It’s a traumatic experience when you or a family member is hurt in an accident through no fault of your own. A recent client of Richmond personal injury attorney Matt Lastrapes gave a first-hand account of his accident and resulting personal injury case:
Tell us about your accident.
In January 2015, I was driving our niece home from a high school event, and we stopped at a red light. When the light changed to green, we started moving through the intersection in our Volkswagen Beetle convertible when a tractor trailer ran the light and T-boned our car on the driver’s side. Our car was propelled into the air, spun around and landed on its wheels. The car was totaled in the accident. The tractor trailer skidded and ended up laying on its side in the middle of Route 360. It was a very traumatic accident.
Were you injured?
Yes. I suffered a laceration on my head and a torn rotator cuff in my shoulder. I also experienced dizziness from vertigo for almost a year. Our niece had hip and back problems from the injuries and torn muscles. She was severely impacted and out of commission for months ‒ and she used to participate in every sport you can name, but that accident changed everything. We were taken by ambulance to the hospital; fortunately, our niece was released in just a few hours, but I had to stay in the hospital for five days.
When did you call CLG?
I was still in the hospital when my wife called Commonwealth Law Group; she heard about them from her sister in Maryland, even though CLG are Virginia personal injury attorneys. It turns out that the young man driving the tractor trailer who hit us was difficult to get in touch with. Our insurance company was giving us the runaround, telling my wife to call this person, call that person. It got to be overwhelming, and we were so relieved when we called CLG.
How did CLG help?
CLG took over the entire process; they talked with both our insurance company and the truck driver’s insurance company. As soon as CLG started working on the case, the process became clearer and smoother – they took all the worry out, and there was a lot of worry because even our own insurance company was giving us conflicting information. CLG contacted the police department for us to get the accident report, and worked it all out.
What else did CLG do?
We were worried about rehab, because after I was released from the hospital I had to have nurses come to the house for six or eight weeks. Doctors wanted to operate on my shoulder because I couldn’t use my arm. I had to learn to use that arm again – at first, I couldn’t even get dressed. And due to vertigo, I couldn’t move like I could before. It was a bad situation. The team at CLG made sure my rehab went smoothly and made sure everything about the entire process was smooth. I just had to focus on healing.
What case did CLG help you bring?
We brought a personal injury case against the tractor trailer driver and settled it through mediation instead of going to court. We didn’t settle until January 2016, so it took a year. Our lawyer, Matt, was very attentive to our case and explained things to us when the technical terminology got overwhelming. The process went very well. Matt was concerned with every phase of our healing process and was very accessible to us.
How are you feeling now?
It’s been more than two years, and I still have problems with movement – even though I’m up and about, I still have off and on bouts of vertigo and my arm function isn’t back to 100% of what it was. The laceration on my head healed well, and overall, I’m doing pretty good. Our niece is doing well, too. She’s not back in sports yet but has been able to swim. This summer she’ll try softball again. She’s an honor roll student, and with the settlement we got, CLG helped us set up a trust fund, so she will have access to that money when she turns 18.
What advice would you give to accident victims?
We would advise other people who have been in an accident that CLG is the personal injury attorney to call. And it’s not just Matt; we also worked with their paralegals and front desk staff all the way through our case ‒ they would relay a message if he was in a meeting, or look up information for us. They always got back to us quickly. The personal touch was really rewarding – we didn’t expect that. They were knowledgeable and professional and did exactly what they said they would. We have recommended Matt several times since our accident and will continue to do so.