Workers’ Compensation Death Case Settles for $175,000 After First Attorney Drops Case

The case involved a death case where the claimant died in a horrific motor vehicle accident while he was at work when he suffocated after his vehicle filled with sand following a crash.

Background: Some law firms are too quick to decide on whether a case and a client are worth fighting for. At Reinhardt | Harper | Davis, PLC, we are not scared by hard cases or hard work. We perform our own analysis of every case independent of what another law firm determined. Our belief is, if we have a chance to obtain compensation for a client, we take the case. Too many times, we see other firms and “settlement mills” turn down cases or drop their clients because the case does not look like an easy win. 

Our client’s husband died in a horrific motor vehicle accident while he was at work when he suffocated after his vehicle filled with sand following a crash. Our client’s original attorney (from a large Virginia based law firm), dropped the case after doing an investigation, and told the family that the case was not winnable.  A friend of the deceased employee’s family reached out to Reinhardt | Harper | Davis, PLC and asked us to take a second look at the case. The medical examiner had opined that the claimant died of a heart attack prior to the vehicle impacting a tree on the side of the road which would not have been covered under workers’ compensation.

Our office hired an expert pathologist who gave the opinion that the injuries the employee suffered in the accident contributed to his death. We were also able to track down the first two people on the scene, who testified about the employee’s condition before the paramedics arrived. One of the witnesses testified that he could still feel a pulse, and the other had a video from his phone showing our client still moving. After reviewing our medical examiner’s report and the video, and the state medical examiner agreed to revise their prior autopsy report to state that the impact with the tree contributed to our client’s death. Faced with that evidence, the insurance company agreed to mediation and ultimately paid $175,000 and settled the case. The family of the deceased claimant was extremely happy with this result, especially after his prior attorney closed the case.