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We just settled another car wreck at work claim.  There were a lot of moving parts.  So, I wanted to share a brief overview of how this type of claim is handled.

When you are involved in a wreck while at work, you will likely have to deal with competing areas of law. They must be coordinated to provide the proper proof of your claim.  This will maximize your overall settlement.

Facts for Car Wreck at Work

On October 25, 2016, our client was working as a delivery driver.  He was driving in Houston along the access road of the freeway.  He was traveling through an intersection with a green light.  A landscaping truck ran a red light and broadsided the passenger side of our client’s vehicle.  Then he was rear-ended by a vehicle behind him.

As a result of the accident, our client suffered a low back injury.  The injury required surgery.  The accident will likely affect his physical ability for the rest of his life. 

He is about ten years from retirement.  Since the accident, he is able to work at a light duty and is doing so.  He is earning less money than prior to the accident.

He initially hired a law firm that handles car wrecks.  However, they are not experienced in workers’ compensation claims.  So, he came to us to handle both.

Texas Workers’ Comp Claim

We filed the Texas workers’ compensation claim.  It allowed us to claim disability.  As a result, he was paid temporary income benefit checks each week. The workers’ compensation insurance company also paid for his medical treatment.

The workers’ compensation insurance company is entitled to reimbursement if another party is found liable for the damages.  So, they have what is called a subrogation lien on the car wreck claim.

Liability Claim

The liability claim is against the other driver(s).  In this case we were required to file the claim with the court.   

We did written discovery back and forth with the defendant’s insurance company.  Then we designated our expert witnesses and took depositions of potential witnesses.

We attended a mediation to resolve the claim.  But we were unable to reach an agreeable number for the damages.  The insurance tried to discount the case because of the workers’ compensation payments.  They believed he was not worth anything because he was a 50+ year old Hispanic male who did not speak English.

We knew that our client had a great value.  He had worked hard for his family every day to fulfill his family’s dreams.  We couldn’t let the insurance company shatter their dreams.  So, we developed a strategy to prove his worth.

Our firm hired an expert to calculate the value of our client’s loss from this accident.  He agreed that the injuries will greatly affect our client’s family financially.  He was able to calculate the true value of our client’s economic loss.

When we presented this evidence to the insurance company, they more than doubled their offer.  This evidence allowed us to settle the claim prior to trial.

The claim settled for $650,000.00.  We coordinated a Medicare set-aside and paid the subrogation lien.  After attorney fees, he still had the majority of this money for his pocket.

He wanted to invest a portion of his money to provide an income for his family.  So, we assisted him in setting up an annuity that would allow him to retire and provide for his family for the rest of his life.  

Conclusion

A car wreck at work claim can get complex fast.  At MLF Legal, we have been handling these claims for over two decades.  If you have been involved in an auto accident while at work, make sure your attorney knows how to coordinate both types of claims.