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Paralyzed accident victim receives $3 million work comp settlement

We have previously written about the dangers of construction work in New York and elsewhere. These workers face unique hazards that most of us will never encounter in a typical office setting.

And construction accidents at road construction sites are often especially dangerous or deadly because of the added hazard of moving traffic.

Nearly 11 years after the construction-site car accident that left him with quadriplegia, a Pennsylvania man recently reached a workers' compensation settlement of $3 million. According to his attorney, the settlement might be among the highest workers' compensation settlements in the United States.

In 2001, when the man was just 31 years old, he was working as a flagman at a road construction site. At about 10:30 on a morning in January, an allegedly drunk driver sped around several stopped vehicles and struck him. Witnesses say he flew 15 feet in the air and landed nearly 60 feet away from where he had been struck.

The accident left him with a partially severed spinal cord, a broken neck, a brain injury and various broken bones. He remains paralyzed to this day and requires around-the-clock medical care.

He eventually received a substantial award in a 2004 personal injury lawsuit, but his workers' compensation settlement required several years of negotiations. According to his attorney, there were many issues to resolve regarding factors such as his future medical needs, Social Security and a Medicare fund.

Catastrophic on-the-job accidents often have a complex aftermath that can take years to sort out. That's why it's important for injured workers to seek the help of a qualified and compassionate workers' compensation attorney.

This man's attorney said: "I think about Joe often. Within the confines of the law, we have done the best that we can for [him], but we can't put his life back to where it used to be."

Source: The Times Herald, "Lower Pottsgrove man wins worker's comp award in Bucks crash case," Carl Hessler Jr., Dec. 16, 2011

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