category: Workers' Compensation
$90,000 Workers' Compensation Settlement
Workers’ Compensation Back Injury Settlement. A 23-year-old woman was injured at work when she fell backward, sustaining severe injuries to her head, neck and back. The snow/weather conditions were severe enough that many businesses and schools were closed the day of the incident. Petitioner’s employer, however, took a “two-hour delay” and went ahead and worked that day. Our client slipped and fell on the snow/ice while attempting to enter the facility, striking her upper back and “snapping” her neck backward onto the pavement. She was not fully conscious following the fall and doesn’t remember much from the emergency room and events that later occurred. At the emergency room, she was diagnosed with having a concussion and neck strain. She was given medications and discharged. The following day she saw her family physician and an MRI scan showed minimal posterior disc bulging C3-4 through C6-7 and a “tiny” central disc herniation at the C6-7 level. Her doctor diagnosed her initially as having cervical torticollis with severe muscle spasms which caused her head to bend forward. As the doctor continued treatment he found more complications and diagnosed her with cervical facet joint injuries, sternoclavicular joint injuries, sternocleidomastoid spasms bilaterally, cervical spondylosis without myelopathy; thoracic spondylosis without myelopathy; SCM spasms; and sprain/strain of the neck. Over the course of our client’s treatment, she continued to experience severe neck pain and was prescribed numerous medications. When the medications and physical therapy failed to alleviate her pain, she was later referred to have Botox injections. The Botox injections help “loosen” the muscles in her cervical and thoracic areas. The injections were also given to improve head posture and to reduce the intensity and frequency of her neck pain. Our client was eventually terminated from her job due to her medical restrictions. She still exhibits signs of post-traumatic cervical dystonia including muscle spasms and tightness; pulling of her neck; painful head-turning, neck pain and is still continuing treatment. She continues with Botox injections 2-3 times yearly for some relief even though they cause her complications. After about three weeks following the injections, her range of motion increases to the point where she can more comfortably drive a car. This case was disputed by the employer from the beginning. Petitioner unfortunately was employed at the time in an entry-level, nominal earnings position. The case settled on the eve of trial for just under 62% permanent loss of body as a whole, or $90,000.00, for compensation for her permanent partial disability and some of her future medical needs. She now has full and steady employment at a different employer with much greater earnings and benefits.