A member of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol was paralyzed from the neck down in a motorcycle accident on July 22 at a traffic stop.
The trooper, a 14-year-veteran of the highway patrol, was hit by another vehicle in Charlotte as he tried to stop a third vehicle. The driver of the vehicle targeted for the traffic stop, a 36-year-old man, fled the scene but was later apprehended. He faces significant charges as a result of the accident.
While the trooper was immediately transported to a local hospital, doctors determined that he suffered a complete spinal cord injury close to the top of his spinal column. As a result, he is permanently paralyzed from the neck down.
Spinal cord injuries are some of the most difficult and catastrophic injuries that a victim can experience in a vehicular accident. The effect on the victim is only part of the damage. The victim's entire family is also affected -- especially when the victim is a major provider for the rest of the family. In addition, the long-term care costs for the victim are going to be extraordinary. The potential for complications, such as blood clots and pneumonia, is also high.
While the trooper was injured while on duty and entitled to workers' compensation, it's almost impossible to achieve fair compensation from workers' comp alone for these kinds of injuries. In many cases, it may be possible (and necessary) to pursue a personal injury claim outside of the workers' comp claim.
If you find yourself in a similar position or your loved one suffered a catastrophic injury in a vehicular accident, find out more about your legal options.