With all the bad press about the delays in the court system and disabled workers waiting months and sometimes years for good news, it is wonderful when swift justice is rendered. Only one day after representing our client at his workers’ compensation hearing, we received an official winning decision! This is the fastest written decision Abrams Landau, Ltd. has ever received for any case from any state. The average wait time to receive a written hearing decision from the workers comp judges after trying the case in court is around two months.
Our client’s workplace accident occurred on September 2013. He was driving an extendable crane which can go up to 80-90 feet. After he parked the machine, he climbed out of it but the ladder had loose bolts and swung out underneath him. He fell onto a backhoe and hit his head against steel, resulting in skull laceration and traumatic brain injury (“TBI”). Lawyer Landau also represented him in an October 2015 hearing which proved that our client also incurred a cervical spine injury from the original September 2013 workplace accident.
The December 11, 2017 hearing was for our client’s Claim for Benefits seeking authorization for additional medical benefits recommended by his treating neurologist. Despite having Awards as the result of his prior visits to court, the employer’s workers compensation insurance company was delaying and denying many of the treatment modalities needed to control his continuing headaches, dizziness, double vision, spasms, inflammation, muscle weakness, and other post traumatic brain injury sequelae. The treatments this young injured worker sought included:
- -physical therapy
- -dry needling
- -chiropractic treatment
- -medication and more
More than four years after the incident, our client has to wear sunglasses while indoors because of his continuing symptoms of light sensitivity, dizziness, double vision and headaches. He also wears a Cefaly device at the recommendation of his treating neurologist to treat his migraine headaches.
His employer’s insurance company claimed that any continuing treatment for our client’s headache symptoms was not causally related to the workplace accident. The Abrams Landau team and our attorney Doug Landau successfully proved the “3Rs” – that the proposed treatment was: “Reasonable, causally Related and by written Referral.” It also helped that the experienced trial judge had read the file before the parties arrived in the courtroom and understood the issues at stake. For example, even though the insurance company lawyer had three IMEs (Insurance Medical Exams”), the Deputy Commissioner pointed out that they were all more than 3 years old. On the other hand, the medical records and reports from the authorized treating doctor, as well as the chiropractor, supported the need for the requested treatment, medications and therapy.
The hearing decision we received today from Deputy Commissioner Nevin states, “After carefully reviewing all the record evidence, we determine that the claimant has carried his burden of proving the reasonableness, necessity and causal relationship of the claimed medical treatment recommended by [his treating neurologist] to his September 2013 injury by accident.” This young man’s medical bills for the workplace accident will now be paid for by the defense; one less thing for our client to worry about. In addition, he will be repaid his deductible, co-pays and transportation reimbursements for the treatment he did get by paying “out of pocket” or through his family’s health insurance.
We know too well that sometimes that waiting for a Hearing decision or the entry of an Award Order can be the most excruciating part of the whole process, so we hope this gives hope and some encouragement to those who are waiting. If you or someone you know has been injured on-the-job and have questions as to what laws apply or how quickly cases are decided, please give us a call (703-796-9555) or email us at Abrams Landau, Ltd.