Joe Miller Law APRIL 2018


F ollow U s

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www .J oe M iller I njury L aw . com | 888-694-7994


If we have to take on a dangerous job to support ourselves and our families, we want to believe the person who writes our checks is going to look out for us. Unfortunately, due to the kind of workers’ comp cases I take on, I can tell you this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, shady employers don’t take responsibility for their employees, and hardworking men and women find themselves left without hope. It’s hard to see people who have lost all hope, but I am regularly amazed by the strength my clients have to overcome a hopeless situation and keep moving forward. I recently worked with one client whose employer would have been more than happy to kick him out on the street like a dog after his accident. For the sake of his privacy, I’m going to call my client “Jeremy Reynolds.” Jeremy had it far from easy. He’d overcome PTSD from his childhood, his parents were in jail, and he was still trying to make the best of life. When I met Jeremy, he was in the hospital after barely surviving a terrible accident at his job. Jeremy worked as a groundsman for a tree cutting company, loading branches into the chipper shredder. One day, he was loading branches from a big pile, and his foot became caught in a branch. When he couldn’t wriggle free, he got pulled into the chipper shredder.

“It’s hard to see people who have lost all hope, but I am regularly amazed by the strength my clients have to overcome a hopeless

situation and keep moving forward.”

What followed was like a scene from a horror movie. Jeremy screamed at the top of his lungs for help, there was blood everywhere, and it seemed like he was a goner. Fortunately, one of the other workers hit the reverse switch on the shredder and pulled him out. By then, Jeremy’s right leg was entirely gone, and he was bleeding out gallons of blood. Somehow, Jeremy still had the presence of mind to think, “If I don’t stop the bleeding, I’m going to die.” Before he passed out, he managed to take a belt and wrap it tightly around what remained of his leg. When I saw Jeremy, he was in bad shape. The hospital had amputated what remained of his leg, he was struggling with PTSD from his accident, and the medical bills were mounting. Then I find out his employer, “Malcolm Lewis,” didn’t have workers’ comp insurance. This isn’t

uncommon for companies who do dangerous work and don’t want to pay for the expensive insurance bills. Thankfully, Virginia has what’s called the Uninsured Employers’ Fund, which provides “funds for compensation benefits awarded against any uninsured or self-insured employer.” It’s a great safety net for people working for employers who didn’t fulfill their responsibility. Unfortunately, Lewis tried to claim that my guy didn’t actually work for him. “He wasn’t an employee,” Lewis insisted. “We were just working out there. I paid him for the help, but he didn’t work for me.” This is another tactic shady companies use to get out of forking over money for payroll taxes. They’ll pay everyone in cash and pretend like they don’t have any real employees. However,

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If you belong to a union or other labor-related group and want to schedule my presentation at your group’s speaking arrangement, you can do so by calling 888-694-7994 . The presentation is free of charge, offers important information for taking appropriate action in Virginia workers’ compensation cases, and everyone in attendance gets a free copy of my book, “10 Traps and Lies that Can Ruin Your Virginia Workers Compensation Case.” Education is the best way to protect yourself from making a mistake. So call now, before it’s too late.

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