Head Injuries

61 year-old man was injured while driving a van for his work. He was rear-ended when the other driver failed to reduce speed to avoid a collision. He was transported to the emergency room where he was initially treated. He sustained head, neck, shoulder and upper and lower back pains and was immobilized and placed in a c-collar. He was in severe pain from his injuries. CT scans of his head, pelvis, chest, lumbar, thoracic and cervical spines led to diagnosed sprains of his lumbar, thoracic and cervical spines. He was then discharged with instructions to follow-up if the pain continued. He continued with pain complaints and underwent numerous tests, one indicating an S/I injury. Upper back and low back adjustments were made at this visit as well. Subsequent x-rays of his right shoulder showed joint narrowing with bony proliferative changes involving the right A/C articulation. Subcortical sclerosis was indicated near his right tendinous cuff. He also had an elevated left hemidiaphram. He then underwent chiropractic treatments yet continued to have pain and dysfunction in his upper back, neck and right shoulder. An orthopedic specialist was consulted and who noted significant tenderness and spasms to his right shoulder. His A/C joint had a palpable and observable deformity. He was prescribed occupational therapy. His physician noted treatment for training on a HEP for Grade 2-3 AC separation and cervicalgia, and recommended massage therapy treatments. He was prescribed Mobic and was informed that a steroid injection would be appropriate. He went back to his doctor after continued complaints about his neck. The diagnosis was rotator cuff syndrome with impingement with cervicalgia. Occupational therapy was discussed and continued. Throughout his therapy sessions his pain gradually got better, but still some nagging pain bothers him to this day. This case settled for $55,000.00. His medical charges totaled just under $18,000.00, and further disputed economic losses were claimed near $7,000.00. All medical charges were reduced to about $3,000.00 (with all zero balances) from the original $18,000.00, and even after all fees and costs, our client went home with tax-free dollars right at $33,000.00. -RS

69 year-old woman injured her head, neck, right shoulder and other body parts when she fell at work. She hit her head on a metal step and the rough edges thereon, while her right shoulder smashed into the “A” frame surrounding the metal step. She received treatment for her injuries by a doctor who noted four lacerations on our client’s occupit and pain in the right side of her neck. A right shoulder MRI showed an abnormal signal along the supraspinatus tendon consistent with a rotator cuff tear and joint effusiuon. She was diagnosed with a right shoulder rotator cuff tear. She underwent four sessions of physical therapy, because of her lack of improvement in her right shoulder. The doctor recommended a surgical repair of her right shoulder rotator cuff tear. The doctor performed a right shoulder rotator cuff repair, synovectomy and biceps tenotomy. The doctor’s surgical notes indicated significant tearing of the biceps tendon along with the rotator cuff. Following her surgery, she underwent a series of eight physical therapy sessions. She is still hampered from this injury and cannot do all of her job responsibilities and is limited in what she can do. This case settled for $30,476.63 equating to 14% loss of body as a whole as well as a lump sum over $7,000.00 for her future medical needs. -WA

24 year-old male sustained injuries to his head and face when a drill bit struck his forehead in the course of his employment as a coal miner. His doctor diagnosed an acute comminuted fracture of the left supraorbital rim and lacerations. Our client suffered bruising and swelling as well as cold and numb sensations on his forehead. His doctor recommended and performed a surgical decompression of the fracture by anchoring a plate with screws into his skull. Bone fragments were also found in his nasal cavity during his surgery. A second surgery was performed to remove the plate and screws. Our client remained off work for 5 3/7 weeks for his treatment, during which time he was paid $771.68 weekly in temporary total disability benefits. Despite our client’s obvious injury, his employer disputed the nature and extent of his disability and disfigurement, average weekly wage, medical causation and medical expenses. We obtained a $29,000.00 settlement, representing 7.4% permanent partial disability of his body, 8 weeks permanent partial disability for disfigurement to his head and face and past medical benefits. – KW.

A 40 year-old male truck driver was assaulted at a truck stop while making a run for his employer. He was struck in the head and received severe head, facial and right elbow injuries when he fell to the ground. He underwent a right elbow arthrotomy with irrigation and debridement and a revision surgery of a left lower lip scar as well as intra-oral mucosal scarring. This worker also suffered a severe concussion, was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome and chronic headaches from his post-concussion syndrome. After undergoing neuropsychological evaluations he was found to be suffering from moderate, residual deficits in the areas of response speed and mental stamina, and memory problems when fatigued. The doctor told him he could no longer drive a truck due to his type of residual injuries and the medications he requires. The employer made an initial settlement offer of $132,158.25 representing 45% loss of use of body as a whole, with several options only for payment in a structured settlement method. After further trial preparation and aggressive negotiations, we were able to settle the case just before trial for almost three times that amount, or $300,000.00. In addition to a one-time lump sum payment of $22,732.10, this 40 year old worker will receive by virtue of the settlement approximately $496.86 in monthly payments for the rest of his life, generated over his life expectancy of approximately 38 years, but with payment continuing for as long as he shall live.

35 year-old male tire store employee sustained injuries to his head, face, torso, legs, knees, arms, shoulders and teeth when a tire exploded during installation. Petitioner sustained facial scarring (loss of soft tissue in the forehead region), a tracheotomy scar, a near total nose avulsion and crushed sinuses. Petitioner underwent numerous surgical procedures, including two sinus surgeries, scar removal of the left cheek and an implant of bone for the nasal dorsum. Nasal difficulties were treated with conservative treatment, i.e. nasal sprays, filter mask and antibiotics. A subsequent recommendation for removal of hardware was made when conservative measures failed. A Caldwell-Luc procedure of the maxillary sinus was performed. Petitioner experienced mood swings and uneasiness. Upon neurological evaluation, Petitioner had delayed visual memory and post-traumatic amnesia. Initial CTs showed cerebral edema with paraenchymal and subaracnoid hemorrhages, depressed skull fracture and skull base fracture; multiple comminuted facial fractures throughout sinuses and post traumatic edema or tissue necrosis in the right occipital lobe. We secured a $60,000 settlement, representing near 50% loss of man as a whole, 40% loss of use of the left leg, 40% disfigurement, medically related mileage, and unpaid reimbursable medical charges for this low wage earner. – TS.

42-year-old oil field worker sustained physical injuries after a fall at work. His injuries included pulmonary contusions, respiratory failure, a severe fracture with ligament and joint trauma to the right foot and tibia, fibula, and skull fractures. Additionally, as a result of his head injuries, the petitioner developed bi-polar disorder, experienced loss of consciousness and is now prone to seizures for which he will need medication for the remainder of his life. Settlement was secured for $159,808. – JL.

 

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