An elderly woman broke her leg after she was thrown out of her wheelchair when the van she was riding in suddenly stopped. Her caregiver did not call for medical assistance.
Emily Springer, a retired teacher, was 95-years-old on the day she went for a ride with her caregiver, 23-year-old Aimi Salazar. They were driving in a handicap-equipped minivan that came to a sudden stop. Springer, who suffered from dementia, was thrown out of her chair, breaking her fragile legs and several ribs and sustaining multiple contusions and internal injuries. Those injuries led to Springer’s death several months later.
The death certificate indicated that “blunt force injuries” contributed significantly to her death. In the portion of the certificate that is designated to describe how the injuries occurred was written: “Fell out of wheelchair/caretaker did not strap her in properly.”
According to the statement of claim in the lawsuit filed against her, the caregiver had secured Springer’s chair inside the van in the proper manner, but she did not buckle Springer’s seat belt for her. Springer was unable to buckle it up herself. During the ensuing ride, Salazar, for an unknown reason, slammed on the brakes, catapulting Springer into the dashboard while her wheelchair remained fixed in its restraints.
Eyewitness accounts appended to court documents report that Salazar pulled into a parking lot to ask a truck driver to help her lift her charge back into her wheelchair. Two good Samaritans did assist in putting Springer back into her chair, while Salazar allegedly texted on her cellphone.
With two broken legs and several broken ribs, Springer was in ferocious, unrelenting pain. Salazar was indicted on a charge of injury to an elderly individual. The second lawsuit filed, a civil wrongful death lawsuit, is set to proceed once the criminal charges have been handled.
One of the most troubling things about the case is that Salazar did not call for medical aid, did not call 911, did not call an ambulance, did not report the incident to the police and did not tell Springer’s family about the fall.
Springer’s family may wish to look into applying for pre-settlement funding from a litigation funding company. A lawsuit loan is emergency funding sent to a qualified plaintiff that allows them to pay for their usual expenses and the added burden of enormous medical expenses. In some instances, plaintiffs are also struggling to pay funeral and burial expenses.
Many plaintiffs find litigation funding appealing because it does not have to be paid back if they lose their case in court. They are also not required to pay any funds upfront or during the wait for the trial, do not need to have a job when they apply and are not required to go through a credit check.