Case Results

Below are representative settlements and verdicts pursued and won by The Monahan Law Practice.

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Automobile Accidents

Awarded: $850,000 Underinsured motorist settlement plus $100,000 workers’ compensation claim

Awarded: $100,000 Policy Limits Award

Awarded: Quick $225,000 policy Limits settlement

Awarded: $305,000 settlement against Property owner and co-employee

Awarded: Policy Limits Awarded after Denial of Coverage

Awarded: Underinsured Motorist Settlement after Policy Limits Awarded

Awarded: Policy Limits against Drunk Driver and Tavern Owner

Awarded: $1.1 Million Trucking Accident Settlement

Work Injuries

Awarded: $125,000 awarded for Bi-lateral Hearing Loss

Awarded: Termination of Benefits Denied Worker Despite Pre-existing Condition

Awarded: Counsel Fees Awarded by Judge

Awarded: Insurance Company Defeated Twice, then settles for $165,000

Awarded: Psych Injury Accepted

Awarded: Commuting to Work Exception for Workers’ Compensation

Awarded: Unreasonable Contest Attorney’s Fees Awarded

Awarded: Worker’s Comp Claim Initially Denied, Accepted after Litigation

Awarded: Repetitive Trauma Injury Found Work Related

Awarded: Life time Benefits Awarded

Awarded: Limited Period of Compensation Awarded for Pre-existing aggravation

Awarded: Repetitive Trauma Injury Found Work Related

Awarded: $300,000 Workers’ Comp Settlement

Awarded: $170,000 Specific loss benefits to Claimant

Awarded: Worker’s Comp payment for Co-employee Negligence

Awarded: Part time Reitiree Maintains Benefits

General

Awarded: Confidential settlement

Automobile Accidents

$850,000 Settlement for Worker Injured in Truck Accident

I represented a truck driver who was injured while working. Another driver made an illegal left hand turn in front of my client causing him severe and permanently disabling injuries. The most significant orthopedic injury involved failed back surgery for a herniated disc which prevented the client from ever returning to his previous employment. Since the other driver only carried minimal insurance coverage ($15,000) I was able to successfully pursue an underinsured motorist claim against the employer’s insurance carrier. One of the most important reasons for the significant settlement was because I was able to successfully establish a claim against the workers’ compensation insurance carrier to increase the scope of my client’s injuries to include post traumatic stress disorder which the insurance carrier had initially refused to recognize. That added disability greatly enhanced the value of the underinsured motorist case.

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Awarded: $850,000 Underinsured motorist settlement plus $100,000 workers’ compensation claim

Policy Limits Award by Philadelphia Judge in Contested Auto Case

We presented a driver on the Schuykill Expressway who was struck by another driver as traffic merged from two different directions. Our client said he was rear ended. However, up until the day the trial ended, the defendant’s insurance company and their attorney took the position that our client had actually hit the defendant first. The defense attorney had an independent witness to support their version of the accident and hired a well known Philadelphia accident reconstruction expert to support their theory of defense. Nevertheless, after our cross examination of the defense expert, the defendant, and the independent witness, the Judge rendered a decision 100% in favor of our client and awarded the policy limits of $100,000.

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Awarded: $100,000 Policy Limits Award

$225,000 Policy Limits for Pedestrian with Broken Leg

A Philadelphia property manager who worked for a non-profit organization and was required to walk all over Center City Philadelphia inspecting housing and apartment complexes was injured on the way home from work in Center City while legally crossing an intersection. The other driver was not able to see the crosswalk nor the pedestrian but took a left turn anyway. We were able to show through expert testimony from our client’s treating orthopedic surgeon that he would continue to experience greater than expected difficulties in performing his job because of the significant amount of walking involved in performing his duties. I obtained a quick offer of the policy limits from both the offending driver’s insurance company and my client’s own underinsured motorist carrier.

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Awarded: Quick $225,000 policy Limits settlement

Assistant Store Manager Paid $305,000 for negligence of parking lot owner and co-employee driver

Denise B. was an assistant store manager at a national book store in suburban Philadelphia. After clocking out and leaving work after midnight, she was struck and severely injured by a co-employee who was leaving the parking lot but could not see the claimant because of poor lighting in the parking lot and a heavy rain. Despite the defense that the co-employee had immunity under the Workers? Compensation Act, through investigation we were able to show that because the accident took place just after the change from daylight saving time, that the shopping center owner had failed to recalibrate the timing of the lights. In addition, we were able to overcome the co-employee immunity. Eventually the co-employee?s personal automobile insurance carrier paid their policy limits of $250,000 and an additional $55,000 was paid by the shopping center owner for failure to provide adequate lighting.

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Awarded: $305,000 settlement against Property owner and co-employee

Investigation Reveals Coverage Denied in Error

Gloria L. was a long time bank employee who was injured in an automobile accident when a unauthorized driver of a borrowed vehicle crossed a double yellow line and collided head on with Gloria L. Despite the insurance company?s denial of responsibility and insurance coverage, we were able to show through investigation that coverage should have been afforded to the driver, and we were able to settle for the policy limits of $15,000. Thereafter, we collected plaintiff?s policy limits on their underinsured motorist carrier for $25,000. Fortunately, claimant?s injuries resolved, and she was able to return to her previous employment.

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Awarded: Policy Limits Awarded after Denial of Coverage

Multiple Underinsured Claims Settled

Todd L. was a construction worker who traveled long distances from central Pennsylvania to go to his job. One morning, while driving on his side of the road, an automobile crossed the double line and struck the vehicle which was driving in front of him containing seven separate passengers. Despite liability limits of only $100,000, we were able to coordinate with all of the defendants in working out an agreement to resolve the case to the satisfaction of all of the plaintiffs relative to their respective injuries, and thereafter, seek underinsured motorist benefits from plaintiff?s own insurance policy.

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Awarded: Underinsured Motorist Settlement after Policy Limits Awarded

Injured Driver Awarded Policy Limits Against Drunk Driver and Tavern Owner

Sara G. was hardworking young woman in her thirties who worked two different jobs when she was seriously injured in a head-on collision with a drunk driver severely fracturing her lower leg and ankle preventing her from being able to walk on uneven surfaces again. After successfully obtaining offers of policy limits from both her underinsured motorist carrier and the tortfeasor, we successfully settled the case for the policy limits against the tavern owner where the driver, we had learned through investigation, had spent his entire day drinking.

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Awarded: Policy Limits against Drunk Driver and Tavern Owner

$1.1 Million Dollar Settlement in Trucking Accident Brain Injury Case

Dan Monahan settles injured workers’ trucking accident case for $1.1 million dollars

 

The supervisor who witnessed the accident said it was the worse accident he had ever seen.  It also proved to him that even though you take every safety precautions, tragic accidents and life threatening injuries can still happen.  While the worker was sitting in a signage truck at a construction truck on a closed road repair on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, a driver of a Hatfield Meats tractor trailer fell asleep at the wheel doing 75 miles per hour and slammed into the client’s stopped struck in which he was sitting.  When the supervisor reached the truck where Dan’s client was laying, he was expecting to see a dead man.

Miraculously, his co-worker was dazed, but alive with no apparent catastrophic injuries.  Rushed by ambulance to the local hospital, the client was treated and released and was back to work within three weeks.

But everything was alright.  Months after suffering from severe headaches and memory loss, the client met with Dan Monahan to discuss not only his rights under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, but also what could be done to compensate him for the continuing headaches and the memory loss that was interfering more and more with his job performance and his home life.

Mild traumatic brain injury is a quiet but extremely disabling injury.  Having handled these kinds of cases before, Dan Monahan recognized that the client needed to be seen by the right experts, and soon.

Appointments were made with a leading neuropsychologist in Philadelphia, one of the few specialists that can  actually diagnose these types of injuries and recommend a course of treatment to help deal with the crippling problems that arise, but are ignored by the injured and often assumed to be “imaginary” by co-workers, employers, friends and family alike.

However, that wasn’t the only battle that Dan Monahan and his client faced.  After filing suit against the trucking company and the driver, Dan Monahan and his client had to battle Motions to strike out claims for Punitive Damages (Dan discovered through careful research of medical records that the tractor trailer driver had complained of sleep problems weeks before the accident) and Motions to move the case out of Philadelphia county where Dan knew from prior years of experience, he would get a fairer jury pool for someone injured like this client.

Dan was successful with every attempt by the defendant to defeat his claim.  After hiring experts including Bio-mechanical engineers, trucking industry experts, vocational experts and economists to verify future loss wages, in addition to the neuropsychologist, the defendant’s asked to mediate the case before starting a trial scheduled to begin in October 2010.

Knowing Dan was ready and able to try the case and threatened with  potential for a Punitive Damage claim, the parties were able to reach a very favorable settlement for the client for $1.1 million dollars.

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Awarded: $1.1 Million Trucking Accident Settlement

Work Injuries

Bi-lateral Hearing Loss Awarded in the amount of $125,000

Barry H. was a supervisor/foreman for a national union while working at the Sun Oil Plant in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania. At the time he was working, an explosion caused by a defective propylene torch caused him to suffer permanent loss of hearing in both ears. Despite the fact that the claimant had a significant loss of hearing his entire life, and had recently undergone two surgeries to correct that condition just prior to the accident, we were able to prove from testimony from a Board Certified ear specialist that the explosion aggravated claimant?s condition such as to undo the benefits of surgery. In addition, we were able to convince the Judge that under the Pennsylvania Workers? Compensation Act, despite the fact that claimant was able to regain some of his hearing through the use of hearing aids, that the Act in this situation provided that the standard for awarding benefits was based on his hearing loss without the consideration of hearing aids. Claimant was awarded $125,000 in specific loss benefits.

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Awarded: $125,000 awarded for Bi-lateral Hearing Loss

Compensation Continues for Work Related Aggravation of Congenital Problem

Maria H. was a computer technician who suffered severe congenital scoliosis since she was a child. Nevertheless, while lifting computer terminals at her employment, she suffered a severe aggravation of her pre-existing condition. Defendant employer contested the claim alleging that all of her conditions were pre-existing. However, claimant was awarded temporary total disability benefits and continues to receive benefits to the present time.

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Awarded: Termination of Benefits Denied Worker Despite Pre-existing Condition

Penalties Awarded for Counsel Fees for Defendant’s Unreasonable Contest of Workers’ Compensation Claim

Laura K. was housekeeper at a large suburban hotel when she severely injured her low back and suffered a herniated disc while moving furniture. In large part because claimant continued to work through her injuries, the Defendants unreasonably refused to pay claimant?s minimal workers? compensation benefits when she finally reached the point where she could no longer work. We immediately brought a Claim Petition on behalf of the claimant when she came to our offices, and after completing the case, the Judge awarded counsel fees to be paid to the claimant for Defendant?s unreasonable contest of the claim. Unreasonable contest awards are rare in Pennsylvania workers? compensation, but we were able to show through cross-examination of the employer?s witnesses that they had notice of the injury and had absolutely no reason to contest the claim.

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Awarded: Counsel Fees Awarded by Judge

$165,000 Settlement for Retiring Worker

David K. was fifty-five year old forklift factory worker at a major paper company in suburban Philadelphia where had had worked most of his entire life. When he was involved in a serious accident in the operation of the forklift he suffered a severe herniation to his lower back. On three separate occasions, Defendant employer tried to terminate or modify claimant?s benefits based on allegations that he either fully recovered from his work injury or that modified employment was available to him within his restrictions. We were able to defeat the termination petition on two separate occasions and then the final petition filed by the Defendants where they alleged that he was capable of working inside his house as a telephone solicitor. We successfully convinced the Judge in that decision that such employment was not reasonable under the Pennsylvania Workers? Compensation Act and violated his constitutional protections to invasion of his privacy. Eventually, as result of our successful defense of three separate petitions, we were able to settle the case for a lump sum payment of $165,000 at the time that claimant would have retired in all likelihood anyway. Given the claimant?s age and his eventual retirement, this was an extremely high award for Pennsylvania wage loss benefits.

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Awarded: Insurance Company Defeated Twice, then settles for $165,000

Psych Injuries Accepted after Store Robbery at Gunpoint

Paul L. was an assistant supermarket manager in West Philadelphia when he robbed at gunpoint in the course and scope of his employment. As would be expected, claimant suffered severe psychological trauma as a result of the injury. However, the insurance company denied the claim and the matter was litigated before a workers? compensation Judge. Eventually, the claimant was awarded benefits.

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Awarded: Psych Injury Accepted

Compensation Accepted Despite Allegation Claimant was only Commuting to Work

Steven M. was the executive director of a non-profit energy coordinating consulting company when he was rear ended while on his way to an off site job. The claim was denied by the workers? compensation insurance company alleging that claimant commuting to work which was not compensable. We eventually convinced the Defendant that the facts presented an exception to that rule. First, through the testimony of two separate independent witnesses, we were able to prove that claimant was expected to be at the off site location for the purposes of meeting with other contractors which took away the commuting defense. Secondly, an appellate court decision which came down during the pendency of the litigation clarified this issue for the Pennsylvania courts, and we were able to successfully resolve the case with the workers? compensation insurance carrier.

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Awarded: Commuting to Work Exception for Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ Compensation Judge Bruce Doman Awards Attorneys Fees for Unreasonable Contest

It is rare for Workers’ Compensation Judges to award counsel fees in addition to compensation for claimant’s in work injury cases.  The burden is on the claimant to show that defendant has presented an “unreasonable contest” to the claimant’s Petition.  In fact, in a case I argued before the Commonwealth Court in 1982 on behalf of the employer when I was employed as staff counsel for PMA Insurance Company, I was successful in arguing that the mere cross examination of the employee’s physician could be the basis for a “reasonable contest”.

However, in one of my recent cases, I was successful in obtaining an award for counsel fees.  This benefits the injured worker because it reimburses the claimant for attorney’s fees that are normally deducted from the award in the amount of Twenty percent.

Here, Defendants argued over who was the employer for an EMT worker in Coatesville.  One argued it was the City of Coatesville; the other argued it was the fire company.

Ultimately, when neither could agree at the beginning, the Judge agreed with our argument that even when they eventually voluntarily agreed to payment, the delay alone was sufficient for an award of counsel fees.

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Awarded: Unreasonable Contest Attorney’s Fees Awarded

$100,000 Settlement for Claimant who returned to Work

The willingness of insurance companies to settle workers’ compensation cases is often times predicated on an injured worker actually returning to work within their restrictions.  The reason for this is that most Workers’ Compensation Judges are reluctant to either terminate or modify claimant’s compensation benefits in these situations even if the insurance company is trying to cease or further reduce benefits.

In a case involving a woman who was significantly injured at Home Depot when a car in the parking lot backed up into her, we were successful in a variety of claims for the injured worker.

First, we were successful in continuing her benefits while she was able to recover and undergo medical treatment.  Secondly, after an initial determination that her ongoing medical treatment was neither reasonable or necessary, we were successful in our appeal where the Judge overturned the URO decision and awarded continuing medical treatment.  Finally, when the claimant was able to find alternative employment within her restrictions, we were able to successfully obtain compensation for her scarring that resulted after her surgery.  Claimants are only able to obtain compensation for scarring when they are no longer receiving temporary total disability benefits.  However, they are entitled to them once they are only receiving partial disability benefits  upon return to work.  Furthermore, claimants often miss the opportunity to obtain scarring compensation after surgery, as long as it takes place above the clavicle.

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$164,000 Workers’ Compensation Settlement Allows Worker to Receive Increased Social Security Disability Benefits

Injured workers are entitled to receive both workers’ compensation benefits and social security disability benefits at the same time.  However, any social security benefits are offset by the receipt of workers’ compensation benefits.  In addition, any settlement of future work related medical expenses must be approved by the social security administration.

These factors make it extremely important that any resolution of a workers’ compensation claim take into consideration these factors to insure that the claimant receives the most benefits allowable under the law.

First, when settling the wage loss portion of the claim, the amount of monthly social security disability benefits need to be calculated and compared to a settlement of workers’ compensation calculated as a future benefit over the life expectancy of the claimant.  For instance, if the social security disability (SSDI) entitlement is $1,000 per month, and the workers’ compensation benefit when calculated at a monthly rate (remember workers’ compensation is paid weekly, and therefore, a monthly calculation will need to be made) is also $1,000, there is no additional SSDI payable.

However, if the workers’ compensation claim is settled for a lump sum of $50,000 and the worker has a life expectancy of 30 years, then social security will consider that lump sum as if it were a $139 monthly benefit.  Therefore, the injured worker would receive the settlement of $50,000 and continue to receive SSDI in the amount of $861 per month ($1000 less $139).

In addition, the future value of medical expenses need to be agreed upon with Social Security.  That amount then has to be set aside in any workers’ compensation settlement where claimant is entitled to Medicare within 30 months of the settlement.  Once that amount is exhausted, then Social Security is responsible for ongoing work related medical expenses.

In a case we recently resolved, we were successful in obtaining a work loss settlement of $125,000 which permitted claimant to receive an increased social security monthly disability payment, plus the payment of almost $39,000 in future medical expenses.

Coordination of these settlements is important in order to provide injured workers with the maximum amount.  Lawyers who do not practice regularly in the this area of the law may not understand the intricacies of these cases.  Be sure you hire the right attorney for your case.

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Claimant Receives $149,000 settlement after Retaining Vocational Expert

Most injured workers receiving workers’ compensation benefits in Pennsylvania will eventually be evaluated by a company selected physician and a vocational expert to offer evidence that claimant is either no longer disabled or can return to work in some capacity.

These vocational examinations are often times not based on realistic facts with respect to the ability of the claimants to actually return to work.  However, one of the best ways to counter the employer’s allegations and increase the value of any settlement is to hire your own vocational expert who will do the necessary intelligence and vocational tests necessary to scientifically evaluate the claimant’s earning capacity.

We were successful in obtaining a $149,000 settlement for a 64 year old client by using our own vocational expert who proved that the defendant’s evaluation of projected earning capacity was not accurate.

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Shoulder Injury Results in $100,000 Workers’ Compensation Settlement

In February 2008 a long time employee of a property management company sustained an injury when he fell off a ladder.  As a result he suffered an fractured wrist which eventually healed and an injury to his shoulder which did not necessitate surgery.  The diagnosis from a surgeon who specializes in shoulder surgery diagnosed claimant with adhesive capsulitis.

Claimant was anxious to return to the State of Georgia where he had worked before and had other less restrictive work opportunities waiting for him.  Despite the current employer’s attempts to return claimant to a no-work modified job, we were able to resolve the case for a sizeable settlement of $100,000 which permitted claimant to return to Georgia and seek alternative employment to his liking.

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Truck Driver’s Denied WC Claim Overturned

Quentin D. was a truck driver for a major distribution trucking firm in the western Pennsylvania suburbs who was injured while working. Defendant employer not only contested his claim for wage loss benefits, but alleged that Mr. D was employed during the period of time he was alleging seeking workers? compensation benefits. We were able to show through sworn testimony from various witnesses that the alleged employment was nothing more than his landlord owned a business on the premises where the client observed activities of the business. Eventually, the employer accepted the claim and the matter was resolved for a lump sum payment when claimant returned to work in North Carolina.

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Awarded: Worker’s Comp Claim Initially Denied, Accepted after Litigation

Repetitive Trauma Accepted as Work Related

Brenda D. was a machine operator for a national manufacturer that made specialty fibers. As a result of years of repetitive work, claimant developed carpel tunnel syndrome which the employer refused to accept as a compensable work-related injury. After presenting testimony from board certified orthopedic surgeons and cross examining the defendant?s doctors, we were successful before the workers? compensation judge in proving that claimant had in fact suffered a work-related injury.

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Awarded: Repetitive Trauma Injury Found Work Related

Horse Handler Awarded Lifetime Worker’s Comp Benefits

Maria E. was a horse handler for the Philadelphia City Police Department. As a result of getting kicked in her hand, claimant developed carpel tunnel syndrome which the City of Philadelphia maintained was related to an intervening pregnancy. We were successful in winning the case and the client was awarded disability benefits. In subsequent litigation on two separate occasions, the City sought to modify claimant?s benefits based on her return to work which we had informed the City had taken place. However, we were able to successfully defend her continuing to receive at least the maximum partial disability benefits because the City had not properly calculated her average weekly wage at the time of the accident, and could not prove in two separate decisions before a workers? compensation Judge what her average weekly wage was. This client continued to be eligible for benefits for over twenty years.

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Awarded: Life time Benefits Awarded

Aggravation of Pre-existing condition Found Work Related

Darryl G. was a truck driver who suffered an aggravation of a pre-existing problem which the workers? compensation carrier denied as work-related. We were successful in proving a limited period of disability before an extremely conservative workers? compensation Judge.

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Awarded: Limited Period of Compensation Awarded for Pre-existing aggravation

Computer Design Engineer Awarded Repetitive Trauma benefits

John G. was a computer design engineer for a software company in the western suburbs of Philadelphia. As a result of repetitive motions, he developed disabling carpel tunnel syndrome which prevented him from continuing to do his job. The employer?s insurance company refused to accept the injury and after filing a Claim Petition and taking the deposition of a prominent Philadelphia hand surgeon who opined that the injuries were in fact work-related, the insurance company agreed to voluntarily accept the claim. Thereafter, we were able to successfully settle the case for a lump sum payment of future wage loss benefits when claimant was able to return to modified employment.

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Awarded: Repetitive Trauma Injury Found Work Related

$300,000 for worker who lost sight in one eye

The description of injury in the Notice of Compensation Payable is one of the most important aspects of a workers’ compensation case and determines not only what injuries the Claimant suffered, but also limits coverage for medical treatment and may affect what wage loss benefits are available. I represented a 65 year old auto mechanic who, while performing some work under a car lift, suffered traumatic injuries when the car slipped off the lift. Even though the claimant was receiving the maximum weekly wage loss benefits when he came to see me, I determined that the insurance company had conveniently “failed” to acknowledge the loss of his vision in one eye. I filed a Petition to force the worker’s compensation insurance carrier to acknowledge the additional injury and later was able to resolve the case for $300,000.

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Awarded: $300,000 Workers’ Comp Settlement

$170,000 for Worker who bumped his foot and ended up with amputations of both legs

I represented an assitant manager of a local grocery store who bumped his left foot on a wooden palate. Unfortunately, because of pre-existing conditions not related to work, he developed significant ulcers and complications that eventually led to the amputation of both legs at the knees. Because of claimant’s age and other significant health issues that jeopardized his life expectancy, we sought to have his injuries expanded to include the amputation of both legs and then sought specific loss benefits to provide him with a lump sum of $170,000. Otherwise, upon his premature death, which his treating physician predicted would occur in the next several years, his widow would not be entitled to any weekly wage loss benefits.

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Awarded: $170,000 Specific loss benefits to Claimant

Car Salesman Run Over by Co-employee

John B. was a car salesman who was run over by a co-employee in the course and scope of his employment. Because of the commission based salary that John received, the insurance company refused to acknowledge his workers? compensation benefits. As a result of subpoenaed documents from both the employer and records maintained by John B, we were able to show a loss of earnings and eventually the workers? compensation insurance carrier accepted John B?s claim for workers? compensation disability benefits.

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Awarded: Worker’s Comp payment for Co-employee Negligence

Part time retiree’s benefits continued

Peter B. was a retired engineer who wanted to continue working on a part time basis after he had retired from a major Philadelphia computer company. While working as a limousine driver he aggravated a pre-existing back condition while unloading a bag of golf clubs. Although the insurance company alleged that Peter B?s disability had terminated, we were able to successfully defend a Termination and Modification Petition and eventually settled his future wage loss claim for an amount satisfactory to the client.

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Awarded: Part time Reitiree Maintains Benefits

General

Sidewalk trip and fall results in settlement

Fay B. was a middle aged woman who tripped and fell because of a defective condition in the sidewalk which was hidden by debris as a result of which she sustained serious fractures to her ankle inhibiting her ability to continue her usual daily activities and disabling her from returning to work for a period of time. As a result of suing the property owner we were successful in obtaining a settlement.

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Awarded: Confidential settlement

Please note that every case is different and these verdicts and settlements, while accurate, do not represent what we may obtain for you in your case.