A worker who was hit by a pickup truck in Worcester, Massachusetts received a total settlement of $845,000 after a lengthy legal process and significant medical treatment. This case involved both a Massachusetts workers' compensation claim as well as a third-party personal injury claim. Here at Mahaney & Pappas, LLP, we specialize in both workers' compensation and personal injury, and are experienced and skilled to recover such a large settlement for this injured client.
Overview of the Accident and Injuries
In the afternoon hours of September 2016, our client was completing his responsibilities for the day on a bridge renovation construction project in Worcester, Massachusetts. The project was designated as a construction zone and was clearly marked with appropriate signs.
While our client was within the construction zone, a pickup truck traveled through at an unreasonable speed and struck him. The pickup truck was unable to stop even after slamming on his brakes. The collision caused this worker to be thrown and dragged on the ground.
Co-workers on site called 911 immediately and an ambulance and EMS arrived on scene. Following a brief evaluation, the worker was quickly transported to the local emergency department in severe condition.
Summary of the Legal Actions in this Case
When Attorneys Mahaney and Pappas received a frantic call from this worker’s wife the day of the accident, they headed right out the door and met with both the worker and his wife in the intensive care unit (ICU) of the Worcester hospital. Getting involved in a case of this magnitude that soon was a major benefit to the injured worker because Attorneys Mahaney and Pappas were able to obtain vital information and evidence so soon after the crash. This is why we always recommend for anyone injured in a crash to contact an experienced accident attorney immediately.
Since this gentleman was on the job at the time he was struck by the pickup truck in the construction zone, he was eligible for workers’ compensation. Additionally, because he was hit by a pickup truck driven by someone separate from his employer, a third-party personal injury claim was also available.
The Workers Compensation Claim
When a worker is injured on the job in Massachusetts, he or she is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. This is true regardless of who caused the accident that injured the worker. This was certainly the case here.
This client suffered a traumatic brain injury as well as several other injuries to his body. The brain injury prevented him from returning to work. Since he was out of work due to the work-related accident, Attorney Pappas was able to secure weekly temporary total disability benefits for this client. When our client’s spouse notified Attorney Pappas about the amount of the weekly checks received, Attorney Pappas determined that the amount was less than what the worker should have been receiving. Thus, Attorney Pappas took action and was able to establish a higher average weekly wage that significantly increased the temporary total disability benefits for the client.
The injuries proved to be severe and kept this worker out of work for a lengthy period of time. After being out of work for three (3) years, the temporary total disability benefits were set to expire. Attorney Pappas then took successful legal action and obtained permanent and total disability benefits for the client. The workers’ compensation insurance carrier appealed the order for the payment of permanent and total disability benefits.
During the appeal, the parties agreed to mediation with an administrative judge of the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents. Following a thorough mediation, Attorney Pappas was able to secure a $750,000 lump sum settlement.
The Third-Party Personal Injury Action
As mentioned above, when a worker is injured on the job in Massachusetts by someone unrelated to the worker’s employer, the worker may have a bodily injury claim against the negligent third party. This was the case here.
Since the pickup truck that struck this client had no relationship to the worker’s employer and the pickup truck driver was negligent, the client had a personal injury action available. Attorneys Pappas and Mahaney pursued compensation from the pickup truck owner and driver.
After filing a lawsuit against the negligent third-party, conducting extensive discovery, and a successful mediation, the worker received a $95,000 settlement. The workers’ compensation insurance carrier had a lien on the third-party settlement. Attorney Pappas, however, was able to negotiate and obtain a nearly 90% reduction of the lien amount.
This client and his family were extremely happy with the legal services of both Attorneys Pappas and Mahaney and the results obtained.