Carter v. Hinkle case brief summary
52 S.E.2d 135 (Va. 1949)
Defendant automobile driver (driver)
sought review of the decision of the Circuit Court of Alleghany
County (Virginia), which entered two separate judgments in favor of
plaintiff injured taxicab owner (owner) for damages for both personal
injury and property damage due to an automobile accident where the
driver was negligent.
ISSUE The issue on appeal was whether the
owner, who suffered both property damage and personal injury as a
result of a single wrongful act, could have maintained two separate
actions against the driver, or was the judgment obtained in the first
action for property damage a complete bar to the second action for
The court affirmed the judgments and held that an
injury to the person and one to the property, even though they
resulted from the same tortious act, constituted different causes of
The court determined that when a tortfeasor committed a tort
that resulted in both personal injury and property damage there was
nothing unreasonable in prosecuting separate actions against him.
separate kinds of injury were in fact inflicted, and two wrongs were
The court decided that at common law the rule was that two
actions could have been maintained and that the state legislature had
not seen fit to change or alter the common law in that respect.
CONCLUSION The court affirmed both the personal
injury and the property damage judgments in favor of the owner.
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