s health problems and medical attention.
Special Damages and Offers
Ms. Morris, the plaintiff, filed a claim for $55,395.75 in prior medical expenditures but made no claims for lost wages. The defense’s final settlement offer was substantially lower than the final verdict, coming in at just $101,750.
The Verdict and Compensation
After a full day of testimony and deliberation, the jury found in favor of Ms. Morris and awarded her a judgment of $235,000, plus interest on the medical expenditures beginning on January 1, 2021.
Ms. Morris’s health and quality of life have been negatively affected by the event, and this sizable settlement reflects that.
The Final Word
Morris v. Mankins shows how important it is to have good legal representation and medical testimony in situations involving injuries sustained in car accidents. John J. “JJ” Siegner III and Bradley Kent, who represented Ms. Morris in court, did a great job of proving that her injuries were caused by the collision they were involved in.
This decision highlights the significance of knowing the full extent of one’s injuries, what caused them, and how they will affect one’s life in order to receive adequate compensation for one’s losses.