Spring 2013 is here and workers’ comp is heating up just like our weather. (ok, the weather SHOULD be heating up) Here are some updates with my workers’ compensation practice:
-Settled a case for $110,000.00 for a client who injured his neck and shoulder in a work-related accident in which a heavy garage door suddenly fell on him. The independent doctor claimed a full recovery whereas the treating doctor said otherwise. We successfully fended off a Petition to Terminate at the Supersedeas level (the initial stage of litigation) allowing my client to continue receiving his work comp checks as the litigation ensued.
-Settled a case for $67,500 for a client who sustained a back and neck injury. We successfully defended a Petition to Terminate his benefits in 2010, keeping his checks coming and recently settled his case for a lump sum payment, allowing him to move on with his life, invest his money, and avoid more demoralizing Independent Medical Exams, surveillance, and late checks.
-Settled a case for $25,000.00 for a client involving carpal tunnel, traumatically induced, when a door slammed shut on her. Treating doctor said work-related injury and surgery needed; IME doctor said not work-related. (incredible- how do they sleep at night??)
-Settled a case for $73,000.00 involving a foot injury from a heavy pipe falling on it.
-Settled a case for $75,000.00 involving a neck and shoulder injury from being struck with a heavy tray of bread, and aggravated from pulling heavy trays on a truck. Once again, the IME doctor claimed a recovery whereas the treating doctor said no way. The varying medical opinions drive litigation in this area of the law.
Remember- all cases are unique and have different settlement factors involved.
-Working on a book that I expect to be published by January 2014. Details to follow as date gets closer.
-Presenting seminar for Lawline.com in May 2013 titled, “Building Blocks For A Successful Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Claim”
-Won Decision for my client in a case involving repetitive work activities. The insurer was especially recalcitrant as it defended the case despite having an indepedent medical report admitting the work-relatedness of Claimant’s condition. Rather than stipulating to a work-related injury, it presented medical records from the panel doctors who weren’t specialists, to try to create doubt. The Work Comp Judge found their evidence to be “utterly unpersuasive”.
-Attended hearing recently in a case where the insurer is trying to establish an earning power for my client with a “funded employment” situation which has gone out of style in PA Work Comp cases. Off the record, the Judge told defense counsel that he isn’t impressed. I have a feeling the insurer will now come a lot closer to our settlement demand. My client is a great guy who is really struggling financially as a result of his work injury. I was his transportation to and from the hearing as he cannot afford a car. It feels great helping all clients, but when they are financially destitute, the feeling is magnified.
-Negotiating several deals involving Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, formerly known as RSD- Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. I have a lot of experience with these cases and they are challenging to settle given the need for chronic pain management and the insurer’s insistance on closing off medical benefits as part of a Compromise & Release. Patience really pays off in settlement negotiations. These cases prove that principle.
-Recently settled a case for a client that I am helping pro bono through the Philadelphia VIP Program which provides free legal assistance to city residents who cannot afford an attorney. The case involved a breach of contract stemming from car repairs after an accident. I helped negotiate a satisfactory deal for my client which saved her hundreds of dollars had she gone to trial and lost.
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