Chapel Hill Woman Wins $825,000 Settlement for Injuries Sustained in Head-on Collision

Posted by Josh Valentine | Sep 18, 2017

In February 2016, a woman from Chapel Hill was driving home from work on Highway 54 when another driver lost control of his vehicle and collided head-on with the defendant's vehicle at a speed of 45-miles per hour. Recently, the two drivers were able to settle the case for $825,000.

The lawsuit was brought under the theory of negligence. Negligence occurs when someone has a duty to others, fails in that duty, and through this failure, causes harm to others. While driving a vehicle, every driver has the obvious duty to not harm others with their vehicle. Drivers fulfill this duty by following the rules of the road, being attentive, and driving appropriately for the conditions.

In the case above, a settlement was reached before the case went to trial. If the parties had not settled and the case had gone to trial, a guilty verdict would have meant that the defendant failed in his duty and, because of his failure, he lost control of his vehicle. His failure to maintain control of his vehicle allegedly caused the head-on collision that resulted in the plaintiff's injuries.

This case was a little unusual because the defendant had a rare muscular nervous disorder and the defendant claimed this caused the accident. However, a neurologist testifying as an expert witness was able to show that the defendant was well aware of his medical condition before the accident. The plaintiff argued that the defendant was negligent because he didn't take measures to prevent his medical condition from interfering with his driving. In a further twist, the defendant's father was a medical doctor. Because the father also knew of his son's medical condition, he was named as a co-defendant in the suit under the theory of negligent entrustment.

The plaintiff involved in this settlement suffered injuries that included a fractured leg and a crushed ankle. She was out of work for several months. By suing the at-fault driver for his negligence, a vehicle accident victim can potentially receive monetary compensation. That won't erase the emotional and physical trauma that was suffered but it can help the victim recover. In a typical car accident negligence case, the plaintiff/victim will seek compensation for quantifiable expenses such as property damage, medical expenses, lost income, future medical expenses, lost earning capacity, and out-of-pocket expenses. A plaintiff may also seek compensation for injuries that are harder to quantify, such as pain and suffering.

Experienced North Carolina Auto Accident Attorneys

If you have been injured in a vehicle accident, you could be entitled to compensation. Coping with the physical and emotional toll of an accident is difficult. You may want to move on and feel you don't have the time or energy to worry about a lawsuit. However, if the accident could have been prevented if the at-fault driver had been driving safely, you deserve compensation to help you move on. Let us handle the legal obligations for you. Contact Caulder & Valentine today for a consultation.

About the Author

Josh Valentine

You could say Josh has a God-given ability for sustaining long-term relationships. He and his wife first met in elementary school and went to Gardner Webb University (GWU) together, where they tied for number 1 in their class. Then, they both started law school on the same day of their graduation and got married during their first semester. He has also known his law partner Blake Caulder since Kindergarten. Theirs is the perfect partnership. “He’s the brake; I am the accelerator,” Josh says. Both Josh and his wife attended an innovative program at Charlotte Law School that allowed them to complete law school in two years instead of the typical three. His wife graduated and passed the North Carolina bar at age 20, becoming one of the youngest attorneys in the state. He readily admits she’s smarter than him. Of course, Josh went on to pass the North Carolina State Bar himself and later the South Carolina State Bar. While in school, he was Associate Editor of the Law Review and received accolades like Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society membership, Order of the Crown, Pro Bono Honors, CALI Awards (highest grade). In his career as a lawyer, he has been admitted to the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, is a member of the American Association of Premier DUI Attorneys, and completed training for DWI Detection & Standardized Field Sobriety Testing. Josh has also been named to the Top 40 Under 40 for Criminal Defense by The National Trial Lawyers, the Business North Carolina 2019 Legal Elite for Criminal Defense, and the 10 Best Attorneys for Client Satisfaction by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys three years in a row (2016, 2017, and 2018). Community involvement has been important to Josh all his life. In high school, he participated in building a Holocaust museum that has become internationally regarded. He and his wife are actively engaged in animal rescue, which currently means seven cats and two kittens. He served in prison ministry and assisted with fundraiser banquets there, and he provides pro bono and reduced fee legal services to those in need. As if all of that weren’t enough, Josh also mentors high risk youth and helps with his church’s youth group. He participates in other community volunteer projects involving construction, remodeling, drywall, painting, and landscaping. He’s an active student of the Bible and has traveled to Israel, Brazil, and Europe for mission work. No one can say Josh isn’t a well-rounded individual. In his spare time, he likes to play softball, basketball, and tennis, and he can play the piano and trombone. Sometimes on weekends, believe it or not, he enjoys pouring and finishing concrete with friends who own a concrete and grading business. In his law practice, Josh has made it a point to develop positive relationships with officers, clerks, and district attorneys, which has proven invaluable in delivering positive results for his clients. It’s important to him to both listen to his clients and fight for them. Law enforcement officers have important responsibilities to keep our communities safe and uphold the law, but one of the responsibilities of attorneys is to make sure officers do their job correctly. Josh considers it his job to hold them accountable for their actions. Josh is a person of deep faith. He knows that the established order of our universe and strength of America’s Judeo-Christian influenced court system is built on God’s word. His passion to serve each client with innovation, excellence and integrity is a byproduct of his faith. When asked why he became a lawyer, Josh says, “All through my life, I have personally witnessed family members and very close friends endure divorce, child custody battles, bankruptcy, civil lawsuits, and even fraudulent criminal accusations. I both saw and experienced the stress such events can place on an individual, and I realized that everyone, at some point in their life, needs hope, comfort, and encouragement. In each one of those situations, the person who was best situated to provide that vital support was their lawyer. So that’s why I became an attorney. I understand what you are going through, and I’m here to help you. Our office is focused on meeting your needs and guiding you through what may be the most difficult time of your life.” Education: Charlotte School of Law J.D., Magna Cum Laude Class Rank – 21 of 328 Associate Editor of Charlotte School of Law Law Review Certification and Concentration in Employment Law Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society Order of the Crown Pro Bono Honors CALI Awards (Highest Grade)—Lawyering Process I and Contracts I Full Scholarship Gardner-Webb University B.S. in Accounting, Summa Cum Laude Distinguished Senior Student Award – Highest GPA Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honorary Society Bar Admissions: North Carolina State Bar