CLIENT SUCCESS STORY NELSON ALMANSA
Nelson Almansa is originally from Colombia and had a great life there with his wife and two kids. He owned two boutique men’s clothing stores and ran a small factory. But things started to change when he separated from his wife and split custody of their two children. Before long, one child was living in Colombia and one in America. Nelson knew that he didn’t want this to be a long-term situation. So he moved to America to be close to both of his daughters, Vanesa and Karen. Today, Vanesa and Karen are both grown. Nelson’s voice is filled with pride when he speaks of them. But moving to America was a tough, big change. “I was crazy for a little while,” he said with a laugh. Initially, he thought he would be in America for a year and would go back and forth between America and Colombia.
Like most people, Nelson didn’t know much about hiring an attorney when he got hurt. But he soon learned that the insurance company was going to use its considerable power to limit his benefits. From the time he met Frank, Nelson knew that things were going to be different. He said, “For the first time, I feel like someone is helping me, like I have protection. When I came to the office, I knew it was different. I have rights, and the insurance company can’t force me to go back to work. I was referred to Mr. Kearney, and soon the insurance started paying me. Before that, I didn’t get paid for eight months, and I had to use my savings to survive.” It was like a weight being lifted off of his shoulders so Nelson could focus on his recovery. And that recovery from a serious injury would take a couple of years. Like a lot of our clients, Nelson was eager to get back to work. He was worried about losing his job and was anxious that even with benefits, he wouldn’t be making enough money. So, when his doctor returned him to light duty, he went back to work even though his job didn’t really have a light-duty position. He tried but just couldn’t continue working like he had before. I asked Nelson if he has any advice for other people who are going through a serious injury case. He said, “I trusted Mr. Frank, and I knew that I had a real injury. So I just kept putting one foot in front of the other. In the end, the difference between what the insurance company initially offered me and what Frank won on appeal was $90,000.” Nelson’s case settled after three years, and he was able to put that money toward retirement and now lives part time in Clearwater, Florida. He spends his retirement enjoying time with his family, especially his grandchildren.
That was 40 years ago.
Nelson chuckled as he told me, “I go back to Colombia every five or six years, but I consider America to be my home.” When he moved to America, Nelson became a banquet waiter for an exclusive hotel known for exceptional service. Hustling to serve a dining room customer and carrying a heavy load of trays, he slipped on water from a leak in the kitchen that the hotel hadn’t fixed. He fell backward and hurt his lower back, ending up with sciatica, among other issues, and all kinds of problems with the insurance company. Unfortunately, it’s pretty common for the insurance company to take advantage of someone who doesn’t have a lawyer. Individuals just can’t compete with an insurance company on their own. "For the first time, I feel like someone is helping me, like I have protection. When I came to the office, I knew it was different. I have rights, and the insurance company can’t force me to go back to work. I was referred to Mr. Kearney, and soon the insurance started paying me. Before that, I didn’t get paid for eight months, and I had to use my savings to survive."
4 • DONAHOEKEARNEY.COM
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