Work Comp: When to walk away from a $100,000.00 offer

We recently received a settlement offer of $100,000.00 to resolve a spinal injury workers’ compensation claim.  We strongly recommended our client reject it.  We know that that at trial we will do no worse than $100,000.00.  Sure, trials are difficult and often times uncertain, but not in this case.  The company has accepted that my client was injured.  We were able to get all his bills paid by work comp and they paid my client while he was off work.  They even brought him back to work.  But, here’s the problem…we warned our client that the company probably wouldn’t be able to provide him work much longer; also we were worried that he wouldn’t be able to do the job long-term.  As it turned out, we were right on both counts…my client’s back has worsened such that his doctor put permanent restrictions on him…and the company is laying him off as part of a general lay-off.  What does this mean to his case?  A lot.


Because my client has been terminated he will have to try to find work elsewhere.  The problem is that he has severe restrictions and he doesn’t have much experience in any other type of work (what we call “transferable skills”).  As a result it is almost a certainty that he will have to take a much lower paying job.  This would entitle him to a “wage differential” award if we can prove our case at court.  That makes his case worth (in our estimation) $200,000.00-$250,000.00.  We will still have to have the client work with a vocational expert and we will still have to help him find a new job.  But, a few more months of patience and a lot more hard work will greatly increase his chances of getting twice as much than is on the table.  This will give him, his wife and kids a much better chance of a stable life by making up the lost income which he will have due to his injuries.


Sometimes you have to fight to get what you deserve.  We’re ready to fight for you.  Call the Law Office of Keith Short, 618-655-9499 or 618-254-0055.


About Law Office Of Keith Short

Keith Short was born in Chicago in 1965. In 1980 his parents moved to Anna, Illinois where he attended high school. In 1989 he graduated from SIUC with degrees in Political Science and English. He then attended Southern Illinois University School of Law, where he graduated in 1992. Mr. Short worked full time employment throughout college and law school: auto repair, cannery, legal clerkship. In 1991 he began a clerkship for the Hon. John Dibble of the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission. Prior to graduation Mr. Short was offered an associate attorney position with Keefe and De Pauli, P.C. in Fairview Heights where his practice concentrated in the defense of Illinois and Missouri workers' compensation claims. In 2000 Mr. Short was hired by Hopkins Goldenberg as an associate attorney representing injured workers. In 2002 Mr. Short was offered a full partnership in a firm later renamed Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli, Rowland and Short, where his practice included toxic exposure litigation, medical malpractice and workers' compensation claims. Mr. Short has litigated product liability/brain damage cases; medical malpractice lawsuits, wrongful death claims and automobile accident cases. He has handled numerous cases in the Illinois Appellate Courts. Mr. Short also actively participated in the federal welding Multi-District Litigation set in Cleveland, Ohio. Mr. Short is a frequent lecturer having given seminars in Washington D.C., Las Vegas, Chicago, San Diego, St. Louis, and New Orleans. He resides in Edwardsville, Illinois with his wife, 5 children and 3 step-daughters. On May 3, 2011 Keith Short was sworn in as a member of the Edwardsville City Council, having been elected to represent the city's 5th Ward. He has been assigned by Mayor Gary Niebur to the Public Safety Commission and the Public Services Committee.
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