The Claimant was hurt on the job while operating a semi truck in March 2011. He was responsible for climbing onto the top of the trailer to open the top of the tankers. This was part of his job as a truck driver. The Claimant experienced pain and discomfort in his back and neck due to his strenuous work activities. He notified his employer about his injury and saw a doctor on his own. Consequently, the Claimant needed a 2-level fusion of his cervical spine and had the surgery. The Workers’ Compensation insurance company denied the claim because they determined it to be a pre-existing condition. The Workers’ Comp insurance company also obtained an opinion from a local orthopedic surgeon who affirmed their decision that the injury was not work related.Pothitakis Law Firm obtained a report from the Claimant’s treating surgeon that explained in detail why his condition was work related. The surgeon stressed that even though the Claimant had pre-existing degenerative changes in his cervical spine, the work injury had aggravated this underlying condition resulting in the need for surgery.It was almost two years from the surgery date that the claim was scheduled for hearing. Both parties participated in a mediation in order to try to resolve the claim before the hearing took place. During this mediation, the Pothitakis Law Firm brought forth evidence in support of the claim along with additional medical opinions from doctors hired by the Pothitakis Law Firm to assess the claim. After a very long day of mediation the claim was ultimately resolved in favor of the Claimant. The claim was resolved for approximately $250,000.
It is essential to point out that the insurance company was unwilling to pay anything until the case was fully prepared by the Pothitakis Law Firm and ready to go before a judge. You will find that some insurance companies wait until they are sure that the Claimant and his lawyer are ready and willing to take the case to trial before they make a settlement offer.