category: Car Accidents,Work Injuries,Workers' Comp Cases
$307,000 Workers' Compensation Settlement
$307,000 Workers’ Compensation Settlement. A 49-year-old man was injured in an accident while performing his job truck driving/delivering parts to different locations. While en route at night, he encountered four large bulls occupying the highway directly in front of him, colliding with them while traveling 55 miles per hour. His left shoulder impacted the driver’s side window, and the crash also caused neck and back injuries. His initial diagnosis was acute cervical strain and whiplash, a partial thickness tear of the left rotator cuff, as well as a central disc herniation and spondylosis at the C6-7 level. An MRI confirmed a disc herniation at the C6-7 level. A one-time selective nerve root sleeve injection at C7 on the left did not improve his injuries. On further evaluation, the Dr. noted a positive straight leg raising sign at about 85 degrees on the left and a positive Valsalva test on the left. A lumbar MRI showed degenerative disc disease with disc herniation at the L4-L5 level and a diffuse disc bulge at the L5-S1 level along with post-left laminectomy changes at the L5-S1 level. At the request of the employer, this worker was evaluated by another doctor who also diagnosed a herniated disc at C6-7 level left shoulder tendinopathy and lumbosacral strain. His pain continued to worsen even with another injection and prescribed pain medications. A new cervical MRI was recommended and thereafter an anterior cervical discectomy vertebrectomy and fusion at the C6-7 level with insertion of a synthetic spacer were performed. Work restrictions were placed with no repetitive bending, lifting, twisting or awkward positioning and no lifting over 50 pounds. X-rays post-op showed a healing fusion at C6-7. Flexeril and Percocet were prescribed for pain control, and he was released to return to sedentary work. A limited range of motion was noted on his shoulder and back. He is still limited in his activities due to the incident. Both a worker’s compensation as well as a third-party personal injury suit were initiated with the workers’ compensation claim in Illinois and the civil action in Missouri. There was an initial offer of only $15,000.00 to settle the civil case. There was ultimately a worker’s compensation lien of $163,978.33, but due to our firm’s efforts, we were able to substantially reduce the lien amount to $70,000.00 for payment in full. The worker’s compensation matter settled for disability of $87,111.83 and the personal injury case settled for $220,000.00 after a formal, independent mediation on the eve of trial.