When our clients come to us, many of them are nervous about the idea that they will have to go to trial and place their fate in the hands of a judge and jury. However, as we often explain, the majority of personal injury cases settle either before going to trial or during the trial.
This is exactly what happened with a personal injury case filed by a man who fell 12 feet to the ground below. Prior to the completion of his trial, he lawyers successfully negotiated a settlement of more than $7 million.
A Lack Of Safety Equipment
The plaintiff was a union-affiliated painter who was working in a chemical storage facility. He had been hired to paint one of the facilities chemical tanks. In order to do his job, he had to climb a ladder which was attached to the scaffold he would be using. He was not, however, provided with a harness or any other safety gear despite the fact that he was going to be working at great heights.
Before he reached the scaffolding he fell 12 feet to the floor below. Doctors diagnosed him with a torn hip labrum, torn rotator cuff, and a brain injury which resulted in memory loss, speech impairment, concentration issues, anxiety, and depression.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Any time that someone suffers a traumatic brain injury (TBI) the consequences can be devastating for both the victim and their loved ones. Despite advances in medicine, the brain still remains a mystery in many ways. Two victims can be injured in very similar ways and experience very different symptoms as well as very different levels of recovery.
Patients often have to go through months, if not years, of rehabilitative therapy. Typically a team of medical professionals are involved, including a physiatrist, rehabilitation nurse, physical therapist, and occupational therapist. The medical bills for these treatments can be extraordinarily large.
The Cost Of Care
The cost of care for victims who have been diagnosed with a TBI varies from case to case since no two victims have the exact same symptoms. However, on average, the lifetime cost of care is between $600,000 and $1,800,000.
OSHA Scaffolding Safety Requirements
Due to the dangerous nature of working at any height, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has created a set of safety standards which dictate how scaffolding must be erected and maintained. These standards include:
- making sure that all footing used on the scaffolding is sound and rigid
- making sure that the scaffolding is able to hold up to four times the weight it is supposed to carry
- safety equipment, such as harnesses, are provided to all employees who will be working on the scaffolding
Negotiating A Settlement
Often we are asked why plaintiffs should hire an attorney if the case is going to settle anyway. It is always best to hire an attorney because they can work to negotiate a settlement that is likely larger than one you would have received on your own.
Attorneys can guide you through mediation, arbitration, or by the two legal teams meeting. You can be sure that the defendant will have legal representation – people whose job it is to make sure that they save the defendant as much money as possible. You deserve to have someone who has in-depth knowledge of the law and years of experience on your side.