Michael Moebes: I worked with a client who was a car salesman, and he actually ended up being in a crash as he was giving a test drive to a potential customer. Here in Atlanta, car wrecks are a pretty common occurrence, but for it to happen while you’re giving a test drive is probably one of the most unpleasant experiences you can have as a salesman!
The salesman was riding shotgun and ended up getting injured pretty badly in the wreck, so he actually had a personal injury case against the other driver. Unfortunately, the other driver didn’t have a ton of insurance so that really didn’t produce much fruit. But his workers’ comp case was accepted, and I took the case on because I really liked the man and thought I could help him, but I didn’t think it was going to be that big of a case since he was continuing to work, and he said his neck and shoulder were bothering him, but he thought he’d be okay.
What I see a lot is that clients will be okay for a few days and then it may be later that things get bad. Maybe the impact caused herniation in their cervical spine or even another area of their spine, and it just takes a while for the pain to get really bad. And men–especially those who like their jobs–they don’t want to sort of rock the boat. They don’t want to report an injury or have to go out of work or have to go see a doctor.
So, this guy was a good bit older than me, but was a really tough guy, and had been doing this for a while and, like I said, he reported the injury but he just treated–did some physical therapy–but was trying to be very conservative and keep working. Well, eventually it got to a point where the pain got unbearable, and he had some nerve tests and workers’ comp was fighting it and trying to say his problems weren’t related or that they weren’t going to provide much treatment.
But, we were able to get him to some really good doctors who acted as his advocate and said, look, no, this man needs surgery and it’s a result of this wreck and even though several months had passed there was no other intervening incident so there’s really no other explanation for his problems but this car wreck. He ended up having to have a cervical fusion to his neck and also a shoulder surgery, so it ended up being a big case after we were able to get him all the medical treatment needed. Unfortunately, his condition did get to the point where he could no longer work due to the injuries.
However, with the surgery he was able to get to the point where he could kind of have some mobility and do some stuff, but he wasn’t going to return back to a job, plus he was kind of scared to do a job where he could get in another bad car wreck. So, he ended up deciding to settle his case and close it out but ended up, it was more than half a million dollars which for a workers’ comp case is really big.