Ryan was working by himself in the stock area when a metal bay door 24 feet above suddenly came down and smashed him in the back of the head. The next thing he knew, he was face-first on the ground. He didn’t know if he blacked out and, if he did, how much time had passed.
After calling for his coworkers to help him, he was taken to the emergency room via ambulance. Other than some swelling and pain, his head didn’t appear injured. But Ryan knew something was off.
Just to be safe, the medical staff wanted to scan him to make sure everything was okay. As soon as Ryan began to walk though, he collapsed, unable to keep his balance.
For several weeks after, he was in and out of the hospital as doctors tried to assess the severity of his brain injury. Ryan was eventually referred to a concussion specialist, who diagnosed him as suffering from a severe brain injury.
The specialist explained that concussions don’t always cause a person to blackout. However, he told Ryan it was possible he may have blacked out but couldn’t remember. There was no way of knowing how long he was on the ground since nobody was with him right after the work accident occurred.
Thus began a months-long recovery process. For a while, Ryan’s traumatic brain injury caused speech difficulties and other issues. He also dealt with neck and back injuries from the work accident.
Fighting for His Workers’ Compensation Claim
At first, he thought his employer and the business’s insurance company would be sympathetic to what he was going through. Ryan filed for workers’ compensation since he wasn’t able to work due to his severe concussion and other injuries. Then he realized they wanted nothing to do with him.
“The only thing they want you to do is to go away and stop costing them money. That’s it,” he said. “You’ve got some sort of ailment for the rest of your life or anything, it’s not their concern, they really don’t care.”
Ryan decided he needed to get proper medical care and financial help. To protect his family and himself, he asked friends to recommend a workers’ compensation lawyer they had used and trusted. That led him to Gary Martin Hays & Associates.
“There was not a question that we had that [Gary] did not have an answer to. He knew a direction and a goal and a plan going forward what things would happen,” Ryan recalled.
Once Ryan finished treating, it was time to move into the next phase. But the insurance company kept dragging their feet. Despite the repeated roadblocks, he was confident in Gary and his team’s ability to navigate the obstacles the other side kept trying to put up.
“They kept trying to get us to panic and we didn’t. We just kept pushing forward,” Ryan said. He knew that if necessary, the law firm was willing to take the fight to court.
Once the insurance company could delay no more, Ryan’s case was successfully negotiated. He remarked that it would have been tough to get as far in the process as they did without legal guidance and an experienced worker’s compensation attorney.
“[Gary’s] got a great team here. They’re loving, supportive, it’s almost like a family here,” Ryan said. “They understand the things that are happening to you because they understand this is the rest of your life.”