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Montana accident victim returns to college

The injuries sustained in a car accident can be life-changing. But a person's attitude can make all the difference in how they move on in life and put the accident behind them. A recent news article told the story of one young car accident victim whose positive attitude and refusal to give up are helping him cope with the fact that he can no longer walk.

The young man was a student at Montana Tech when he and four friends went out to celebrate the end of the semester by hitting a few local bars. The group was in a car driving down Highway 43 when the car hit a rock wall, flew through the air and rolled several times. One of the young people was killed; three were seriously injured. Only one escaped without serious injuries.

The young man was a passenger in the car. He suffered a severed spinal cord which has rendered him a paraplegic. He is unable to move the lower part of his body and now gets around in a wheelchair - and in a specially outfitted pickup truck with hand controls and a hoist for his wheelchair. The young man recently returned to school at Montana Tech, where he is pursuing a career in petroleum engineering. He has accepted what happened and is determined to make the best of it.

But it has not been easy. The young man spent two months in a rehabilitation center in Denver, and the medical expenses are in the range of a million dollars. The man who was driving the car was charged with vehicular homicide and is scheduled to go to trial in May.

A case like this will usually result in a personal injury lawsuit. With injuries this devastating, it is important to recover damages sufficient to help the victim adjust to the changes in their life. In addition to medical expenses, damages can cover loss of future earning capacity, pain and suffering and future rehabilitation expenses. The liability insurance policy covering the driver is often insufficient to cover all the damages, so a claim against the victim's own underinsured motorist policy is often necessary.

Source: Billings Gazette, "Young accident victim keeps up his studies and his attitude," Francis Davis, April 7, 2013

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