The claimant was operating a front end loader trash truck when it was struck head on by a large dump truck. As result of that accident the claimant suffered severe injuries including traumatic brain injury, broken sternum, broken clavicle, broken ribs, scalp laceration, ear laceration, concussion and a spinal cord injury.
On November 26, 2018, the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission approved a settlement for the claimant in the amount of $2.5 million. The claimant was represented by Stephen Harper, a partner at Reinhardt | Harper | Davis. At the time of the accident the claimant was 43 years old and married with 4 children ages 12-21. The claimant was operating a front end loader trash truck when it was struck head on by a large dump truck. As result of that accident the claimant suffered severe injuries including traumatic brain injury, broken sternum, broken clavicle, broken ribs, scalp laceration, ear laceration, concussion and a spinal cord injury. Following treatment at the emergency room, the claimant was transferred to MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital in Northern Virginia for rehabilitation treatment. Upon discharge from the rehabilitation center, the claimant was transferred home where he continued to receive ongoing treatment and therapy for his traumatic brain injury and for his spinal cord injury. The claimant had been diagnosed with a partial spinal cord injury initially resulting in T5 in complete paraplegia. The end result was that the claimant needed home health care to take care of him. Mr. Harper was able to negotiate with the workers’ compensation carrier and got them to agree to the pay the claimant’s wife to take care of him at the home instead of having an outside home health care nurse come in to the home. The claimant’s wife was able to quit her regular job and be paid a monthly stipend by the workers’ compensation carrier to stay home and to take care of the injured claimant.
Several years after the accident when the claimant’s medical care had stabilized, Mr. Harper engaged in settlement negotiations with the insurance carrier. Prior to settlement, Mr. Harper had gotten the carrier to pay over $790,000.00 in lose wages and medical bills. Ultimately the parties went to a mediation at the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission which was conducted by Deputy Commissioner Brooke Anne Hunter. As a result of that mediation, Mr. Harper was able to obtain the claimant a full and final settlement providing for $2.5 million payable to the claimant.
After consultation with Mr. Harper, the claimant decided to use portions of this money to purchase annuities to provide for his ongoing medical needs for the rest of his life. The first annuity will pay the claimant periodic payments in the amount of $1,183.33 per month for the remainder of his life, or 30 years guaranteed whichever is longer. The second annuity will pay the claimant $3,016.67 per month payable for as long as he lives, guaranteed for 30 years. The purpose of the annuities was the ensure that the claimant would have adequate monthly income to take care of his ongoing medical needs, allow his wife to stay home from work and continue to take care of him and ensure that he had financial security by having the annuities guaranteed for his lifetime or for 30 years whichever was longer, it ensured that if the injured claimant were to pass away at an early age because of complications from his work injury the payments would continue to his family for the full 30 years. In addition, out of the $2.5 million the claimant received an upfront cash payment of $951,000 at the time of settlement. This settlement is believed to the be 5th largest workers’ compensation settlement reported in Virginia.