As we’ve discussed here in the past several times, workers’ compensation claims can be often be tricky. The sad truth, however, is that we often downplay some of the details because while some go mostly smoothly when you have all your ducks in a row, there are situations that are absolutely disturbing when you realize how an event involving an injury can play out – and not to your favor.
The fact of the matter is simple enough: workers’ compensation can be very complex. This is especially true in situations where a severe injury has occurred, but there are plenty of examples where a person wasn’t able to receive what he or she most likely was entitled to regardless of their injuries. Today, we’d like to take a look at a specific event that occurred with one of these severe cases – Brian Nanez v. Industrial Claim Appeals Office – in order to highlight the need for proper understanding of the law.
Quick Background of the Case
Brian Nanez was living in Colorado and working as a plumber when he sustained severe injuries while on the job in June of 2013. He was on the second floor of a building and fell onto a concrete floor below. The impact caused two major injuries. The first was a closed-head injury, which resulted in a traumatic brain injury. The second injury was to both of his shoulders, which was rated as permanent impairment. The brain injury resulted in impaired short-term memory, which primarily makes it difficult for an injured person to stay on task and not become distracted. In Mr. Nanez’s case, he would forget why he had gone to the store, fail to refill or pick up a prescription, and become obsessed with an insignificant topic or task. He was also prohibited from driving and had difficulty managing and budgeting his finances.
What Happened in the Case
Mr. Nanez’s employers admitted responsibility in the case and agreed to disability compensation. But, there was disagreement on two major points. First, since the injury had greatly affected Mr. Nanez’s ability to engage in “daily living,” his attorney sought for the employer to pay for a conservator and guardian (who would act as his “peripheral brain”) that had previously been ordered by the District Court. Second, since Mr. Nanez had been working toward becoming a Master Plumber, his attorney argued that he should receive compensation for future earnings based on the expected salary of that position. Both of these were denied by the court, citing that an employer is only responsible for personnel and treatment that would “cure and relieve the effects of the injury,” and that wages based on Master Plumber status were “too speculative,” respectively.
Why you Need an Attorney
This is but one of many legal examples of what can happen in a workers’ compensation case. Even in a case where an employer has assumed blame for an accident and agreed to pay compensation, they will typically fight tooth and nail to protect their bottom line and to either downplay or disregard the effects of an injury. Moreover, due to the complexity of workers’ compensation claims as it relates to the procedures that injured workers are supposed to follow to protect their rights to benefits and in defining the benefits that injured workers are entitled to, it is essential that an experienced workers’ compensation attorney is on your side to ensure that you are strictly adhering to the procedures and that you receive all of the benefits you’re entitled to.
The attorneys at Mintz Law Firm have handled many claims with a variety of injuries and needs, and we have learned how to maximize a person’s benefits. Let us take the burden off your shoulders by reaching out to us for a no-risk, free consultation of your injuries and how best to move forward.