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Settlement reached in spinal cord injury lawsuit

One minute, a person can walk and enjoy the full use of his or her body. A accident, whether in West Virginia or elsewhere, can take that all away in an instant. Falls and car accidents can sometimes lead to spinal cord injury, and the consequences can be life-altering. In one out-of-state case, a settlement has been approved in connection with a lawsuit involving an injury that occurred while trying to rescue a wayward hiker. 

The plaintiff is a man who was injured while attempting to help rescue a woman who had gotten lost, along with a male friend, during a hike in a canyon out west. The volunteer rescuer fell more than 100 feet down a cliff during the search and broke his spine. The victim needed the insertion of titanium screws in his back as a result of the injury.

The male hiker was located first, and the woman was arrested the next morning. The man later pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine that was discovered in his vehicle. According to the victim's complaint, the woman created the emergency due to her negligent behavior in getting lost. A settlement was reached in the case on a recent Friday.

A spinal cord injury can result in paralysis of the limbs or of trunk of the body, among other issues. Fortunately, this victim apparently recovered from the injuries he suffered. In West Virginia, if another person's negligence causes an individual to suffer serious injuries, the victim is fully entitled to pursue a personal injury claim against the person deemed to have been at fault. A financial award, which must be based upon appropriate proof of negligence and damages sustained, may help the victim to address pain and suffering stemming from the incident as well as cover related medical expenses and other financial losses.

Source:, "Rescuer settles lawsuit against woman for injuries suffered during search", Feb. 27, 2015

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