I worked as a roustabout for the largest offshore driller in the US. In October 2013, my crew and I were changing out a 500 pound disel hose.
The crane operator was lifting the hose off the deck to move it to the aft side of the rig when the coupling broke. The hose was 80 feet in the air and it ended up landing on my head. I was knocked unconscious for at least 3 or 4 hours. The crane operator and the rest of my crew didn't think I survived.
I woke up on the medi-vac helicopter with pounding headaches, blurry vision and a bloody nose. My neck and back were throbbing and in pain all over. But the company was more concerned with writing off the accident as a minor injury so they wouldn't have to tell the coast guard and mess up the company' safety record.
The company hired a claims rep to take my statement even though I couldn't remember anything, then sent me to a company doctor who just looked at me for less than 2 minutes and told me I was clear to work
I found Ryan because I knew, at that point, the company was going to focus on protecting themselves and not on me and my family. When I would call the company, they would give me the run around and never call back.
Ryan and his staff got me to the best neurologists, neurosurgeons, orthopedics and neuropsychologists who ended up performing a fusion surgery on my neck and lower back.
I was only 42 but I knew that with these injuries, my career offshore was over.
Ryan got the case ready for trial from the beginning and made the company turn over all the documents that confirmed they weren't following company safety rules and that the company hadn't inspected or changed out the coupling that caused hose to fall in over a year.
The company eventually agreed to go to mediation. I was ready to settle, but Ryan convinced me to turn it down because it wasn't enough to take care of me and my two little girls in the future.
I took Ryan's advice and less than a month later we settled the case with both defendants for 4 times more than the companies offered a month earlier at mediation! The settlement allowed me to set up trusts for my two daughters, put money aside for my mom and fix up my mom's house
All my medical expenses in the past and future are covered and my family and I never have to worry about how we're going to pay for the future and all the medical bills again.
Ryan and his team were always there for me whenever I had questions, was having a bad day, or just needed advice on how to try and get my life back.
Ryan became like family, not just my lawyer. he made sure I got to all my doctors, that I had money to pay bills and get presents for my girls at Christmas and on their birthdays, and was always there when we needed him.
Don't look anywhere else. If you were hurt offshore or in any other serious accident, Ryan and his team at Zehl & Associates are your people.