Virginia: Car Accidents – a Lawyer’s Rear-ender

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On December 12, 2014, the Virginia Supreme Court entered an unpublished Order in Herring v. Johnson, No. 140417, reversing and remanding the two-car crash case for retrial on damages only. Id. at 5. Defendant had rear-ended Plaintiff, admitted liability, and contested damages at trial. Id. at 1.

Plaintiff in Herring appealed the jury’s award of only $5,649.00, since Defendant had agreed to $5,649.55 in medical expenses. Id. at 1-2. Hence the jury awarded nothing for Plaintiff’s non-monetary damages.

”Despite evidence demonstrating Herring’s physical pain and inconvenience suffering during the same time frame [as the agreed medical expense treatments],” observed the Virginia Supreme Court in Herring; “the jury disregarded the instruction on damages by failing to consider non-monetary elements of damages”. Id. at 4-5. Therefore, “the verdict was inadequate as a matter of law”. Id.