Question: How can I reopen a brain injury worker's compensation claim when the statute of limitations period is not up?
Question Detail: I am still suffering from injuries sustained at work in DE. I relocated to FL after a divorce to be with family to help me with our children. As a result, the attorney dropped the ball and closed the case. Workers compensation insurance then closes the case, refusing to pay for needed treatment and therapy. The therapy is ongoing but they won't pay for treatment. I have 2 years left on the permanency claim. So can someone please help me. I deserve it as I am a disabled graduate social worker who has lost so much as a result of this injury.

Answer: Wow, what an interesting question and what an interesting case you describe. Brain damage cases are always a challenge and with the confluence of a settlement along with the statute of limitation issues these raise complicated questions all in the context of a workers’ compensation case. The legal advice can go off in several different directions. Where would an attorney begin?

Before we walk the walk, let us talk the talk. Maybe it wasn’t the lawyer who “dropped the ball” but it was you with all your moving around who dropped the ball. Have you ever thought of taking responsibility for your own actions, apologizing to the lawyer and asking him or her to reopen your file? I know this a novel approach to life in today’s me-me-me world but trust me when I say you can change your entire life by making one decision: From today on I will always tell the truth and take responsibility for my mistakes. So let us begin with the truth and then it will be much easier for a lawyer to advise you.

It looks like your original injury was in Delaware and that is where you should begin. Get on the phone and call a personal injury lawyer practicing in Delaware who also practices in the area of workers’ compensation. To do this jump onto the Internet and perform this search: “Delaware lawyers practicing personal injury and workers compensation”. I did this search and don’t know any of the dozens of firms coming up in the search results, but this is the place to start.

I did a search on the Lombardi Law Firm site and we do have a blog titled “How do I pick the right lawyer? | Lombardi Law Firm” so you are in luck with how you might conduct your own search in Delaware.

Caveat: I am not licensed to practice law in Delaware and know nothing about Delaware law. In Iowa you might have a shot at voiding the entire settlement because of your brain injury, especially if the adjusters settling the case knew of your brain injury and took advantage of your inability to understand the terms of the settlement and your continued need for treatment. [I did clean up your question because like many brain injured people it was unclear.] I have represented a young lady with this exact problem, but her brain injury was following a car accident. In that case the insurance adjuster knowing the parents of the 17 year old daughter and accident victim objected to her settling for less than the limits, simply waited till she turned 18 and then settled directly with her by paying less than the limits. I was asked by the parents to review the case, which I did and then convinced the young lady she’s been taken advantage. They hired me, which is always a first step, I contacted the insurance adjuster pointing out either of two thing happened. Either they were both operating under a mistake of fact or else the insurance company took advantage of a brain damaged young lady, which would probably expose the insurance company to a punitive damage claim for fraud. A short time later they paid the limits and we obtained the full limits of the underinsured carrier to boot.

The injured lady now in her thirties is in regular contact with us. Her parents of course are thankful for what we did for her.

This is a great result with the right leverage applied.

It always helps to see us early on so we can point out the flaws in your reasoning. Flaws can exist because people do not understand the law and how the insurance industry works. This is where most of the time we add value to your claim and you end up receiving more than you would without our help and legal assistance in your personal injury and workers’ compensation claims. Those who go off on their own usually screw up the claim and then come to us to straighten it out. 

Steve Lombardi
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Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death
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