Welder Awarded $2.4 Million in Workers’ Compensation

A North Carolina welder's worker compensation case has finally been settled, years after he sustained injuries in a fall.

Shutterstock/ rocharibeiro

A construction welder in North Carolina won big in court recently and was awarded $2.4 million in workers’ compensation after a lengthy process that started following his injury in 2011.

According to WRAL, the welder fell from a platform eight years ago and suffered serious head damage. The case was complicated by the man’s immigration status (which has also led to his name being withheld) and the nature of his injuries.

“He hit his head, had a severe brain injury and was an undocumented immigrant, so the family wasn’t sure they could make a claim for him,” Gene Riddle told WRAL. Riddle is one of the founding members of Riddle and Brantley,  the law firm who represented the welder.

The case was a tricky one as lawyers had to navigate a language barrier with their client’s family while wading through the worker’s compensation process to ensure that their client would be able to pay for ongoing medical expenses throughout the rest of his life. Riddle and Brantley worked with Spanish-speaking interpreters in order to communicate with their client and his family in order to ensure that nothing was getting lost in translation or forgotten along the way.

Since 2011 the welder has made some progress recovering from his injuries, but doctors have determined that the injuries sustained will be permanent. The funds from the workers’ compensation settlement were placed into two trusts so that the welder’s medical needs will be provided for throughout their lifetime. Ultimately, the case ended up being one of the longest in the firm’s history.

“The case took so long because we wanted to have a full understanding of his injuries and what long-term care he was going to require,” Riddle said. “In order to get that, the doctors have to have the benefit of treating him for a long period of time.”