I wanted to write this note about the work Mr. Shapiro and his staff did to help me get my case settled, as it’s been a long road that I’ve had to go down with them. In May 2017 I was a senior in high school looking forward to graduating, and my plan was to join the military. I lived just over a mile from school and would ride my bike home. I was riding my bike along the one-way road sidewalk, and I knew a lot of truckers use the street, and I had to cross a ramp they use getting on to the interstate. I got near the end of the sidewalk and stopped my bike and put my foot down to wait for tractor-trailer to pass and go on the ramp, and the next thing I know some metal part of the trailer sideswiped me from behind, and before I could do anything I was rolling under the rear tires of the tractor-trailer in the street. The driver kept going and never stopped. Another truck driver, who saw the whole thing, ran up to me, I was laying in the street for dead and I didn’t even hardly know where I was. Next thing I knew the rescue squad was there. I barely remember a helicopter taking me to MCV, I was in there for over a month mainly in the ICU.
Sometime in the first couple of days my mom knew she needed to find a top Virginia personal injury lawyer and she found Rick Shapiro who talked with her and then came and met her at the hospital, and he talked to me but I was really out of it. He and his staff got involved right away, and they started investigating what happened. I just knew that some part of the trailer struck me and the law firm did all kinds of investigation. Mr. Shapiro hired a truck expert and they both came to my house to talk to me about what happened, while I was still in a wheelchair, this was after I got released from MCV. Mr. Shapiro went to the scene of the accident with the truck expert. They later showed me pictures and videotape they got there and the expert plotted everything out, all of the dimensions, the angles trucks can turn onto that ramp, and they videotaped other trucks turning into the entry ramp, and they researched the law that applies to truck drivers especially how the trailers on 18 wheelers track at a different angle from the truck cab and that the truck drivers are supposed to know everything about it.
Mr. Shapiro told me that the trucking company was not going to settle and so they put the case into the circuit court, and that’s when the war really got going. I’ve never been in anything like this but Mr. Shapiro prepared me a lot to give my deposition, told me what to expect from the trucking company attorney. The lawyers for the trucking company actually had located pictures from one of my Facebook profiles, they had gotten stuff that was posted five years before this ever happened, and they wanted to use all this stuff. Mr. Shapiro objected to all that and filed papers to be sure that the trucking lawyers couldn’t use Facebook pictures that had nothing to do with my case. What was even better is that my lawyer found evidence, from doing research, that proved that the truck driver had been convicted of a felony. My lawyer told me that the trucking company lawyers didn’t even believe that it was their driver who had a felony, because he had told them he had never been convicted of a crime! My lawyer showed them evidence that the truck driver was convicted of a burglary felony, and the tractor-trailer driver admitted it when Mr. Shapiro took his deposition.
We went to a mediation with a retired judge, Mr. Shapiro said it made sense to do it. This was the first time the trucking company showed evidence that they had $1 million in total insurance. Mr. Shapiro put together a brochure of pictures and evidence to show that the trucking company driver was negligent and all the reasons why. Sometime after the mediation was the first time the trucking company offered their full policy of $1 million dollars. Mr. Shapiro told me we could get more, so he eventually got the trucking company to also put up additional money over the amount of their insurance. That’s when I told Mr. Shapiro let’s settle my case.
If you are looking for a personal injury lawyer that will do everything they can to help win your case, and will keep you posted about stuff every step of the way, I suggest you contact Shapiro & Appleton law firm. My mother and I are so happy that we hired them. I’m hoping to start my own business with the settlement money even if I can’t qualify to join the military right now.
K.B. [name withheld due to confidential terms of settlement and to retain privacy]