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$895,000 for Portsmouth Tow Truck Driver Hit by Drunk Driver on the Interstate
$895,000 for Portsmouth Tow Truck Driver Hit by Drunk Driver on the Interstate

My hometown motivates me to work hard for my client and get results.- John Cooper

Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers

$895,000 for Portsmouth Tow Truck Driver Hit by Drunk Driver on the Interstate



John Cooper and Jim Hurley


A tow truck driver from Portsmouth, Virginia was working on the 1-664 Monitor Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel (MMMBT) between Suffolk and Newport News when he was involved in a wreck.

While he was helping a broken down motorist on the bridge, his vehicle was hit by another car as he tried to secure a tow. He sustained serious injuries.

The at-fault driver was given a breath test by police and was found to have a blood/alcohol content that was twice the legal limit to drive.

The impact of the crash was so severe our client suffered a displaced fracture of the clavicle, a concussion, a broken ankle bone, and injuries to his knee.

The tow truck driver was left in a state of delirium at the accident scene. He remained dazed and confused for some time after the wreck. He was later diagnosed with a mild traumatic brain injury, also called a concussion. In the days after the accident, he was confined to a wheelchair. He was no longer able to work as a tow truck operator or to do tasks like playing with his children.

John Cooper and Jim Hurley of Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers filed a claim against the DUI driver’s insurance company at Newport News Circuit Court. They made a case to support the evidence that our client had suffered from a mild traumatic brain injury in the crash.

Lawyers acting for the DUI driver’s insurance company claimed our client had post-traumatic stress disorder but had not suffered a traumatic brain injury.

Brain injuries are some of the most serious injuries that can occur after a wreck and a mild traumatic brain injury can also cause long-lasting effects. At the time of settlement, our client was continuing to face a daily struggle to live a normal life, even though he was out of a wheelchair.


A mediation hearing was held two months before the trial date when our client was awarded $895,000. The settlement was limited by the amount of insurance that was available.

This case serves as a reminder about how drunk drivers can ruin lives and cause permanent injuries. It also highlights the dangers that tow truck drivers face on a daily basis in Virginia.

Virginia’s “move over” law that was enacted to protect police, fire and paramedics by the roadside also applies to tow truck drivers. If you see a flashing blue or orange light by the side of the highway, you should move over a lane or, if it’s not safe to do so, reduce your speed.

John Cooper

John Cooper is a veteran of personal injury law practice in Virginia. A native Virginian, he was raised in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases and recently handled the largest auto accident settlement in 2010, according to VA Lawyers Weekly. The award provided $3.5 million to a child whose young father died when the vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended by a careless truck driver.

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Jim Hurley

Jim Hurley has been practicing law throughout Virginia for more than two-and-a-half decades. During his career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials — a staggering number — and handled hundreds more that were settled out of court. He is guided by the principle that the client is in charge of his or her case and should be kept fully aware of the litigation process. Jim has been awarded an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given, for his practice of law. He was named in Virginia Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, 2016.

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Bill O’mara

Bill O’Mara started his legal career in 2008, moving back to his home town of Chesapeake, VA. He has practiced in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury and other litigation. He has gained extensive court room and trial experience, including contested trials before judges and juries across Hampton Roads. In 2014, Mr. O’Mara joined Injury Lawyers as an associate attorney. He became a partner in 2017.

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