Today I issued a demand to finally resolve a claim that’s 5 years old. The case is set for a trial on damages next month. The insurance company wants to settle and have offered us $250,000 and $83,000 for future medical care (called an MSA). We rejected the offer and stand by our demand. Here is the question you might wonder: Why has it taken 5 years? Here's why:
- Client is hurt June 1, 2008
- He contacts another law firm in January, 2009 when the insurance company wont pay for surgery.
- In February, 2009 the law firm refers client to us to handle the case as lead trial counsel.
- We file the case; the insurance company sends the file to defense counsel; this filing process/ Entry of Appearance and assignment by the clerks takes 2 months.
- While we wait for the case to be assigned we have already ordered medical records. The process or ordering records, paying for them and waiting for certified copies to arrive takes about 3 months. Now we are into Summer, 2009.
- Both parties must take depositions of their experts; that takes at least 4 to 6 months to schedule and complete. Now we are into early 2010.
- We have our first trial on liability, temporary total disability benefits and the need for surgical care. The trial takes place in November, 2010.
- The decision is received (we won) in February, 2011. The defense appeals.
- Briefing schedules for the appeal come out in May, 2011. The case is argued in front of the full Commission in September, 2011. The Commission issues their decision in January, 2012. The insurance company does not appeal. Our client's surgery is approved. He has surgery in April, 2012.
- The client has a second surgery in November, 2012.
- He reaches maximum medical improvement in March, 2013. His employer cannot accommodate his work restrictions. The insurance company offers vocational assistance to find a new job. The client looks for work for the next year...putting us in to early 2014. The client cannot find work.
- We hire a vocational expert to confirm that the client has diligently looked for work but is not employable due to his injuries, restrictions, age, education and lack of transferable skills. We then take the expert's deposition testimony in May, 2014.
- The case is set for trial for determination of final disability payment in August 2014.
The entire 5 years the case has been active. During this time we were able to get the client on Social Security Disability. One way or another the case will be resolved either by trial or settlement in August. Please know that we are as eager for resolution as is the client. We don’t get paid until the end. We have worked tirelessly and spent our own money for 5 years to help this client win. And win we will. Either way our client will be compensated....and then we wait for the check.