Zatopa&Stephens : Overview
Zatopa & Siegel, Attorneys at Law
Juan
Juan is the child of a migrant farm worker. He was hit by a car when he was twelve years old while riding a bicycle, incurred a severe brain-injury, permanently disabling him, and causing impaired cognition, physical impairments, and significant behavioral problems.

His parents obtained a personal injury attorney, who obtained a structured settlement, providing Juan with monthly payments for the rest of his life. However, those payments are not enough to pay for all the services he will need, above and beyond food, clothing, and shelter.

His personal injury attorney referred him to our office and we immediately obtained both special education and Regional Center Eligibility for Juan and located a Traumatic Brain Injury rehabilitation program funded jointly by the Regional Center and local school district.

We then obtained on-going residential placement for Juan, jointly funded by the Regional Center and Juan’s school district. These services resulted in significant savings to his trust fund, as his services were fully funded by these public agencies.

Raymond
Raymond was referred to Zatopa & Stephensl as a result of psychiatric problems resulting from physical abuse from a step-parent. As a result of this abuse, Raymond was diagnosed with Intermittent Explosive Disorder, Major Depression-Recurrent, and Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, requiring placement in a residential placement since he could not function in school while living at home. Our office obtained appropriate joint funding through special education and mental health (AB 3632) for Raymond’s residential placement.

While in his residential placement, Raymond was sexually assaulted by a staff member who had not been properly screened when hired by the residential program. Raymond suffered great emotional harm and regression. Our office obtained an alternative residential program for Raymond and also helped his parents find a personal injury attorney, who obtained a large settlement from the residential facility. These funds were placed in a special needs trust to assist Raymond with his needs over his lifetime.
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