From the Files of Powell and Denny
This week, in “From the Files of Powell and Denny,” we are going to review a workers’ compensation case we tried in Jefferson County, Alabama-Birmingham, AL before the late Judge Joseph Boohaker (a respected jurist whom we all miss)
Our client was in his late 20’s and had been employed at U.S. Pipe and Foundry for a year, when one day-while performing his job duties-he crushed his left pinky finger while trying to undue a jam of pipes on a conveyor belt. Notice of the injury was immediately given and our client was taken to UAB for treatment. The workers compensation insurance adjuster told him to follow up with Dr. Bruce Romeo, and after conservative treatment failed to improve his condition, he was referred to Dr. Keith Weaver. Dr. Weaver performed surgery on his hand and sent him to Rehab Associates in Bessemer, but when his condition failed to significantly improve, a Panel of Four was requested and Dr. Joseph Sherill was selected, and Dr. Sherrill performed a second surgery, and after MMI was reached, an FCE was ordered.
According to the Functional Capacities Evaluation, our client had sustained a 42% permanent partial impairment to his pinky finger, which equated to a 2% rating to the arm.
Our client attempted to return to work but was unable to perform his job duties given his injury, and eventually he was laid off and told that if he couldn’t do his job duties, there simply was not a position available for him. You see, while the injury was primarily to his little finger, the injury caused nerve damage, and pain would shoot up our client’s entire left arm when he attempted to use it for any real length of time. We looked at this case as an injury to our client’s entire arm, but the defense attorney insisted that the injury was limited to our client’s pinky finger.
When our attempts at settlement failed, this case went to trial before Judge Boohaker, and in his decision, Judge Boohaker found that our client’s ability to use his arm was severely limited as a result of his job injury and awarded our client damages based on the loss of use of his arm-with lifetime medical benefits.
Moreover, a few months after our trial in this case-our client had gotten a job at a fast-food restaurant and we were able to help our client obtain a Closed period decision by the Social Security Disability Administration in his claim for disability benefits.
This case was a good example of how an injury to one specific body part can have an impact on other body parts-and when that happens, the injured worker is entitled to additional benefits under Alabama’s workers’ compensation laws.
It also shows how findings in a workers compensation claim can be extremely helpful in a claim for Social Security Disability benefits and shows why-if you have suffered a severe job injury-it may be in your best interest to hire a lawyer who handles both Alabama Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability claims.
If you have suffered a work injury and have questions about your right to Alabama workers comp benefits, or if you believe you are disabled and entitled to Social Security Disability beenfits and you are looking for help in appealing a denial-don’t hesitate to contact Powell and Denny and speak with one of the experienced workers compensation social security disability lawyers and schedule a free consultation and let us see if we can help. Appointments are available in person, or virtually through Zoom for your convenience from wherever you live.
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Powell and Denny have been selected as one of the Best Law Firms by U.S. News and World Report for each of the last 9 years, have been selected as one of Birmingham’s Top Lawyers by B-Metro Magazine for the last 5 years, have been selected by The National Advocates as one of the Top 20 Workers’ Compensation Firms (plaintiffs) and Powell and Denny, P.C.-has been selected as one of the “Best of the Best” law firms by The American Registry and included in the list as one of the Mid-South’s Super Lawyers.
Mr. Denny is AV rated by Martindale Hubbard (the highest rating possible) and Mr. Powell has been rated as Superior by The National Registry
+ Powell and Denny have successfully represented injured workers from Birmingham, Huntsville, Florence, Muscle Shoals, Tuscumbia, Athens, Decatur, Town Creek Ardmore, Hartselle, Madison, Toney, Scottsboro, Ft. Payne, New Hope, Guntersville, Albertville, Boaz, Ashville, Anniston, Gadsden, Cullman, Jasper, Gardendale, Morris, Kimberly, Centerpoint, Leeds, Tarrant City, Fairfield, Hueytown, Bessemer, Adger, Tuscaloosa, Cordova, Alabaster, Pelham, Harpersville, Opelika, Phenix City, Montgomery, Clanton, Calera, Enterprise, Monroeville, Mobile, Evergreen, Alabaster, Pelham, Trussville and towns and cities in between.
From the Files of Powell and Denny