Case of the week

$175,000 Workers' Comp Settlement From Fall Due to High Wind

Mr. Jones drove a car carrier for a living. While in Wytheville, VA, the alarm went off on one of the top cars on the carrier. Mr. Jones climbed up the side of the carrier to shut off the alarm. He got to the top and reached for the car door when a gust of wind blew him off the carrier. He fell 12 feet to the ground and was knocked unconscious. Some people found him beside his carrier and called an ambulance. He was rushed to MCV and diagnosed with a concussion, head, neck, and shoulder injuries. The insurer initially accepted the claim, but after 6 months, the insurer questioned his continued disability. His orthopedic injuries had gotten better, but he still suffered from his concussion and has continuous headaches. The insurer sent him for a defense medical exam, which questioned all of his complaints. Then the insurer cutoff his compensation and medical care. I filed a claim for Mr. Jones and the parties agreed to a Mediation at the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission. One day before the Mediation, the parties reached a settlement of $175,000.

Painter Falls at Work in Glen Allen, Gets $205,000 Work Comp Settlement for Chronic Pain

Anthony was a foreman for a painting company. He hurt his right ankle in a fall due to uneven terrain. The simple ankle injury developed into a permanent ailment when Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) set in. CRPS, also known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), is when the injury heals but the pain persists. Anthony lost his job due to the ankle injury. As a result of CRPS, he could never work on ladders again, which is an essential job function of a painter. He had to go on workers' compensation. After a struggle with the work comp insurer, we managed to work out a $203,000 settlement. These funds will allow Anthony to pursue his dream as a long distance truck driver.

Electrician Wins Virginia Work Comp Settlement for Over $270,000

Mr. Smith was working on a catwalk for his company at an old warehouse in Henrico County. He was cutting some tubing over his head when the saw kicked back and mangled his right pointer finger. He is right handed and has been an electrician for over three decades. He could no longer run wire and do the tough tasks that an electrician does. It is tough switching occupations over age 50. He retained me to assist with his Virginia workers' compensation claim. I was able to show through vocational and medical evidence that he could no longer work as an electrician. Finally, the insurer agreed and we reached a settlement of over $270,000. Mr. Smith hopes to take the money from the settlement and start a new career.

Successful Workers' Compensation Settlement for Death in Single Vehicle Auto Accident

Ms. Denton's husband died when his van flipped over in Midlothian. He was on a work errand to pickup oil for the compressors. The insurer denied the claim, stating the death was due to "unknown causes." There was some difficulty with the case because the decedent (obviously) could not testify about what caused his accident. However, we were able to show the decedent died immediately after the rollover accident. In the past, the Virginia Supreme Court has said that if the worker is found dead at his place of employment, then the death is "presumed" to have been caused by the employment. We used this "death presumption" doctrine to reach a successful settlement for Ms. Denton's widow claim.

Left Arm Injury from Tractor Trailer Crash Yields in $250,000 Virginia Workers' Compensation Settlement and $100,000 in Future Medical Care

James Demary suffered a head injury, left shoulder fracture, and a neck injury in a tractor trailer accident. He had shoulder surgery and cervical fusion. A Functional Capacity Exam (FCE) found him permanently reduced to sedentary work, but he had no office skills. As a result, he lost his profession of truck driving, which he had done for 30 years. The insurer attempted to find him alternative employment, but Mr. Demary is 65 years old and no one wanted to give him a chance to start a new career at that age. Then the insurer tried to place him in a telemarketing job from home. However, we were able to defeat this at the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission by showing this was not meaningful vocational placement under the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act. Finally, the insurer agreed to settle his case for $250,000 plus an additional $100,000 for future medical care.

Wrist Injury During Police Training Results in $60,000 Settlement

J.J. Mills injured her right wrist in an accident at the police academy. She was being taught defensive tactics and got hurt when the instructor threw her over his shoulder. Her career as a police officer ended because she could not do restraint without risking further injury. She contacted me for help with her Virginia workers' compensation claim. We were able to work out a favorable settlement while preserving her right to get benefits through the Virginia Retirement System (VRS).

Truck Rollover Brain Injury Results in $325,000

Mike Shaw was faced with a terrifying choice. He was entering an intersection with his semi-trailer truck when a car cut in front of him. Mike could keep going and crush the car, or he could jackknife his truck. In a split second, he chose to jackknife his truck. The result was a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) that left Mike disabled. In Virginia, the normal workers' compensation only lasts 500 weeks. On Mike's behalf, I filed for lifetime compensation, a healthcare companion salary, and lifetime medical care. The insurer disputed his claim of a TBI and their doctor said he had recovered from the crash. We did a Mediation at the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission. It yielded lifetime medical care, a healthcare companion salary, and a lump sum of $325,000.

Virginia Work Comp Case for PTSD Yields $80,000

Joyce C. came to me with a horrifying story. She was an extended stay hotel manager and had delivered a package to a long-term resident. Some days later she went to check on him. He had committed suicide using a suicide kit Joyce has unknowingly delivered him. On her behalf, I filed a claim for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with the Virginia Workers' Compensation (VWC) Commission. Joyce could no longer work at her job due to constant nightmares about the event. She kept seeing the victim with the suicide bag over his head hooked to the gas container. The insurance company's psychiatrist said she had a stress reaction which would be gone within three months. Joyce's psychiatrist said she could never work at the hotel again. At a Mediation at the VWC Commission, I managed to obtain weekly compensation for her lost wages, an $80,000 settlement, and payment of all related medical bills for Joyce.

$157,500 Mediation Settlement for Injured Forklift Driver from Carson, VA

D. Brown was getting off his forklift at work as an order selector in Prince George, VA when a fellow employee accidentally hit him in the right foot with a pallet jack. Two foot operations were required to repair the crush injury. Mr. Brown underwent a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) a little over a year after the accident, which indicated he could drive a forklift again. However, he will need special shoes and pain medication for the rest of his life. After a Mediation at the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission, I obtained a settlement for Mr. Brown of $157,500 for his work injury.

Win in the Virginia Court of Appeals

Ms. Cooper was a surgical nurse who injured both knees slipping on the wet floor in the operating room. Her doctor provided her physical therapy that did not correct the problem. After two years, he finally decided she needed bilateral knee replacements. However, her employer's Workers' Compensation Insurer denied the claim. We won the hearing and the deputy commissioner ordered the insurer to pay for the surgery. Then the defense appealed the decision to the Court of Appeals. The Court denied the appeal and ordered the surgeries to be covered.

Head Injury at Work in Petersburg Results in $500,000 in Compensation

P. Jones hit her head on a sharp object at work in Petersburg, VA. The insurer disputed her claim for workers' compensation for her headaches. Virginia usually pays 500 weeks for workplace accidents. When her 500 weeks ran out, we filed for permanent total disability for her head injury. With the support of her doctors, we proved her head injury also injured her brain, making her unemployable and thus eligible for lifetime compensation. We won the second hearing, which means she will receive over $500,000.00 for this work accident.

Work Injury by Stepping on Hose Results in $205,000.00 Settlement

Joe D. stepped on a tanker hose at work in Ashland, VA severely injuring his right foot. I showed this was a true work accident arising out of the course of his job. The insurer paid for two years of treatment and compensation for lost wages. Then Joe moved to Florida and wanted to settle his case. After considering his pain and permanent impairment, the insurer was finally willing to settle his claim for $205,000.00.

Work Truck Accident in Mechanicsville, VA Results in $200,000 Settlement plus Lifetime Medical Coverage

J. Jordy came to me after his truck was hit by another vehicle. He had a workers' compensation claim for his lower back and a separate personal injury claim against the other driver. Unfortunately, the other driver had limited liability insurance. As a result, Mr. Jordy could only depend on his own employer's workers' compensation coverage. After Mr. Jordy received four years of medical treatment and weekly compensation, I was able to obtain a successful settlement for him with a limited settlement against the at-fault-driver. This was done to maximize his recovery and safeguard his rights to Social Security Disability.

Right Knee Injury Results in $240,000 Settlement and New Occupation

D. Thomas injured his left knee lifting a motor in Petersburg, VA. He was an automobile mechanic. He contacted my office for representation on his Workers' Compensation. He was no longer able to lift heavy items and perform as a mechanic. I was able to obtain a $240,000 settlement for him and a training course to be a long-distance truck driver. Mr. Thomas is now happy working as a truck driver.

Fall on Deck in Farmville, VA Results in $60,000 Settlement and Payment of a $325,000 Surgery Bill

M. Birkshed fell on a deck and hurt his back. Prior to this accident, his doctors had recommended back surgery, but he had always refused surgery. After his fall, his doctor again recommended back surgery, but the insurer denied it saying he had no accident and his back problem was preexisting. We were able to obtain a report form the doctor saying the fall on the deck accelerated the need for back surgery. The doctor noted prior to the fall, Mr. Birkshed was able to do his ordinary work on the deck. This matter was set for trial before the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission, but we reached a favorable settlement, which included payment of a $325,000 surgery bill.