JULIA CAIN, ET AL.
FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF STAFFORD COUNTY. Charles S. Sharp, Judge.
W. Coleman Allen, Jr. (Ashley T. Davis; Allen Allen Allen & Allen, on briefs), for appellant.
Danielle D. Giroux (John R. Owen, on brief), for appellee Joe Lee.
(Melissa H. Katz; Matthew A. Roberson; Bancroft McGavin Horvath & Judkins, on brief), for appellee Farmers Insurance Exchange.
Amicus Curiae: Virginia Trial Lawyers Association (Zachary J. Desmond; Sickels, Frei Mims, on brief), in support of appellants.
PRESENT: All the Justices
CLEO E. POWELL, JUSTICE.
Julia Cain and her daughters Raven and Reannah Cain (collectively, the " Cains" ) appeal the trial court's decision to give a jury instruction that they contend was an incorrect statement of the law. The Cains also appeal the decision of the trial court excluding certain impeachment evidence as well as evidence of the defendant's post-accident conduct.
On May 31, 2008, the Cains were driving on Route 1. As their vehicle slowed due to traffic, a vehicle driven by Joe Lee (" Lee" ) rear-ended them. The impact caused the Cains to collide with the vehicle in front of them.
A state trooper responding to the accident determined that Lee was possibly intoxicated, due to Lee's appearance and the presence of a strong odor of alcohol. The state trooper administered a field sobriety test to Lee, which Lee failed. Lee subsequently consented to a preliminary breath test (" PBT" ), which registered a blood alcohol content of .24. Lee was then arrested.
When he was brought before a magistrate, Lee refused to submit to a breath test. As a result, Lee was charged with unreasonably refusing to submit to a breath test, in violation of Code § 18.2-268.3, and driving under the influence (" DUI" ), in violation of Code § 18.2-266. Lee subsequently pled guilty to the DUI. As part of a plea bargain, the Commonwealth agreed to nolle prosequi the unreasonable refusal charge.
At the time of the accident, none of the Cains complained of any injuries. However, Raven later complained of neck pain and general soreness. She sought medical treatment, but was not diagnosed with a particular medical condition. Julia also sought medical treatment related to the accident for unspecified injuries. Reannah saw a doctor for a regular wellness visit after the accident, but was not treated ...