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What Happens if I Lose My Job Due to a Car Accident

Video Transcript

Stephanie was a young lady in her early 20s who came to us after having been involved in a horrific accident in Hampton, Virginia. She was a backseat passenger in a convertible that was driving down somewhat of a windy road that went down through a ditch and then hit a tree head-on. Stephanie was thrown from the back seat, several feet away from the vehicle, and was found kind of in the wooded area when EMTs arrived and some bystanders came to assist. Stephanie had a number of fears when she first came to Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers, and the reason for that was her career was really up in the air. At that point, she was still in the initial recovery stages for her injuries, but at the time that this happened, Stephanie was in the military and served as United States Navy military police officer. Both her parents had been in the military, and Stephanie’s intentions were to make a career out of the military, serve 20 years, and then transition into civilian employment. However, her recovery did not get her to a point where she was able to do that.

When she first came to us, she was very concerned: “What am I going to do for money? What if i cannot get back to serving in the military as I once did?” And the unfortunate reality was due to injuries and a surgery that led to a leg length discrepancy, she was permanently limited in her ability to run, jog, stand a post, lift, jump, many of the things that are required of military police officers. So for those reasons, she was medically discharged from the United States Navy and had to all of a sudden seek new employment. One of the things that we did to ease her concerns when it came to her career was to hire what’s called a vocational expert. What a vocational expert does in a personal injury case is they evaluate someone’s career and work with the restrictions that are placed on an individual by the the treating physicians and evaluate those to make a determination as to what sort of career is appropriate for someone and what is not. And through the work that we did with our vocational expert, it was very clear that Stephanie was not going to be able to continue the United States Navy, and as a result, would suffer a loss in what’s called earning capacity- how much she could earn over the years going forward. And through our vocational expert, we were able to work up a figure that demonstrated the difference in what Stephanie could earn in the military as opposed to what she’s expected to earn as a beautician following her completion of cosmetology school.

The great thing about that is we were able to present that as a damage in her personal injury case, and it’s something that we were able to recover for her from the insurance company, so that any difference in wage that she may experience going forward is something that she’s recuperated, and she can move on without those fears any longer. She’s not going to be able to get back her Navy career, but thankfully we were able to help her kind of bridge the gap between what those earnings would have been. We also hired what’s called a certified life care planner, who is a medical physician who can project future medical costs that Stephanie was going to incur to treat her injuries as she moves forward. So through all of this, we were able to get the insurance company away from being tethered to her initial medical bills of $70,000 and getting much more than two, three, or four times than that amount.

What can you take away from Stephanie’s case if you’ve been injured in a car crash that wasn’t your fault? First, don’t take what the insurance company says initially to you as necessarily the truth or the final say. Initially, Stephanie was blamed or told that she bore some responsibility for this wreck, and that just was not true. Insurance companies are looking to resolve claims as quickly as possible for as little as possible, so Stephanie did the right thing and immediately contacted our firm, an experienced personal injury firm, to to ease her mind.

Second, it is important to work with a personal injury attorney who has the right tools to contact and engage the necessary experts that can really help prove up future damages, those things that we all worry about if we’re in a wreck, like what will tomorrow hold, what if my back continues to hurt for two more years, what if I need surgery down the line, what if I can’t do my job? These are things that require expert assistance, and at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers, we’re very experienced in finding these experts, getting them the information that they need, and preparing them for testimony. In Stephanie’s case, it was vital. I’m Griff O’Hanlon with Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers, and if you or a loved one has been in an accident, please give us a call so we can help evaluate your claim for you. Give us a call at 757-333-3333 or visit

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