When a worker suffered a serious injury in a slip and fall accident in Natick, Massachusetts, he sought the help of the Framingham personal injury attorneys at Mahaney & Pappas, LLP. After extensive litigation and thorough negotiations, Attorney Pappas secured a collective settlement of $140,000 for this injured worker.
About the Slip and Fall Accident and Injuries
On a cold winter day in January, our client arrived at a condominium in Natick, MA to repair damaged furniture for a condominium unit owner. He parked his work vehicle in the driveway of the condominium complex. When this worker exited his work vehicle, he slipped and fell on ice in the driveway and injured his leg. A neighbor heard the worker screaming in pain and called 911. An ambulance arrived shortly, and the worker was rushed to a local emergency room.
When this client arrived at the emergency room, an examination and diagnostic tests revealed that he suffered a ruptured quadriceps tendon and a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). This worker underwent surgery to repair his injuries.
The Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Claim
Since this worker was injured in the course of his employment, he was eligible for Massachusetts workers’ compensation benefits. There was no dispute whether this worker was on-the-job at the time of the accident and, obviously, unable to earn his average weekly wage after surgery. Thus, his employer’s workers’ compensation insurer voluntarily paid the worker weekly disability benefits and covered the cost of his medical treatment.
Due to the severity of his injuries and incapacity, this worker received weekly temporary total disability benefits. These weekly benefits are calculated as 60% of the injured worker’s average weekly wage. During his recovery from the surgery, the treating surgeon advised this client that he could return to work with certain restrictions. The employer was able to accommodate the injured worker’s restrictions but could not offer a position for the worker to earn his pre-injury average weekly wage. Therefore, the client received temporary partial disability benefits after his return to restricted or light-duty employment.
When this worker’s doctor concluded that a maximum medical improvement was reached, the worker was given permanent partial work restrictions. His employer could not accommodate permanent partial restrictions and then terminated this worker from employment. The workers’ compensation insurer continued to pay partial disability after the termination. At this point, an Employee’s Claim for Benefits was filed at the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents seeking total disability.
Following litigation on the Employee’s Claim, Attorney Pappas secured a $65,000 lump sum settlement for this injured worker.
The Slip and Fall Personal Injury Lawsuit
The area on the driveway where this worker fell was covered with ice. The condominium trustee and unit occupant knew that our client was on his way to the condominium. Despite this, there was no indication that anyone associated with the condominium complex had made any attempts to treat or de-ice the driveway.
Furthermore, our Framingham injury attorneys had quickly investigated the accident and obtained a copy of the 911 call and the ambulance report. Both revealed evidence that the driveway was covered with dangerous ice. The 911 caller explained on the recorded emergency call that our client had slipped on ice in the driveway and that there was ice all over. The ambulance report disclosed that the EMTs had a difficult time getting to the injured worker and maneuvering him off the driveway to an ambulance because of the ice in the driveway.
A personal injury lawsuit was filed alleging that the condominium trust was negligent for failing to take reasonable steps in addressing the dangerous ice in the driveway, which caused our client to fall and injure himself. During the discovery phase of litigation, Attorney Pappas deposed the condominium trustee and was able to illicit that he knew our client was on his way to the condominium and that he keeps ice-melt in his garage but failed to use it on that day. Additionally, our injury attorneys obtained a medical narrative report wherein the orthopedic surgeon claimed that the injuries were directly related to the fall and that this worker was left with permanent partial restrictions.
The defendant, condominium trust, disputed our client’s allegations and hired a medical expert and a meteorologist expert. Their medical expert opined that our client’s ACL injury was preexisting and the fall in their driveway was not the cause of his ACL injury and need for surgical repair. Their meteorologist authored a report that claimed weather history reports did not indicate that there was any chance or warning of ice on the day of our client’s fall.
During extensive litigation, the defendant did not make any offers of settlement. Therefore, we prepared for trial. In the week before trial, the defendant’s insurance carrier began to make settlement offers. Then, in the days before the jury trial was to begin, a $75,000 settlement was reached.
From this one accident, our accident lawyers were able to secure a combined settlement amount of $140,000 for this injured worker - $65,000 lump sum settlement from his workers’ compensation case and $75,000 from his slip and fall personal injury lawsuit.