Whether a personal injury case will succeed depends on many factors beyond your control. Of the many factors beyond your control, your workers’ compensation status is an important one. A workers' compensation payout may not hurt the ruling in a personal injury case, but it could impact additional compensation. Any money received from the workers' compensation insurance at your job would cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages or factors stemming from a covered workplace injury. In any other instance, you’d assume receiving workers’ compensation would be a relief after being injured on the job. Still, it is another factor that the opposing counsel might attempt to use against you to limit your recovery. Brassard v. Hall, Rheaume, Travelers Property Casualty Company America highlights the various struggles and pitfalls you might encounter in a personal injury case with similar circumstances.
Details From Brassard V. Hall, Rheaume, Travelers Property Casualty Company
Facts: On April 4, 2018, the plaintiff, Jessica Brassard, was driving in the westbound lane of a West Melbourne, Florida, street. Brassard was stopped at a traffic light when the defendant driving the vehicle behind her, Robin Hall, failed to stop, rear-ending Brassard. Following the collision, Brassard suffered an injury to her shoulder and wrist, which would later require shoulder scope arthroscopic surgery. She also needed surgery for carpal tunnel and ulnar nerve release. Following the accident, Brassard filed separate negligence complaints against Robin Hall, the vehicle driver, and Tracy Rheaume, the vehicle owner. Brassard also brought suit against Rheaume’s underinsurance company, Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, to recover compensation on the policy for her injuries resulting from the accident. While the case was ongoing, Brassard also applied for workers' compensation to receive treatment for her injuries, as she was working at the time of the accident.
Court Proceedings: While the case was ongoing, it was clear that Brassard's workers' compensation claims would be delayed. She was having difficulty finding the right doctors and determining the necessary surgeries for optimal recovery. When Brassard and her doctors identified the appropriate surgeries, the insurance companies delayed approvals, prolonging the process further. Counsel for the defendants attempted to use this delay to their advantage, saying that these delays showed that the injuries she suffered from the accident didn’t substantially impact her life. Nonetheless, Broussard and her attorneys continued to assert that her injuries from the accident were severe, causing a considerable strain on Brassard's life.
Verdict: After deliberation, the jury ultimately found in Brassard’s favor. The jury awarded Brassard $111,820.58 for past medical expenses, $400,000 for future medical expenses, and $475,000 for past and future pain and suffering.
What The Brassard Award Means For You
The trial proceedings and a personal injury case can be challenging to maneuver. Even the most minor, most insignificant fact can be used against you to harm your case. In Brassard, the workers’ compensation delay, which otherwise would not affect the outcome in similar circumstances, was used by the opposing counsel to jeopardize her chances of recovery. Brassard highlights the importance of having an experienced attorney represent you in these complicated proceedings.
Trusted Personal Injury Attorneys in Florida
As with any type of case, the legal process comes with hidden dangers and obscured pitfalls that can drastically affect the success of your case. Some issues in personal injury cases are hard to see coming. For example, opposing counsel can take a photo of you, still recovering from your injury, and spin it to appear that your injury is not severe. These kinds of tactics are used by opposing counsel to limit their liability and the amount they compensate you for your injuries. These tactics can be challenging to defend against and hard to see coming. However, an experienced personal injury attorney knows to expect these tactics and has the skills to fight against them. The attorneys at The Watson Firm, PLLC have extensive experience with personal injury cases and know what to expect. These types of legal cases can be difficult to navigate alone, which is why having an experienced attorney on your side can make all the difference.
Contacting A Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been injured in an accident or have become involved in a personal injury case, you must act quickly to protect your interests. Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney is the best step to ensuring that your interests are protected throughout the proceedings and that you achieve the best result possible. The experienced attorneys at The Watson Firm, PLLC have extensive experience handling personal injury cases. They can help you navigate the complicated legal process and work with you to receive the compensation you deserve.
For more information about personal injury cases or to schedule your initial case evaluation, call us today at (850) 607-2929 or contact us online.