A recent client of Richmond workers’ compensation attorney Matt Lastrapes gave a first-hand account of her case:
Tell us about your accident.
“I was injured in an auto accident during the normal course of my workday. For more than 30 years I was a paint supervisor for industrial jobs – I used to paint rollercoasters, big buildings, you name it! One November morning in 2014, I was driving a work vehicle on the way from the shop to a work site. A tractor trailer made an illegal turn and hit my car on the driver’s side door. At first I thought my arm was broken, because it hurt so badly and was swollen all the way down to my wrist. At the hospital, they told me my arm wasn’t broken; my arm hurt so much because my neck was injured near vertebrae C6 and C7. Because the accident happened while I was at work driving a work vehicle, it fell under workers’ comp.”
How did you choose Commonwealth Law Group?
“My son has an auto collision repair shop in Powhatan and highly recommended Matt because he’s knowledgeable and experienced. When my son found out I needed a Richmond workers’ comp attorney, he knew who to recommend because a lot of his customers deal with car accidents and attorneys. He said Matt Lastrapes would take good care of me and my case, and he was right! I’m really glad I called Commonwealth Law Group.”
What happened after you called Matt at CLG?
“Matt came to my house within a day or two to talk with me. When we met, I was in a neck brace. The workers’ comp insurance company was fighting me tooth and nail over getting an MRI. Even though the CT scan showed neck damage, they didn’t want to pay for an MRI. Matt said, ‘I’ll take it from here.’ He started dealing with the workers’ comp insurance, got my checks coming regularly, and pushed the MRI approval through. I had to wear that uncomfortable neck brace for over 30 days because I couldn’t take it off until after the MRI. During that time, my left shoulder locked up, and I had to have physical therapy for my shoulder before I even went in for neck surgery.
“Then, the day before I was scheduled for surgery, workers’ comp canceled it. Matt dealt with it again, basically telling them, ‘We’ve proven that this accident happened at work and she needs this surgery.’ Even though I was seeing one of the approved workers’ comp doctors, they wanted me to get a second opinion. The second doctor confirmed that I did need surgery, so workers’ comp finally agreed to pay for it.”
Bringing Clarity to a Complicated Situation
“It was all so complicated. I can’t imagine having to deal with all that on my own. My safety coordinator at work questioned whether my injury was from the accident, saying, ‘She’s 50 years old with rheumatoid arthritis. She’s painted all her life; how do we know this damage isn’t from a previous injury?’ Matt handled it just like he handled everything else.
“It took eight months, but I finally got the surgery I needed. I have an artificial spacer in my neck and a titanium plate that restricts movement in my neck – so I can’t look up to paint ceilings or rollercoasters anymore. I just don’t have the same mobility in my neck as I used to, so I can’t do the work that I did for 30 years of my life. I am so thankful that I had workers’ comp – I was able to draw a check every week for a year and a half.”
How long did it take to settle your case?
“The accident happened in November 2014, and we settled with workers’ comp in May 2016. Matt also handled my personal injury case against the truck driver whose big rig hit my vehicle, and that settled through mediation in December 2016.”
Was communication with your lawyer difficult?
“Not at all. I talked to him on a regular basis through it all. If the physical therapist or doctors were giving me a hard time, Matt always either took my call immediately or got back to me in a timely manner. I never had to call him twice to get an answer. That meant a lot to me.”
What was your overall impression of CLG?
“I had a very positive experience with Matt and Commonwealth Law Group during an extremely difficult time in my life. Matt reassured me everything was taken care of, he made phone calls when the doctors pushed back or workers’ comp or the insurance company wanted something.
“I can’t thank him enough – he was patient, hardworking, reliable and I’ve been recommending him to people who need a great Richmond workers’ comp attorney! He kept my case moving when I didn’t have the strength to do any of it. Having a smart, experienced workers’ comp and personal injury lawyer like Matt handle my case was the best decision I ever made.”
Remember: it’s better to consult with a workers’ compensation lawyer and then find out you don’t need one than to make critical mistakes in your case because you didn’t have good legal advice. At Commonwealth Law Group, we are Richmond workers’ compensation attorneys who will fight for your rights as an injured worker. Your initial consultation is free. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain by calling us today at 804.999.9999.
For Details on Matt: https://www.hurtinva.com/people/matt-lastrapes/