Car Accident and Work Comp Claims
Getting Justice When the System Tried to Take It Away
Derek J. was the passenger in a work truck a coworker was driving on a country dirt road in Montana. A speeding driver came over the ridge of a hill and struck Derek’s car head-on at a high rate of speed. Both trucks were totally demolished, and Derek almost died at the scene. He was transported to a hospital, which life-flighted him to a bigger medical center because they couldn’t treat Derek’s severe injuries.
Derek endured four major surgeries, a month in the hospital, extensive rehab and months more in a wheelchair. He was off work for more than a year. After four years of treatment, he still is limited in his physical abilities, has been changed forever emotionally, has permanent work restrictions and will need years more medical treatment. His medical bills to date were more than $250,000, he lost $81,000 in wages from being unable to work, it was unknown how much his future medical care could cost, and his life had been changed forever.
The at-fault driver’s insurance company settled for policy limits. Then things got rough for Derek. The Montana workers’ compensation system said they were only responsible for 25 percent of liability because Derek wasn’t the driver of the work truck. Montana work comp placed a lien on the $250,000-plus in medical bills it had paid, meaning Derek would have to pay the money back to the state, and disputed having to pay for future care.
Dianne Sawaya wasn’t about to let them get away with that. Working with co-counsel in Montana, Dianne filed a lawsuit. With extensive research and expert opinion by law firm legal staff, the Law Offices of Dianne Sawaya forced the work comp insurer to waive its lien and agree to pay for future medical care. Derek got the justice – and compensation – he deserves.
Settlement: $1,000,000; waiver of $256,000 work comp lien; $300,000 annuity; work comp agreement to pay for future medical care; payment of child support arrears.