In March of 2011, the Claimant was injured while driving a semi. Part of his duties as a truck driver were to climb on top of the trailer to open the top of tankers. He felt pain and discomfort in his neck and back. He informed his employer and went to a doctor on his own. The Claimant ultimately underwent a 2-level fusion of his cervical spine. The Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier denied the claim indicating that the condition was pre-existing. They contacted and obtained an opinion from a local orthopaedic surgeon who set forth an opinion that the condition was not work related.Pothitakis Law Firm contacted the Claimant’s treating surgeon and obtained a detailed report from him explaining why the condition was work related. The surgeon indicated that despite the fact that he had pre-existing degenerative changes in his cervical spine, the injury had aggravated that underlying condition resulting in his need for surgery.
The claim was scheduled for hearing almost two years from the date of injury. Shortly before hearing, the parties participated in a mediation to try and resolve the claim. At the mediation, the Pothitakis Law Firm presented the evidence that supported the claim as well as additional medical opinions from doctors hired by the Pothitakis Law Firm to evaluate the claim. The claim was ultimately resolved after a lengthy day of mediation. The claim was resolved for approximately $250,000.
It is important to note 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. Some insurance companies wait until they are sure that the Claimant and his attorney are ready and willing to go to trial before they make a settlement offer.