Reinhardt | Harper | Davis obtained a settlement for a client in a motor vehicle accident case for more than $8.9 million dollars.
Claimant suffered a slip and fall at work in 2014. As a result of the fall, the claimant suffered injuries including but not limited to head, brain, and back injuries. Eventually the claimant’s medical issues included chronic pain and inflammation.
As a result of the claimant’s injuries, the claimant required home health care 16 hours per day and extensive medical care. Ultimately the case settled for a total of $5.3 million. Of that, $2.3 million was used to fund a Medicare set-aside in the form of an annuity. In addition to the settlement proceeds, the carrier had previously paid a total of $371,568.92 in indemnity and $2,924,389.37 in medical. Total value to the claimant between the settlement and accrued proceeds exceeded $8,500,000.
Claimant is a 30-year-old incomplete quadriplegic as a result of a fall to a concrete floor from the upper level of a home construction site. Claimant now lives with his mother in a rental house. He filed a claim to obtain 24/7 home health care.
The employer has been only paying for 8 hours a day of home health care from the time of his work accident in 2012 until the present time. His mother has been providing the additional care that he needed. Claimant relocated out of state in order to facilitate a better living situation and treatment with new healthcare providers. Due to the Corona Virus Pandemic, all of the parties including the claimant, the carrier, the excess carriers, the lawyers, and the annuity experts convened by WebEx to hold a mediation conference over the course of two days. As a result of the mediation, the parties were able to successfully resolve the case for $3.8M making this the 4th largest workers’ compensation settlement reported in Virginia. The claimant is receiving Social Security Disability and Medicare. As a result, a portion of the settlement includes the funding of a CMS approved MSA (Medicare Set Aside) and administration of a sum amounting to the cost of $1.5M. The balance of the settlement is being used to fund lump sum up front money to the claimant and an annuity to provide for ongoing monthly checks for life. Prior to the settlement, because of his ongoing weekly Workers Compensation checks, the claimant was ineligible for SSI (Supplemental Social Security) and Medicaid. However, post settlement his monies will all be placed in a Special Needs Trust (SNT). An attorney practicing where the claimant lives was hired to advise on Medicaid issues and the SNT. The SNT is a charitable pooled trust which reduces the cost of management of the claimant’s money. Because of the SNT, claimant will become eligible for both SSI and Medicaid. With the upfront settlement monies, the claimant will purchase a home and a handicap equipped van which will be exempt resources not disqualifying him from receiving SSI and Medicaid. As a result of his Medicare eligibility post settlement, the MSA will be used to pay for the cost of his work injury related hospital bills, doctor bills, and prescriptions. An annuity which is sufficient to cover the additional cost of his personal needs for the remainder of his lifetime will also be funded by the settlement. In addition, after the settlement, the claimant will be seeking to have Medicaid pay for a portion of his home healthcare. We have also retained an attorney in his new home state to assist him with that effort. The settlement will allow claimant to have a much better quality of life in his new home state.
While working at a trade show out of state in 2005, the claimant suffered a hernia while lifting boxes. The client came to Reinhardt Harper Davis in 2008 for help because the worker’s compensation carrier was denying his claim for lost wages. Because of complications of the hernia mesh repair resulting in nerve entrapment and constant ongoing pain, the claimant had multiple surgeries and procedures to attempt to eliminate and reduce the pain.
His claim for lost wages was denied by the worker’s compensation carrier and after a hearing and an appeal, the claimant prevailed and was awarded past due wages and an ongoing weekly check. Ultimately, the wage portion of the claim settled in 2012 for a lump sum plus a structured annuity payment providing for a guaranteed monthly payment for the next 8 years. The claimant continued to require significant ongoing medical care and treatment after the wage portion of the case settled. The carrier repeatedly denied significant portions of the ongoing medical care. Our office filed multiple claims every time medical care or treatment was denied. We prevailed on every issue before the VWC and the client received all the medical care ordered by his doctors. After our most recent win before the VWC requiring the carrier to pay for additional medication and treatment, the carrier finally agreed to discuss settling the medical portion of the claim and we were able to reach settlement on the second portion of the case.
Total value of the two settlements was a $1,070,878. In addition to the $1,070,878 in settlement proceeds, RHD was able to force the carrier to expend an excess of $990,000 in lost wages and medicals in addition to the two settlements. Total benefits we won for our client between settlements and payment of wages and medical was just over $2,000,000 ($2,060,878). At Reinhardt Harper Davis, we are committed to fighting for our clients as long as it takes to ensure they get the settlement and worker’s compensation benefits they are entitled to given their severe injuries. This case illustrates our dedication to our client over the course of 12 years to ensure he got the result he deserved.
Our client, who was a supervisor for a commercial roofing company, was struck from behind by a van operated by an employee of a HVAC service company while driving his employer’s king cab pick-up.
Despite photographs that revealed very little damage to either vehicle, all passengers in our client’s truck reported a significant impact. Although our client did not seek medical treatment for several days after the accident, MRI and x-rays revealed an instable bilateral pars fracture in his lumbar spine. Our client had undergone a prior fusion surgery 25 years earlier but fully recovered with no additional problems. Our client’s orthopedic surgeon performed a new fusion surgery at the site of the pars fracture and decompression at the prior surgery site. After experiencing improvement of 70%-80%, our client was referred to his primary care physician for pain management which consisted of therapy and medications and lead to a diagnosis of chronic pain. Vocational and functional testing determined that our client could never return to roofing work and limited him to light physical demand level work. He was also assigned 13% impairment to his left leg and 12% “whole person” permanent impairment. The evidence we obtained revealed that our client would require ongoing medical care and never be able to earn as much as he did before the accident. The negligent driver’s insurance company attacked all aspects of our client’s case. We assembled a team of experts including an orthopedic surgeon, primary care physician, life care planner, vocational counselor, disability examiner, physical therapist and an economist to testify for our client. A settlement mediation was unsuccessful after the insurance company attempted to “lowball” the value of the case. On the night before his trial was to begin in the Circuit Court of the City of Richmond, our client’s personal injury case settled for $1,550,000.00. His workers’ compensation case then settled for another $65,000.00, for a total value of $1,615,000.00.
$1.2M Settlement + Approx $1.5M in Past Benefits
Claimant suffered injury in 2012. At the time she was working as a nurse at a psychiatric facility where she was attached by a patient and suffered head injuries when her head was slammed against the concrete floor on two separate occasions. We were able to get the carrier to accept the case as compensable, and the claimant was awarded ongoing temporary total benefits. The parties attempted to mediate the case in 2015. Mediation at the Worker’s Compensation Commission was unsuccessful as carrier’s max authority at the time was $100,000. Following the unsuccessful mediation, we filed a motion to amend the claimant’s hourly wage to the max compensation rate based on substantially similar second job the plaintiff had at the time of the accident. We were successful at the hearing on that matter and successful on the appeal. The carrier had to backdate the claimant’s check to the max compensation rate to the date of the accident. The claimant continued to be out of work receiving temporary total benefits. There were occasional fights at hearings over denied medical care. The claimant prevailed on all of those. Eventually the claimant’s doctors indicated that she needed home health care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to be provided by her husband. We filed a claim for that, which was denied by the carrier, and were successful at the hearing before the deputy, on appeal to the full Commission, and on the appeal to the Court of Appeals. The end result was that the carrier was ordered to pay for the home health care that was being provided by the husband 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. After the carrier paid the claimant’s husband all of the past owed home health care wages, the parties agreed to mediate the matter and we were able to settle the claim for $1.2 million with any Medicare-covered medicals left open. Reinhardt | Harper | Davis is always willing to fight for our clients and are willing to stay with them as long as they need us. This case represents an example where the insurance company was unfair and unreasonable in the beginning, refusing to agree to appropriate average weekly wage for the client, and refused to settle for a fair value in 2015. Reinhardt | Harper | Davis fought for our client on every issue that was denied by the carrier. We won every hearing before the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission and the Court of Appeals on different occasions and ultimately forced the carrier to pay the client $1.2 million. Prior to settlement, the carrier was forced to pay for approximately $1.5 million in benefits. In addition, the defendant was forced to leave her medical open so she still has a right to ongoing medical care for those items that would normally be covered by Medicare, such as doctor’s visits and prescription medications.
Our 50-year-old client was driving a water truck in a convoy of vehicles for a large paving company when the defendant ran a stop sign and pulled out in front of him.
Our client was forced to turn sharply to the left in an attempt to avoid the collision, causing the water in the tanker to shift and the truck to roll over on its side. Our client struck his head and face against the pavement as his truck slid along the road before coming to rest in a ditch. Our client sustained severe facial fractures and underwent surgery to implant permanent metal hardware in his face. He also sustained broken ribs, a fractured sternum, and injuries to both shoulders. In the weeks following the accident, our client also developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which resulted in significant depression, anxiety and frequent nightmares. After being retained, we filed a workers’ compensation claim for our client against his employer and a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver. Our client received over $168,000.00 in workers’ compensation benefits, after which we settled his claim for an additional $50,000.00. We then settled his personal injury for $750,000.00. Our client thus received settlements with a combined value exceeding $968,000.00. Although our client’s injuries prevented him from returning to his prior job, he was extremely motivated to move forward with his life. He returned to work as a security officer and has received several promotions and raises. We are very impressed with the way our client bounced back from his severe injuries and are proud to have provided him and his family with some financial security.
Our client suffered a traumatic amputation to his left arm while operating a machine at a production facility on June 24, 2008.
His modest earnings at the time of the accident limited him to a very low weekly workers’ compensation rate. At the time of settlement, the claimant had received weekly benefits for 5 1/2 years, which represented almost 60% of the maximum period available to him. He had also received medical treatment costing $449,792.50, including both a manual prosthesis and a myoelectric i-LIMB utilizing the latest “bionic” technology. The settlement provides our client with the value of 100% of the remaining compensation benefits available under the Workers’ Compensation Act, full funding of a Medicare-approved set-aside to cover his future medical needs, professional administration of his medical funds, and an additional $153,000.00. Our client had little formal education. He experienced significant difficulties coping with his injury and adjusting to life as an amputee. His low weekly workers’ compensation rate also caused significant financial distress. During the time Reinhardt Harper Davis, PLC represented him, multiple claims were successfully litigated over denials of treatment by the insurer, including payment for the psychiatric treatment and treatment for a rotator cuff tear to the right shoulder caused by “overuse syndrome.” During his rehabilitation, our client reconciled with his estranged son and moved out of state to live with him following the settlement.
The claimant was injured in a work accident on September 29, 2000.
Counsel was hired after the original claim was denied by the workers’ compensation carrier. The original hearing was held and the claimant prevailed. Over the course of representation, the claim required three additional hearings. The claimant prevailed in all hearings and the carrier appealed each opinion to the full commission where the claimant prevailed. Ultimately the claimant was able to use up the full amount of his 500 weeks due to his original back injury. The claimant’s authorized treating doctor eventually opined that the claimant had lost 40% of the function of both legs. A claim was made to have the claimant declared a permanent total after the expiration of his original 500 weeks. While that claim was pending, the parties went to mediation with Deputy Commissioner Hunter where the claim settled for a total amount of $400,000. As a result of that settlement, the client received $213,000 in a lump sum. The rest of the money was used to fund a Medicare Set Aside in the form of an annuity. The Medicare Set Aside was funded in a form of $68,000 upfront in cash, along with $9,875 on an annual basis for the remainder of the client’s life expectancy of 19 years. As a result of efforts of counsel for the claimant, the claimant ultimately received, in addition to the $400,000 settlement, a total of $211,709 in compensation benefits and $289,000 of past medical treatment. Those sums plus the additional $400,000 means the client received a total benefits package over the course of the claim of $900,000. Representation of the client lasted for just over 13 years. The client has declared social security disabled several years ago and will continue to receive his Social Security Disability benefits and continues to have Medicare and the Medicare Set Aside to cover his future medical needs.
Workers’ Compensation Death Case Settles for $175,000 After First Attorney Drops Case
Background: The injured worker died in a horrific motor vehicle accident while he was at work. While driving a truck filled with sand, he experienced a heart attack causing him to run off the road and crash into a tree. The deceased worker’s widow originally hired a different attorney from a large Virginia law firm to pursue a workers’ compensation claim. That firm told the widow that the case was not winnable and dropped the case based on the medical examiner’s report that stated the worker died of a heart attack prior to the crash. If that evidence was true, the worker’s case would not have been covered under Virginia’s workers’ compensation laws. A friend of the widow’s family asked Stephen Harper to take a second look at the case.
Stephen Harper hired an expert pathologist to review the medical evidence. Our expert opined that the injuries from the collision with the tree contributed to his death. Stephen Harper was also able to track down the first two witnesses on the scene, who observed the worker’s condition before the paramedics arrived. One of the witnesses testified that he tried to render aid and that our client still had a pulse at the time. Amazingly, the other witness had a video from his phone showing our client still moving and breathing after the collision. After reviewing our pathologist’s report and the video, the state’s medical examiner agreed to revise her prior autopsy report to state that the impact with the tree contributed to the worker’s death. Faced with that evidence, the insurance company agreed to mediation and ultimately paid $175,000 to our client and settled the case. Our client and her family were thrilled with the result after their first attorney gave up on the case.
An 18-year old construction worker was struck in the head by a heavy piece of equipment while on the job.
He suffered a severe traumatic brain injury. Efforts to return the plaintiff to some form of gainful employment failed, and he was eventually placed in a residential brain injury rehabilitation facility. The employer’s workers’ compensation carrier agreed to plaintiff’s entry of permanent and total disability benefits. At mediation, the disability benefits and non-Medicare covered treatments were settled for a cash payment of million. He received a Medicare Set-Aside of 234,989. A special needs trust was set up to administer the proceeds and the MSA. The payout is more than two times the largest reported workers’ compensation settlement in Virginia.
Claimant is a 42 year old quadriplegic as a result of a fall from a second story balcony. He required 24/7 home health care which was being provided by the workers’ compensation carrier.
At a mediation, the parties were able to successfully resolve the case for a total upfront cost of $3.9M. The claimant is not eligible for Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Medicare because he has insufficient deposits paid into the Social Security system. Because of his ongoing weekly compensation checks, he was also ineligible for Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) and Medicaid. The settlement proceeds were placed in a Special Needs Trust (SNT). The SNT is a pooled trust which reduces the cost of management of the claimant’s money. Because of the SNT, he will become eligible for both SSI and Medicaid. With upfront settlement monies, he purchased a home and a handicap van which will be exempt resources not disqualifying him from receiving SSI and Medicaid. As a result of his Medicaid eligibility post settlement, Medicaid will pay for his hospital bills, doctor bills and prescriptions as well as 40 hours per week of his home health care at no cost to him. An annuity sufficient to cover the additional cost of his home health care needs for the remainder of his lifetime was be funded by the settlement. The claimant will become the employer of his home health care aides through an inexpensive payroll service paid out of the SNT. As a result of this change, the cost of his home health care aids is much lower than the amount being paid pre-settlement by the carrier to an agency. In addition, an annuity was set up to cover the cost of a nurse case manager to help handle his significant medical needs and arrange treatment and appointments. Additional annuities are also funding his ongoing living expenses. Claimant may potentially qualify for Medicare and SSDI upon reaching his full retirement age. An opinion was obtained from a Medicare expert lawyer that a Medicare Set Aside was not needed.
The claimant was operating a front-end loader trash truck when it was struck head-on by a large dump truck. As a result of that accident, the claimant suffered severe injuries including traumatic brain injury, broken sternum, broken clavicle, broken ribs, scalp laceration, ear laceration, concussion, and a spinal cord injury.
On November 26, 2018, the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission approved a settlement for the claimant in the amount of $2.5 million. The claimant was represented by Stephen Harper, a partner at Reinhardt | Harper | Davis. At the time of the accident, the claimant was 43 years old and married with 4 children ages 12-21. The claimant was operating a front-end loader trash truck when it was struck head-on by a large dump truck. As a result of that accident, the claimant suffered severe injuries including traumatic brain injury, broken sternum, broken clavicle, broken ribs, scalp laceration, ear laceration, concussion, and a spinal cord injury. Following treatment at the emergency room, the claimant was transferred to MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital in Northern Virginia for rehabilitation treatment. Upon discharge from the rehabilitation center, the claimant was transferred home where he continued to receive ongoing treatment and therapy for his traumatic brain injury and for his spinal cord injury. The claimant had been diagnosed with a partial spinal cord injury initially resulting in T5 incomplete paraplegia. The end result was that the claimant needed home health care to take care of him. Mr. Harper was able to negotiate with the workers’ compensation carrier and got them to agree to pay the claimant’s wife to take care of him at the home instead of having an outside home health care nurse come into the home. The claimant’s wife was able to quit her regular job and be paid a monthly stipend by the workers’ compensation carrier to stay home and take care of the injured claimant.
Several years after the accident when the claimant’s medical care had stabilized, Mr. Harper engaged in settlement negotiations with the insurance carrier. Prior to settlement, Mr. Harper had gotten the carrier to pay over $790,000.00 in lost wages and medical bills. Ultimately the parties went to a mediation at the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission which was conducted by Deputy Commissioner Brooke Anne Hunter. As a result of that mediation, Mr. Harper was able to obtain the claimant a full and final settlement providing for $2.5 million payable to the claimant.
After consultation with Mr. Harper, the claimant decided to use portions of this money to purchase annuities to provide for his ongoing medical needs for the rest of his life. The first annuity will pay the claimant periodic payments in the amount of $1,183.33 per month for the remainder of his life, or 30 years guaranteed whichever is longer. The second annuity will pay the claimant $3,016.67 per month payable for as long as he lives, guaranteed for 30 years. The purpose of the annuities was the ensure that the claimant would have adequate monthly income to take care of his ongoing medical needs, allow his wife to stay home from work and continue to take care of him, and ensure that he had financial security by having the annuities guaranteed for his lifetime or for 30 years whichever was longer, it ensured that if the injured claimant were to pass away at an early age because of complications from his work injury the payments would continue to his family for the full 30 years. In addition, out of the $2.5 million, the claimant received an upfront cash payment of $951,000 at the time of settlement. This settlement is believed to the be 5th largest workers’ compensation settlement reported in Virginia.
In a tragic and truly heart-wrenching case, our client was a young Mexican immigrant who had only recently obtained his work permit.
While working on a highway road crew in Norfolk, Virginia, our client was placing orange safety cones along one of the lanes as he sat on the back of a slow-moving flatbed truck. At 3:00 am, a drunk driver traveling at a high rate of speed swerved around a state police cruiser parked in the work zone with its blue lights activated and slammed into the rear of the truck on which our client was sitting. The impact crushed our client between the two vehicles resulting in guillotine amputations to both legs. Another attorney settled the client’s automobile accident case for $936,775.50. Craig B. Davis at Reinhardt Harper Davis, PLC was retained to represent the client in his workers’ compensation case. After our client had received over $500,000 in workers’ compensation benefits and medical treatment including prosthetic legs, we participated in a settlement mediation with the workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Although the mediation was unsuccessful, we continued to fight for the rights of our client in an effort to obtain maximum compensation for his injuries. Based on evidence obtained from our client’s treating physicians, prostheticists, a nurse hired to prepare a life care plan, and an economist who projected his future financial needs, we obtained a settlement for our client of $1,930,000.00.
The 75-year-old plaintiff was struck from behind at a high rate of speed by a full-size pick-up truck after he slowed for backed-up traffic.
Liability was never contested, as the defendant left a note for the plaintiff at the hospital, in which he admitted fault for the accident and expressed remorse. The plaintiff suffered multiple internal injuries, spinal fracture, and a traumatic brain injury. Prior to the accede, he had been extremely active and was performing daily farm work. He made an exceptional physical recovery and discontinued treatment for his cognitive impairment. No specific future medical treatment could be attributed to the accident even though the plaintiff’s physicians agreed the trauma exacerbated pre-existing conditions. The case settled for available coverage limits, which included both liability and umbrella policies maintained by the defendant’s parents.
Our client worked for a private contractor hired to transport mail for the U.S. Postal service.
While operating a box truck on Route 29 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia on October 24, 2009, a car traveling toward him in the opposite lane crossed over the center line and struck our client head-on even after he pulled his truck all the way off the road surface onto the grassy shoulder. Our client sustained fractures to his left foot and ankle, and later developed a severe case of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), which caused excruciating nerve pain, color changes on the skin of his leg, and temperature changes. Our client underwent multiple surgeries to his foot and ankle by an orthopedic surgeon and a podiatrist. After being diagnosed with CRPS, his physicians considered amputating his left leg before he came under the care of a pain management physician who treated him with pain medications, injections, nerve blocks, a spinal cord stimulator, and a morphine pain pump. Our client was also treated by a psychiatrist for major depression, anxiety, and avoidance disorder.
Local Danville attorney, Robert Whitt, hired Craig B. Davis at Reinhardt Harper Davis, PLC as co-counsel after seeing him give a presentation on handling combined personal injury and workers’ compensation cases at a legal seminar. At the time of settlement, the workers’ compensation insurance carrier had already paid our client almost $74,000 in compensation benefits and over $335,000 in medical expenses. The negligent driver tried to escape responsibility for our client’s injuries by claiming she unexpectedly hydroplaned. She dropped this defense after we obtained her medical records in which she repeatedly told her doctors she had no recollection of how the accident happened.
At a global mediation conducted in Danville, we settled our client’s personal injury case for $831,000.00, which represented 98% of the available insurance coverage, and settled the workers’ compensation claim for $369,619.09, for a total combined recovery of $1,200,619.09.
The claimant, who was the owner of a company that provided maintenance services to commercial entities, suffered a severe traumatic brain injury with multi-lobe cerebral hemorrhage following a fall from a ladder.
Other injuries included pelvic fractures, left clavicle fracture, and a torn left rotator cuff. After the fall, the claimant was kept in an induced coma in the ICU for approximately four days, spent two weeks in the trauma unit, and then spent a month in a rehabilitation hospital. Dr. Zasler, who oversaw the claimant’s treatment, diagnosed him with a severe traumatic brain injury.
Neuropsychological evaluations performed by Dr. Hunter revealed a major neurocognitive disorder and significant neurobehavioral impairments related to his TBI. An FCE performed by Dr. May found the claimant incapable of performing any form of gainful employment based on the physical impairments attributable to his TBI. Dr. Zasler, Dr. Liebowitz, and Dr. Hunter provided reports indicating that the claimant was permanently disabled from all gainful employment based on both his physical and neurocognitive impairments.
The claimant obtained an award and received weekly indemnity benefits for several years. The carrier then filed an application to terminate his benefits based on the ludicrous allegation that he was capable of performing his full duty job running the company. The carrier’s only evidence was surveillance depicting the claimant “pretending” to prepare estimates and take photographs at former job sites. These were supervised activities, however, being directed and monitored by his life skills counselors as a means of building his self-esteem. Meanwhile, the claimant’s wife was forced to sell the business. The claimant countered with a bad faith claim for attorney’s fees and costs and sought 4-5 hours of daily attendant care based on Dr. Zasler’s recommendation.
Prior to making a settlement demand, Dr. Scott Bender was hired to perform a mental capacity evaluation, which found the claimant was competent to provide his wife with a power of attorney without a guardian or conservator. The settlement was the result of a mediation conducted by Deputy Commissioner Temple Mayo. The all-cash settlement allocated $100,000.00 towards future medical expenses to consider Medicare’s interests based on an opinion from John Cattie, Esquire at Cattie, PLLC. The carrier had paid $1,060,000.00 in compensation and medical benefits prior to the settlement.
The claimant was operating an asphalt cutter when the excavator backed up over his legs amputating both legs about mid-calf.
His low wages at the time of the accident entitled him to a weekly compensation only slightly over the minimum compensation rate. The settlement allows the claimant to return to work at least part-time and provide health insurance for him, his wife, and 5 kids, and purchase rental properties that he or his wife will manage.
The client was a 35-year-old gentleman who injured his hands/ wrists in a work accident.
As a consequence of that injury, he developed Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy/Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (RSD/CRPS). After initially being denied, counsel was able to have the RSD/CRPS accepted as compensable. The claimant was awarded Social Security Disability benefits as well as Medicare. At mediation the parties settled the case for a total of $463,000.00. A Medicare set aside account was approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. At the time of the settlement, the claimant had already received $45,000.00 in lost wage benefits and $176,000.00 in medical benefits. Thus, the full value of the claim exceeded $684,000.00.
Claimants suffered horrific injuries in 2018. At the time, the claimant was operating a roll-off truck. His job was to pick up and move dumpsters from construction sites. On the day of the accident in question, the claimant dropped the dumpster off at the yard of his employer and left the yard to drive to another job location. Ultimately, while on the highway, the boom on his truck was in an elevated position, striking the overpass. The end result was his vehicle that his vehicle stopped instantaneously, and the claimant suffered spinal cord injuries rendering him a partial paraplegic. The case was denied by the insurance company for multiple reasons. The original counsel for the claimant contacted Reinhardt | Harper | Davis for help with the case given the significant injuries. At the time our office got involved, the carrier had raised two defenses: one, that the claimant had violated two safety rules, 1. He operated the vehicle with the boom in the upright position, 2. They alleged that the claimant failed to follow safety rules and Virginia statute by not wearing his seatbelt at the time of the accident. Given the disputed nature of the case, we hired an expert to examine the truck to see if there were any mechanical defects with the truck. The expert made it clear that there were no mechanical defects with the truck in terms of the boom operation but was able to state that the warning light and buzzer that should have told the driver that boom was in the upright position were not functioning. Upon deposing multiple witnesses to the defendants, we were able to get them to concede that at no time had the buzzer or warning light for the truck ever functioned. With regards to the seatbelt issue, we obtained a medical opinion that the claimant, based on the medical injuries, was wearing his seatbelt at the time. The defendants obtained a medical opinion stating the opposite and also, presented the evidence of multiple witnesses, including the claimant’s supervisor, testifying that he had a habit of not wearing his seatbelt and had been reprimanded by the supervisor previously for not wearing his seatbelt. Given all of those issues involved, the parties agreed to mediate this case. Because of COVID, this mediation was delayed for a significant period of time. Ultimately, we were able to convince the carrier to pay $345,000 to settle the claimant’s case, despite their significant defenses to the client. In the interim time period, the claimant did qualify for Medicare and was receiving Social Security Disability. The parties were able to agree to a settlement with a proposed MSA of zero that was submitted to CMS and given the denied nature of the claim, CMS agreed to the zero MSA, and thus, none of the claimant’s settlement proceeds had to be set aside for a Medicare account.
Reinhardt | Harper | Davis settles workers’ comp case case for almost THREE TIMES the amount recommended by our client’s prior attorney. The prior attorney had recommended that the client accept a settlement of $35,000. After a few months, Craig’s hard work resulted in a settlement of $92,500.00, an amount almost three times the amount recommended by his prior attorney.