This was one of the most challenging claims yet.
A young, healthy firefighter, Jake Worthen was on the precipice of an exciting career. After suffering a debilitating back injury on the job in 2016, he filed a worker’s comp claim as instructed. He trusted the process, the assigned doctors, treatments, and took the prescribed pain medications as directed.
“I thought I was getting the help I needed and never thought of having my own lawyer,” Worthen said. “But I realized worker’s comp wasn’t on my side. And my family and friends were going through a lot right along with me.”
After a painful back surgery to relieve his symptoms tragically the back surgery did nothing to relieve his pain and his time was running out to return to work.
“It was tough,” Worthen said. “I knew I had a bad injury that I sustained while just doing my job. I just didn’t know how hard it would be for me and my family to try and navigate the workers’ compensation system.”
About a year into the ongoing case, Worthen reached out to a fellow first responder who recommended GGRM, particularly partner Toby Yurek, a former police officer.
“They had to fight the insurance company to sort it all out,” Worthen said. “I had no idea how much work GGRM would have to do for me. They saved a part of my life that I could have lost.”
It wasn’t easy. After a certain time period, choices become limited for care. The window to get Worthen fully recovered to return to work was closing.
“It was a long fight,” said Yurek, who has come to be a close friend of Worthen and his family. “But we knew how much he just wanted to get recovered and get back to work… to do what he longed to do. We knew that meant a lot to Jake. Solving those problems and getting him through his claim is one of our greatest accomplishments yet.”
Worthen worked hard to be able to get back to the physically demanding job and the case closed in March of 2021.
“Jake demonstrated a lot of fortitude and emotional strength to get through all he did,” Yurek said. “This is a huge testament to a guy who fought for his job and his family, endured the difficulties of difficult treatment and recovery plan, all the physical and emotional pain that he suffered. All of this is compounded by dealing with an insurer that fights you every step of the way in the workers’ comp process. Jake has come so far. I’m proud of him.”
The process motivated Worthen to create a non-profit organization to help injured first responders.
“We help them but also their family members and kids with alternative tools and coping methods,” said Worthen, who is in the process of finalizing the local charity. “I hope to use this painful, negative experience to make a better one for other people in this situation.”
An added bonus was a bond that grew while working with Yurek.
“I think everyone would use lawyers if they had the mentality, morality, and integrity that Toby has,” he said. “He’s inspired me and helped my family through this whole thing. I don’t care how smart a person thinks they are or legitimate they think their claim is, there are people and situations that are going to be outside of your control. That is where the real value and importance of having a professional team in place is.”
Contact GGRM. We Can Help.
If you’ve been injured on the job and have questions about your choice of doctors, you should consult with the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at GGRM. We have over 50 years of experience helping injured workers. To set up your free consultation, contact us or call us at 702-384-1616 today