A local woman catastrophically injured in a car accident on the highway has won a $4.6 million settlement from the state and the estate of the other driver.Chief among the damages for the plaintiff is a $3.65 million payment from the highway administration which the plaintiff sued for maintaining a dangerous roadway.The settlement comes at the start of the construction of the road interchange that could have prevented the accident that killed her passenger and left the plaintiff in a wheelchair for years.As an experienced attorney I have reviewed many cases of car accidents and have completed same with favorable results
The other driver had survived the crash but has since died of natural causes.On the day of the accident the plaintiff was driving when another car suddenly pulled in front of her as she tried to turn left to enter the highway.The collision broke most of the plaintiff's bones from her feet to her pelvis. She also sustained a massive brain injury, was bedridden for six months and then in a wheelchair, requiring round-the-clock care.Only after a lengthy hospitalization and multiple surgeries the plaintiff is now able to walk with a cane or walker and is only able to drive short distances.A highway official has called the crash an example of the kind of accident we're trying to avoid with the busy interchange.The project will go before the state Transportation Commission for final allocation of funds. Construction will begin soon and is expected to be complete in 5 years.The plaintiff sued the state and county alleging they were aware of the dangers of the busy intersection and did not move to remedy a disaster in the making.According to the Highway Patrol, the intersection is one of the most deadly in the county. Vehicles turning left must cross two lanes of downhill traffic to enter a merge lane, then accelerate into the fast lane of the 60 mph highway. Three years ago the highway administration closed a left-turn lane from southbound routes to ease some of the cross-traffic confusion. To avoid long lines waiting to turn left, cars were turning right and quickly darting across two lanes of traffic to get into the left-turn lane and then making an illegal U-turn into the northbound lanes.Within two years there were over 200 accidents at the intersection. The lawyer was prepared to present evidence at trial that the state was aware of the dangerous crossroad as far back as 1974 after 14 accidents and four deaths occurred at the site over a two year period with the transportation agencies then proposing closing the left-turn lane.But almost 40 years later, the left turn has still has not been closed. The project now is expected to cost more than $70 million to be paid with state and federal funding.The trial was to have started last week but the county which was sued because it controls the road had already settled for $195,000.The highway administration settled a few weeks before trial and the defendant's estate settled for $625,000 also.If you have been a victim of an auto accident please call me at 800 320-0080 or visit my offices in Rockville or Baltimore today.