Attorney Hannah Bowie won a workers’ compensation case after a hearing and appeal which will provide up to $135,205 in wage loss benefits for our client who was injured while at work.
Our client worked at a large retail store when large, heavy boxes fell on top of her. She needed a visit to the emergency room where she received treatment for injury to her hip, arm, and back. After receiving treatment for the injuries she sustained, her primary care doctor informed her she can never work again. However, when the Claimant filed for workers’ compensation, the retail store denied her claim and hired a high-priced attorney from a large Roanoke law firm.
This lawyer acted like he was straight out of the TV show Suits. He scheduled a medical appointment with our client’s primary care doctor. He showed up in an examination room with a stack of papers. Somehow, he convinced the doctor to completely reverse his opinion on our client’s injury, the cause of her injury, and her ability to work.
Following that, the primary doctor then claimed some of her injuries did not originate from the accident that occurred at work. However, we knew otherwise because we believed our client.
We decided to hire our own orthopedic doctor to evaluate the Claimant. After evaluating the paperwork and examining our client, the orthopedic determined the primary care doctor’s statement and report were self-contradictory. Hannah deposed the primary care doctor and probed him over his abrupt change of opinion. We learned that the opposing counsel showed up with a pile of papers and no one could tell us what they were. We also learned that the opposing counsel lied to get into the room with the doctor. Additionally, the primary care doctor and his medical malpractice defense attorneys jointly drafted his changed opinion.
Hannah presented all of these facts to the deputy commissioner for the workers’ compensation commission. The deputy commissioner rejected the primary care doctor’s opinion because of its unreliability. In addition, she did not know if it was a legal opinion or a medical opinion.
Instead, the commission adopted the opinion of the doctor we hired to examine our client.
Our client cannot ever go back to work. She is an elderly woman who cannot move properly due to this accident. She is on temporary total disability for up to 500 weeks. Workers’ compensation was ordered to pay for all the claimant’s medical expenses and 2/3 of her average weekly wage from the date of the accident.
This case was challenging. Overturning a primary care doctor’s opinion is no easy feat. The opposing firm deceived their way into meeting with a doctor to sway the opinion in their favor. However, Hannah refused to rest until she could prove that our client got the award she deserved. This is just an example of the resolve our attorneys use to win cases for our well-deserving clients.