GWC Injury Lawyers Partner David Caplan recently obtained a $425,000.00 workers’ compensation settlement for a union construction laborer suffering from permanent injuries. This result is even more impressive given the client’s relatively advanced age of 66 years old.
A Blow to the Neck
In July 2015, Mr. Caplan’s client was working as a laborer on a construction site when a welding pipe fell and struck him between his head and right shoulder. He felt immediate shock through his entire body.
Over time, the laborer continued to experience significant pain throughout his right arm, difficulty gripping and carrying objects, and trouble maintaining his balance – all of which were essential to his work.
“As a construction laborer,” said Mr. Caplan, “he’s either digging, hauling, or lifting objects that could weigh more than 100 pounds, none of which he could do with his injuries.”
Mr. Caplan’s client was diagnosed with severe damage to the cervical spine, including herniated discs that were literally pressing against his spinal cord and nerve roots, causing severe pain and weakness throughout his right arm. He at first tried to treat his injuries with physical therapy, but that conservative approach did not produce positive results.
Ultimately, Mr. Caplan’s client was forced to undergo surgery – an anterior cervical discectomy and instrumental fusion.
For this procedure, his doctor entered his spine from the front of his neck, removed the affected discs, replaced them with bone grafts, and inserted metal plates and screws into his spine for support.
“Permanently and Totally Disabled”
Despite this extensive treatment, Mr. Caplan’s client still found little relief for his symptoms, even a year after his surgery. It was ultimately his doctor’s judgment that he was “permanently and totally disabled from work.”
When determining a workers’ compensation settlement, insurance adjusters take into account a variety of factors. In addition to the severity of the injury, adjusters look at the future loss of income, either from working a job that is paying significantly less or from not being able to work at all.
Unfortunately, this latter part of the equation would normally have worked against Mr. Caplan’s client. At 66 years old, he would be considered near the end of his working life, meaning that his future loss of income typically would be much less than that of a much younger worker. In most cases, the adjuster would use this fact to offer a much lower workers’ compensation settlement – one that many attorneys might accept.
Not Mr. Caplan, though. Instead, he focused on what he knew was the most important part of his client’s damages – the fact that he was “permanently and totally disabled.”
Mr. Caplan’s persistence in making this argument yielded results – a $425,000.00 workers’ compensation settlement.
“This would have been a difficult settlement to get for a 50-year-old,” Mr. Caplan said, “much less for somebody my client’s age.”
More important, though, is the future peace of mind this settlement will bring to the client – and not just the client.
“What we do at GWC is for the benefit of the injured worker and the family,” said Mr. Caplan. “Even if you’re a senior citizen, GWC will still take care of you.”
Chicago Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
If you have been injured in the workplace, please contact GWC today to schedule a free consultation with one of our Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys. Call our office at (312) 464-1234 or click here to chat with one of our representatives.