This matter was referred to Chris Vincent on February 11, 2021 with instruction to draft a C&R for $20,000.00 to secure the unrepresented injured worker’s agreement so that an Order Approving could be attained. The facts were not run-of-the-mill.
The claimant, a restaurant worker, had a history of grand mal seizures since age 15 and would typically experience one every two to three months. While working on March 4, 2019, he did have such a seizure, causing him to fall to the ground, hitting his head and losing consciousness. He was rushed to the hospital where he was diagnosed with a skull fracture, subarachnoid hemorrhage, and subdural hematoma.
Fortunately, the claimant made a substantial recovery, although he continued to experience headaches, fatigue, nervousness, moments of depression, trouble processing stimuli, and difficulty with short-term memory. He was temporarily totally disabled for about six and a half months, then gradually returned to part-time and eventually full-time work. He later voluntarily separated from his employment.
On June 17, 2020, he was evaluated by a panel QME neurologist, who assessed 8% WPI based on benign forgetfulness. Any psychological factors were deferred to the appropriate specialist. The claimant did not request a second QME panel. The PD rating was 11%.
Chris opted for a low-pressure approach, with telephone communication and occasional follow-up emails, building rapport and allowing the claimant time to review the settlement documents and consider options. Chris promptly and thoughtfully answered a number of the claimant’s questions regarding the proposed settlement. In turn, the claimant agreed to, signed, and returned the C&R to Chris in decidedly quick fashion. An Order Approving was issued on March 16, 2021.
This claim had a high risk of multiple additional QME panels and a substantially higher settlement if it became litigated. Based on the communication with the claimant, he appeared to be a sophisticated individual who nonetheless could have chosen to retain counsel. However, it is most likely that the claims examiner’s and Chris’ cordial, low-key approach played a large role in this pro per claimant’s decision to settle.
You can read redacted versions of the Compromise and Release and Order Approving Compromise and Release below.
Compromise and Release: Click here
Order Approving Compromise and Release: Click here
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