Below Are Just a Few Representative Cases Illustrating the Results We Get for Our Clients
Six Figure Make-Over
Our client came to us deeply anxious, depressed and at wits end with residuals from a traumatic work injury. The injury was documented by the employer and their insurance carrier only as a "head/face contusion", but the client felt she had related cognitive deficits and other health effects not credited by the employer. Meanwhile, the employer was keeping her in a "light duty" job she truly found intolerable, where she wasn't wanted and where she was treated as a burden by her employer due to her injury-related limitations. She could not get treatment she truly needed, due to the very limited accepted "description of injury." We set her up with appropriate doctors willing to work with us, and gave her advice and guidance in dealing with her employer, while we took over dealing with the insurance representatives. Soon she was released from the "light duty" yoke and receiving weekly compensation checks which were very nearly at her full pre-injury wage rate. We then pressed our advantage and were able to secure a full value, six figure settlement. With the treatment she needed, the support we provided, and the full and fair final result of her claim, her life was truly dramatically transformed and she has a great start on a new beginning.
Quick Results to Hugely Bump Settlement Value
Our client came to us with an offer already on the table, but under pressure to settle low or face problem litigation. The insurer was well on its way in gathering evidence to show claimant was able to return to light duty work in a "funded employment" scheme -- a scenario where the insurer creates a position accommodating all conceivable work restrictions and arranges for an outside contractor to fund wages for some span of time. The insurer tries to remove every obstacle to the claimant's return to work, but the effect is to essentially make the claimant work for their benefits, even if in pain every day, with no hope of any job advancement and no job security. The insurance carrier funding for the work is highly likely to stop after the claimant starts work, just as soon as the claimant has been working long enough for the insurance carrier to stop workers comp benefits. This can force the claimant to begin a long fight to try to reinstate workers' compensation, while without any income. Job offers for two different "funded employment" situations were soon made. We advised our client to respond to the offers in a way that highlighted the unfairness of what the insurer was attempting to do and blocked the insurer from arguing that our client had refused the positions in "bad faith". We highlighted weaknesses in the insurer's evidence to put our client in a position of strength to allow us to negotiate a settlement that truly worked for her. Time became an issue when our client advised that family circumstances compelled her to seek to move to a new state, which in her situation would have a huge negative impact on her claim. We had to move fast, before the insurer recognized that she had placed her home on the market. Despite all of these pressures, we got the deal our client wanted, increasing the insurer's prior "final" offer by tens of thousands of dollars.
$75,000.00 Lump Sum - Hand and Wrist Injury
Client had hand and wrist injury. Injury was already a full year in the past when the client came to us. She had been months without treatment and had never pursued her workers' compensation rights. A surgeon involved in her early care had not documented the problem as work related, and there was no specific work injury, but rather her pain and injury were caused by the effects of her work activities day after day, including repetitive forceful gripping activity in her job through the last day she worked. The insurance company had no interest in settlement, but when we had completed presenting our evidence and filed a brief with our arguments to the Judge, they had no choice but to recognize the strength of our case. We reached a very good deal and our client recovered a very good sum without needing to wait additional months for a Judge's decision.
Lump Sum of $178,464.00 in WC Litigation
Prior to coming to us, our client -- a very genial out-of-stater who was injured while working on assignment in PA -- had only treated with insurance company referred medical providers. This skewed all of his medical support substantially toward the insurer. It was a further problem because he was out of state, half a country away, and the doctors in his home state were wary of unfamiliar PA workers' compensation insurance as the client's only potential payment source for medical billing. When we first spoke, the insurance carrier was only a half step away from cutting off all of his compensation rights, and making him feel he had no options other than a very low end settlement. We helped him work through the obstacles to his claim, gaining medical support, advising him how to handle insurer-referred doctors and case managers, and in multiple ways demonstrating to the defendant insurance adjuster that we would make it very hard for them to deprive our out-of-state client of his rights under PA law. In the end, they saw things our way, paying our client a full value lump sum settlement to end their exposure and to allow him to move into a long-awaited semi-retirement with a substantial nest egg compensating him for his lost earning potential.
Treatment Outside PA for $167,500 Lump Sum Settlement
Our client's injury was a fractured scapula. It had largely resolved by the time he called us, but still limited from the most strenuous demands of his pre-injury profession in a heavy labor field. He lived outside Pennsylvania and had difficulty finding any treatment with a provider wiling to bill a PA workers' compensation carrier and put up with their refusals to pre-authorize any medical work-up. He initially called us to discuss the wisdom of settlement terms he had negotiated with the insurance company before our involvement. Specifically, the insurance company proposed to pay him $28,000 for a full settlement of his rights. We explained that this was the kind of bad deal insurers typically try to hoist upon unrepresented claimants, and agreed to help him. We sprang to action, first solving the problems with the client's weak medical support, showing the employer's workers compensation insurer they would have a tough battle, then negotiating a full value settlement at $167,500.00 -- nearly SIX TIMES the figure the insurer carrier was prepared to advance before our office took the case.
$143,750.00 for Sprain/Strain Injuries
Client strained his back and right knee at work. The employer and its pet doctors insisted he remain at work in a "light duty" job that had little purpose other than to add to his discomfort and make him feel humiliated, since he was doing nothing and made to feel he was just in the way. We helped him get the medical support to escape the daily "walk of shame" of light duty and to better evaluate his injuries. As happens in many cases, the company doctors were under-stating his injuries. We first got the client established on benefits under terms that did not require withholding of any attorney fee from his workers compensation checks. We then pushed to expand the description of injury, which we used as leverage to settle his claim for a large lump sum once the client was satisfied he had a proper plan for his future, to be sure he has access to the treatment he needs while moving on from his work injury.
$50,000.00 for Case Rejected by Competing Firm
Client came to us after being told by a senior attorney at a "volume" workers' compensation law firm that his case was not workable. The case did have serious obstacles, mostly created by the client not knowing his rights early on. Specifically, the client had failed to advise the employer his injury happened at work until many months after starting treatment, and only claimed the injury to be work-related when he was told he needed surgery. The earlier attorney reviewing the file recognized this was outside of the Act's notice deadlines and an obviously uphill battle. Unlike the other firm, we looked a bit closer and recognized factual and legal arguments that could work to our client's favor. Specifically, the delayed notice was due to delayed diagnosis and delayed understanding that his day to day work activities had caused the injury and were making it worse each day he continued working. We treated the case as one of cumulative trauma, with the final date of injury being the last date the client worked, consistent with the law and with the client's history of progressive worsening of his condition. The insurer initially offered a tiny settlement to make the case go away, but we litigated to get the client ten times the original amount.
Six Figure Settlement for Ankle Fracture
Claimant had an ankle injury initially diagnosed as a fracture, treated with a period of casting and immobilization. The claimant reported continued pain when spending too much time on her feet and our firm obtained supportive testimony from a treating medical specialist when the insurance company's IME physician claimed the injury was resolved, only a few months into the claim. The insurer attempted to terminate benefits through litigation. As the record neared a close, the deciding Judge sent strong signals that he was favoring the evidence presented by our office, allowing us to pressure the defendant for a settlement of more than $100,000.00, plus payment of disputed medical billing.
$100,000 Inguinal Hernia, Plus Some
We took over this claim from another law firm where the client felt they were working too hard to convince him his claim had only a low-end value. Like the earlier firm, we were concerned that the medical support indicated only minor restrictions, where the employer had aggressive return to work policies for forced light duty. Through increased communication with the client we learned that some of his concerns stemmed from a prior work injury with the same employer. We also learned how he had been treated in his prior return to work. Further investigation showed that the earlier claim was still technically open, and we were able to secure related treatment for our client, which also increased our leverage in the more recent case. When we stood up firmly to the employer's attempts to limit our client's rights, the result was a $100,000 settlement for his hernia injury and two additional five figure settlements for each of two other still open claims with the same employer.
$160,000.00 Settlement, "Left Arm Contusion"
Client had a job requiring substantial use of his hands and arms. He had suffered injury to one arm at work. He had returned to work in his full duty job, but with difficulties that later took him out again on advice from his family doctor. In the meanwhile, THREE insurance-friendly doctors had claimed he was "fully recovered". Two of these were specialists who had actively treated him as their own patient and the third was a specialist named by the insurer for an "IME" ("independent" medical examination at insurer's specific request and direction). This made for an uphill battle. We helped the claimant get the medical support he needed to document the true nature and extent of his work injury and gained him a settlement of $160,0000.00, over and above recovery of our substantial costs in the hard-fought litigation.