Spinal Cord Injury Victim Receives $21.5M in Damages

- Thomas Cifarelli

On May 23, 2013 work was being performed on the trolley tracks at the Imperial Transit Station in the East Village. Workers left the scene without providing any cautionary signage, resulting in more than 10 people tripping over the exposed rail at separate times. It was David Long who took the most serious tumble, tripping over the two-inch piece of track and hitting his head against the platform. 

That moment forever changed David’s life – he was 55 at the time. The blow to his head and the collapse to the ground resulted in fractures to the vertebrae in his neck and significant injuries to his spinal cord. Long would never walk or move his arms again. The injury resulted in a once able-bodied man becoming a quadriplegic.

Plaintiff Receives a $21.5M Settlement from Insurance Companies

Long filed a lawsuit in January 2014 which involved a lengthy list of different companies, including:

  • HMS Construction Inc.
  • Metropolitan Transit System
  • San Diego Transit Corporation
  • San Diego Trolley, Inc.
  • Asphalt and Concrete Enterprises, Inc.
  • Simon Wong Engineering
  • San Diego Association of Governments

The case settled relatively quickly in late July this year, and it is expected that the settlement will be paid in full by September 2015.

How Individuals Are Compensated for Spinal Cord Injuries

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, falls are the second most common cause of spinal cord injuries in the United States, with 26.7% of spinal cord injuries being the result of trips and falls.

Unfortunately, these accidents are often much more significant than injuries to other parts of the body, which is why the damages one receives may go above and beyond incurred medical expenses and pain and suffering.

The purpose of receiving damages from a claim is to restore an injured individual to their pre-accident condition. As in Long’s case and many others who have suffered an injury to their spine, their injury is permanent and life-changing. Because of this, compensation may also include items such as: 

  • Ongoing health care
  • Rehabilitative care
  • The cost of assistive devices
  • Modifications to an injured person’s home

Spinal Cord Injuries Require Legal Guidance

If you or a loved one has sustained a spinal cord injury as the result of another’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.

As tempting as it may be to settle for what an insurance company may offer you as compensation for your injuries, it is in your best interests to consult with a personal injury attorney first – in the Irvine area, the Cifarelli Law Firm is on hand to assist.

The insurance company will try to have you settle for as little as possible, but we have the experience to know exactly how much you should be compensated for so that you can enjoy as full of a recovery as possible.

We invite you to call us today to arrange for a free consultation at (949) 502-8600.