Last week I had to help my client make a $250,000 decision. That was the offer we had to settle his workers’ comp case. A quarter of a million dollars is a lot of money, especially for a comp claim. But, my client is seriously injured and will never work again. I wanted $400,000 and medical care for life for his spine. They wouldn’t budge and neither would I; trial was set.
An hour before the trial the defense lawyer tells me they have my client on surveillance and she had an investigator to testify. I took my client aside and asked what they might have; they are not required to disclose the tape to me and they didn’t. He swore he hadn’t been doing anything beyond his doctor’s restrictions. I had to make a decision: take the money or run the risk. I recommended to my client that he stand up for himself and take his chances. It was the right call. The video covered 3 full days of his life…and showed him active for a total of about 4 minutes. And, the activity he was doing was well within his doctor’s restrictions. The cross examination of the investigator was actually fun. They had nothing!!
The defense was trying to intimidate us and it didn’t work. I made my decision based on 2 factors: 1) I’ve known my client for years and I trust him. He’s a good man who knows right from wrong. And, 2) I explained to my client that anyone with damning video would never offer us $250,000. Never. They would low ball us at $100,000.
We don’t have the judge’s decision yet. It isn’t due for a month or two. I’m not concerned. Our case is strong and their surveillance was ridiculous. My client and I felt very good about our case and even better about our decision. After trial our demand went up to $500,000.00 and open medical for life.
If you’re going to court make certain your lawyer understands you. Make certain your lawyer has the nerve to make the tough call and the skill to handle anything the defense can pull out of its bag. The Law Office of Keith Short, 618-655-9499 or 618-254-0055