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Spinal cord injuries are traumatic and potentially life-altering

Permanent loss of your lower extremities or both lower and upper extremities are scary to even consider. However, as a personal injury attorney I know that spinal cord injuries can result from even typical motor vehicle crashes, especially those involving motorcycles or big rig trucks.

See also these related Virginia spinal cord injury articles:

What to Do After a Spinal Cord Injury

University of Virginia Researches Discover New Data on Spinal Cord Injuries

The lawyers at our firm have handled a number of claims and lawsuits over the years involving this kind of tragic spinal cord injury. One paraplegia case we worked on was an injury to a railroad worker out of Richmond, Virginia (VA). When a train wreck results in major spinal cord injury, the best lawyers use a variety of experts to prove the economic losses to the plaintiff in the future. For example, our firm hires a top life care planner in Virginia (VA) to establish what the future medical expenses and future cost of care will be for someone who is stuck in a wheelchair and will be for the rest of their lives.

The life care plan for someone who has a spinal cord injury will often prove the millions of dollars required for all of the future needs which have been necessitated by the negligence of the person who caused the accident. Because we at Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan are used to dealing with huge injury cases in the Federal Employer Liability Act (FELA) railroad work injury context and in medical malpractice and tractor trailer wreck cases we are knowledgeable about how to hire the experts to show the amount of future medical bills expected for a client with a spinal cord injury. We are also prepared to pay the thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars up-front as a client cost advance to put on this critical testimony on the client’s behalf.

What adds insult to injury in these horrible spinal cord cases is where there is not enough insurance or sources of recovery to take care of the financial needs of the client to compensate them for their past medical bills let alone their future medical bills. My law partner Jim Lewis recently had a situation in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA) where he was asked to represent a young woman who had been in a car collision causing her to be a paraplegic for life, unable to use her legs. The fault of the negligent motorist was clear and the doctors were ready to confirm the serious nature of her injury that was caused by the accident.

The problem was that neither the injured person nor the at fault driver had enough insurance coverage to begin to take care of the huge damages and expenses that she had suffered in the past. In fact although we searched around to try to identify all possible sources of insurance coverage, the amount of money available to her fell short of taking care of her economic losses, well enough the pain and suffering, humiliation, inconvenience, and other emotional losses from this car wreck. If she had been a railroad worker injured on the job and had a claim against one of the major rail carriers who are self insured and will pay millions in Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) case when they have to, things would have been different for this woman. If she had been struck by an interstate trucking company who carries lots of insurance because they are required to under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), again there would have been a better economic result for her. We did everything we could to make the injured woman’s situation as fair as we could as far as compensation.

Unfortunately, spinal cord injuries are so bad and so completely alter a person’s life that lots of money is required just to take care of the economic harm. Having worked as a person injury lawyer for decades, I can tell you that no amount of money ever makes right the life altering spinal injuries that some people suffer as a result of the fault of another person or corporation. However, having an attorney who knows what they are doing and are ready, willing, and able to properly maximize the compensation is critical to dealing with this kind of a tragedy.


Richard N. Shapiro
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia