Getting a summer job is essentially a right of passage for anybody between the ages of 15-18. In fact, teen employment typically rises significantly in June, July, and August. Where teens look for jobs varies, but some, about four percent, find work in the construction industry.
This was the case with our 15-year-old client, who started his summer job helping out around home construction sites. He divided his time between being on site and running errands for his boss.
It was a typical day when the teen accidentally stepped on a nail. It poked through his shoe and went into his foot. Reporting the injury to his boss, the boss told the teen to toughen up and get back to work. Not wanting to risk employment, even from a workplace injury, our client did just that, until, two days later, when things took a turn for the worse.
Never ignore a wound
It’s always a mistake to ignore a wound of any kind. Even if all it takes is a little first-aid, never leave a wound untreated. According to the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, when the wound is a cut or puncture (like with a nail), immediate treatment is necessary. If the treatment is given by a doctor, even better, since they can assure proper healing, limit scarring, and minimize the risk of infection.
Following his boss’ direction, our client didn’t get proper treatment for his wound, so eventually found himself in his boss’ car, on the way to the hospital. His new symptoms, which could have been avoided if the boss had acted immediately after the workplace injury, were serious pain and significant swelling.
Upon arriving at the hospital, our client also found he was running a fever. He was admitted.
An infection that could have been prevented
It was too late now for the teen to recover with basic wound care. He had an infection that continued to rage inside him despite the best efforts of the hospital medical team. Weeks into his stay, the infection escalated to a point where a personal injury became a life or death situation.
Faced with limited options for survival, the doctors recommended surgery and our client lost his leg.
The amputation did save the teen’s life. However, his summer job had suddenly become a life-altering experience. He’d have to learn how to go about his daily routine with only one leg.
Reaching a settlement, with a twist
Once the attorneys at Nicholson, Silverbach & Watson stepped in to examine the case, we were able to secure a significant financial resolution, one that would keep the young client’s future on solid ground. The court approved the settlement which was placed under the client’s mother, who would oversee the money until the teen reached adulthood.
It was standard procedure, until things took an unexpected turn.
Arriving home from school one day, the teen walked into an empty apartment. All that remained was a note from his mom. She’d left, and taken all the money with her.
The teen went back to the legal team at NSW Law, who immediately started proceedings to find the missing mother and recover the client’s money. Eventually, law enforcement did apprehend the mother, but the money was all gone.
She went to prison, but it still left our young, disabled client without the settlement he needed to secure his financial future.
When experience counts
Fortunately, the attorneys at NSW Law have the right level of experience to put all the necessary safeguards in place when it comes to settlements, even ones you hope never happen.
When the unexpected happened for our client, we were ready. While nobody expects a mother to run off with her disabled son’s money, the settlement was bonded anyway. Essentially, the funds were insured, and the client got the money back.
Handling settlements right
From collecting an appropriate settlement to protecting the funds, the team at NSW Law works tirelessly toward each client’s best interest. We’re here for you, and do everything we can to handle the details of your case so you can focus on healing. If you’ve been injured at work, and need legal advice on what to do next, contact us today to set up a no-cost consultation.