Spinal Cord Injuries and Personal Injury

  • Fulton & Company Spinal Cord Injury Practice

    It is equally important that individuals who suffer spinal cord injuries retain expert legal representation as soon as possible to ensure that their legal needs are met and their future optimized. The consequences of a spinal cord injury are often overwhelming. Your ability to work, live independently or to simply participate in the activities you previously enjoyed all immediately become uncertain. The financial consequences can be enormous. A lifetime of lost earnings, the need for specialized equipment and home modifications, as well as personal attendant home care all have to be funded.

    Catastrophic injury claims can easily exceed the insurance limits that the obvious at-fault party may have in place. The insurers representing the at fault parties know this. They often have adjusters and engineers on site within hours of the accident to gather any information that will assist them in minimizing the claim against them. Unfortunately, the larger the potential claim, the greater the efforts by insurance companies to avoid or minimize their liability.

    As such, it is critical that experienced counsel with expertise in catastrophic claims be retained immediately to level the playing field for you, to ensure that all potential at-fault parties be identified and that an in-depth investigation into the cause of the accident be conducted. Documenting and preserving the scene evidence is crucial to ensure your best chance of receiving full compensation for your loss. Once the vehicles involved have been crushed and the marks on the road worn away, that evidence is lost.

    This is what we do. Your focus should be on your family and your recovery.

The Fulton & Company Difference:

Fulton’s Personal Injury Team members, Frank Scordo and Jessica Vliegenthart, all have experience representing individuals with spinal cord injuries.  Our team also has first hand knowledge of what it’s like to suffer a life-altering injury and its financial consequences.

Team member Jessica Vliegenthart sustained a spinal cord injury in a motor vehicle accident just days before her 21st birthday. For more information on Jessica’s experience, click HERE to view the Kamloops Daily News article by journalist Gregg Drinnan.

The journey through her recovery, along with her desire and determination to help others with spinal cord injuries, prompted Jessica to complete a law degree and dedicate her career to representing accident victims.

  • Jessica-Vliegenthart

  • “Personal injury is a natural area of practice for me,” explains Jessica.”I’ve lived through a life changing injury, so I understand what clients are thinking and feeling. I understand the medical process. I’ve been through physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and support groups. I appreciate how peoples’ lives change.” She finds her firsthand knowledge about what disability means to be particularly helpful when arguing with opposing counsel. “In my dealings with insurance counsel, I often hear assumptions about what someone with a spinal cord injury should or shouldn’t be able to do. That just doesn’t cut it with me. I know what’s required to deal with pain levels, impaired internal functions, and fatigue management. I’m adamant about a realistic assessment of capabilities.”

    Jessica’s personal experience provides our personal injury team with a distinct advantage in preparing comprehensive assessments of future care needs for our spinal cord injury clients. “Most personal injury lawyers are probably adequate at assessing future medical needs, but that’s only part of the picture. My clients want a full life back. I know what life looks like one year, three years, and five years after an injury. All those things that other people do that they want to do again someday – camping, going to Paris, having a child – they are certainly possible, but more complicated and require more funding for someone with mobility impairment.”

    Your future care needs will also be impacted by where you chose to live.  For example, it’s much more difficult (thus, more expensive) for someone with a mobility issue to live in the interior and have to deal with snow or regular travel for routine check-ups with specialists in Vancouver. Jessica’s firsthand experience with these issues  enables our team to see the future with a clarity that others do not.

At Fulton, we also offer our spinal cord injury patients access to ongoing outreach and mentoring by Jessica as part of our representation. “There is no manual for spinal cord injury. You quite literally have to find someone who has already done whatever it is you want to do. The disability world is my world. I’m happy to help people make the connections within the formal and informal disability community in BC and gain access to the resources they need. I can honestly say that my life is great, even with a spinal cord injury, and I’m quite passionate about helping people get the life they want back.”

If you or a family member have suffered a spinal cord injury, we would be honoured to provide the legal representation and understanding you deserve.

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