As a trucking safety trial attorney in Atlanta, Georgia, I’ve worked with quite a number of spinal cord injury survivors, and have had some good results. But not as good as the verdict a Chicago jury awarded last week.

In the Cook County case of Chraca v. Miles, an Illinois DOT vehicle collided with another vehicle in an intersection. Both drivers claimed that the other ran the red light, and the local police reconstruction was inconclusive. The private citizen, who was rendered an  incomplete paraplegic unable to walk without leg braces and the use of canes or a walker, was represented by Chicago lawyer Martin Healy, Jr. Last week a jury returned a verdict of $25 million.

Paraplegia is a horrific injury. Most people have little idea of the complications that accompany it, including  muscle spasticity, pressure sores and  autonomic dysreflexia.

This paraplegic’s tragedy would have been compounded if the crash had been in Georgia. In a similar case based on the negligence of a Georgia DOT employee in the course of his employment, recovery would have been limited to one million dollars under our State Tort Claims Act, which limits payments to $1 million per person and $3 million per accident. We would have been forced to search for other sources of compensation as the recovery from GA DOT would have been grossly inadequate.



Ken Shigley is a trial attorney in Atlanta, Georgia, whose practice focuses on representing people who are catastrophically injured, and families of those killed, when companies violate rules designed for protection of public safety. Mr. Shigley has extensive experience representing parties in trucking and bus accidents, products liability, catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, brain injury, spinal cord injury and burn injury cases. He is a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy,  and has been listed as a "Super Lawyer" (Atlanta Magazine), among the "Legal Elite" (Georgia Trend Magazine), and in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers (Martindale).  Currently he is a national board member of the American Association for Justice Interstate Trucking Litigation Group and treasurer of the 41,000 member State Bar of Georgia.

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