Back Injury Results in Workers’ Compensation Settlement of $710,000

James Jones* is 61 years old. Jim suffered a serious injury to his lower back at work on May 12, 1994 when he slipped on wet grass while walking up an incline with a heavy bucket of water. Jim has been unable to work ever since. An MRI revealed a herniated disc. When conservative treatment, including epidural injections, did not prove helpful, he underwent surgery one year later.

After the operation, Jim underwent physical therapy. Initially, his condition improved, but he soon began to experience a great amount of back and leg pain. His doctor recommended further surgery, including a two-level fusion, but Jim elected to defer that operation for eight years. In the interim, he underwent a number of treatment modalities, including pain management and physical rehabilitation, but he was unable to get relief from his symptoms. As a consequence, in 2003, Jim underwent additional back surgery involving a discectomy, fusion and insertion of metal rods and screws.

Unfortunately, this second surgical procedure did not help Jim. He continues to walk with difficulty and he requires the use of a cane. Most of the time, his level of back pain is about a 9 out of 10. Jim continues to take numerous medications, including Oxycontin and Valium. He has also undergone several back injections. In the opinion of his treating doctors, Jim remains totally incapacitated from work.

After lengthy negotiations and numerous hearings with various Commissioners, Bob Sheldon was able to successfully resolve Jim's case for a lump sum settlement of $325,000 and a Workers' Compensation Medicare Set Aside account to pay his future medical bills in the amount of $28,497, plus annual payments of $13,700 for 26 years as long as he is living. The total value of the settlement is approximately $710,000.

*A pseudonym has been used to protect the client's privacy.