I was working at a concession stand and the front door that is pulled up and back on a pully system to open it. The chain at the top broke and fell on me hitting me in the head and knocking my face onto the counter causing a concussion broken nose and blackened eyes. I have been seeing different physicians and chiropractic care for two years. My headaches and neck pain come and go, but I just don't feel right some of the time. Not sure what I should settle for or what the claim is worth. I don't want the insurance company to mess with me.
Personal injury claims, and particularly traumatic brain injury cases, are like snowflakes in that no two are alike. Factors that Control case value include the amount of lost wages, amounts of past and future medical bills, the venue of the suit and even the reputation and ability of the respective attorneys. There isn't enough information in your question to even begin going an answer. I would encourage you to speak with a local attorney as soon as possible
Was this a volunteer concession stand or were you employed at the concession stand? If the later, you are entitled to worker's compensation benefits. Hopefully you are receiving those benefits now. If you were employed at the time of the injury and are not receiving worker's compensation benefits, you need to speak immediately with either an attorney who does worker's compensation cases or an employee advocate. There are strict timetables for notice and the filing of claims.
If it is a worker's compensation case and by settlement you are referring to a lump sum settlement, do you have a permanent impairment rating? You do not want to settle your worker's compensation claim without a permanent impairment rating. You need a determination whether any permanent impairment is above the threshold that potentially allows you lifetime benefits.
You also have a potential personal injury claim relating to the door. It is unclear to me whether that claim has been fully investigated. As everyone else has stated, you really must consult with an attorney. Valuation of a claim is dependent upon so many factors.
Be aware that if you are receiving worker's compensation benefits and are talking of a settlement of a personal injury claim with the property owner, installer of the door, or door manufacturer, the benefits received by you need to be paid back to whoever paid the benefits (your employer or your employer's insurer). They will, however, pay a portion of your attorney's fees.
Bottom line: you need to speak with a lawyer who handles worker's compensation/personal injury cases.
you need to speak with a lawyer who understands Traumatic Brain injury cases, and the significance of what you are experiencing. None of the answers you received address what you need to know and ask. Your statement "i just don't feel right", is telling. If after the initial impact you had some or most of the following you probably sustained a concussion, which is a synonym for a mild traumatic brain injury:
blurry or double vision;
floaters or white spots in your visual filed;
sharp burning pain in your head;
If you begin to experience memory issues concentration and focus issues over the 2-6 months after the incident that is further evidence of post concussion syndrome or MTBI. You should go to a neurologist, and explain your symptoms in detail. you may ultimately need neuro-psychological evaluation to determine if your cognitive functioning is impaired since the incident. An experienced lawyer can direct you to appropriate care givers, and determine the true value of your case. I an a Florida lawyer but have a house in Maine and spend a lot of time there. call or email me if i can help further.
Get an attorney who can evaluate the facts of your case. It is unclear whether this is a workers comp case, since you were working a a concession. Only an attorney who has all of the facts can give you a reasonable answer. If you try to represent yourself, you will get little or nothing.
I suggest that you find a lawyer who is a specialist in brain injury cases, perhaps you can find someone in Portland, you will also want to contact local brain injury associations as they can direct you facilities where you can get the proper treatment, hopefully you won't have to go to Boston for that treatment and testing, but it may be a possibility.
You shouldn't settle you case without a brain injury / personal injury attorney consultation. It can take 24 months to determine if your brain will fully recover from the concussion you suffered, you need to have the proper testing and treatment.
If you have been treating for two years, there may be no time to waste in filing a lawsuit, call an attorney as soon as possible!
Good luck in your recovery.
The first question is whether or not your employer had you covered under a worker's compensation insurance plan. If so your recovery against him will be greatly limited. You could have a claim against the manufacturer of the concession stand if the door assembly was defective. You say you dont want the insurance company to mess with me. The best way to insure that is to hire a lawyer. Talk to several and go with someone who you feel comfortable with.
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