The Claimant B.J. sustained an injury in 2014 to her low back. The injury did not result in surgery but resulted in chronic pain and discomfort for the Claimant. She sought medical care which included medications, physical therapy, and injections. She ultimately was told that she would have a restriction limiting her lifting to 30 pounds. The Claimant was able to maintain her employment with her employer as she was able to modify her job duties to work within her restrictions. But for these accommodations, the Claimant would have been unemployable in any of her past employment. At the time of hearing, the Claimant was earning more than she had been earning at the time of her injury.Shortly before hearing, the Defendants made an offer to the Claimant of a 15% industrial disability. The Claimant, on advice of Pothitakis Law Firm, rejected that offer and chose instead to proceed to hearing.
After hearing, the judge set forth a decision awarding the Claimant a 50% industrial disability. This entitled her to benefits for 250 weeks. These 250 weeks resulted in an award of over $100,000. This was 5 times as much as the insurance company’s best and final offer shortly before hearing.
The decisions made before hearing as to whether to settle a case or proceed to hearing are very important and can result in significant differences in the ultimate payout. For that reason, it’s important to understand all of your options before a hearing and make a decision based on all of the evidence available.