A pipefitter who’d been on the job for decades was severely injured at work in 2012, but thanks to the hard work of Keches Law Attorney Kelli Silva, he will have total disability payments for the rest of his life.
The benefits awarded to Silva’s client are especially incredible considering that originally his insurer attempted to discontinue his benefits entirely and all offers made prior to the hearing only considered partial disability exposure.
“When an insurer undervalues a claim, moving forward with zealous advocacy for your client is the only option,” Silva says.
How It Started
Silva’s client, a 64-year-old Massachusetts man who worked as a pipefitter for 40 years suffered a serious shoulder injury while just doing his job in December 2012. He was tightening an old rusty bolt when he heard a pop in his shoulder, an injury that changed everything for him. He tried to continue working for several years after the injury but eventually had to stop entirely in 2020.
From 2021 to 2023, Silva’s client lived with the reality that his disability payments may stop coming because the insurer thought he was able to return to work and should stop receiving his payments.
Keches Law Retained
Kelli Silva took on the case and in 2022. She joined a claim for permanent and total disability benefits to the insurer’s discontinuance request, which led to a hearing in March 2023. Before the hearing, the insurer rejected the argument of permanent and total disability, valuing the case as only a partial disability claim. The insurer was arguing that the employee could work in some capacity and therefore should only qualify for partial disability.
However, Silva argued that not only was he totally disabled but he was “permanently and totally” disabled because based on his age, education, past work and the severity of his condition, he will never return to the workforce again.
The distinction was important. Permanent and total disability pays the claimant 66.6% of their pay for the rest of their life while total disability only covers 60% of someone’s pay for 3 years.
When the hearing was over, the judge awarded Silva’s client permanent and total disability payments from December 2021 onward at a rate of over $60,000 per year. In addition, the judge ordered the insurance company to pay for all related medical treatment.
Let Keches Law Help You Too
Silva’s client had a life-changing result because of his hearing. Silva’s hard work to do right by her client and help him not just get by, but thrive, perfectly highlights what we hope to accomplish at Keches Law.