On the Mend
When searching for a nationally recognized law firm that knows what it takes to heal and recover from job-related injuries, workers know they can trust Matthew Wilson and his colleagues at Martin Law
by Phil Gianficaro

Accidents happen in an instant and can change a life forever.

This is the true story of a 17-year-old who took a summer job at a local chemical plant. Working the night shift, he was told to move a barrel holding 500 pounds of liquid chemical waste, residue from a refinery process.

As he tipped the barrel onto a carrier, the chemicals mixed inside and there was a massive explosion. The teen’s life would never be the same.

It’s hard to imagine someone coming closer to death. The impact of the explosion shattered the young man’s face into fragments. Seven surgeries wired back together his jaw bones and skull. Breathing was difficult so a tracheotomy was cut into his windpipe while doctors carefully monitored the brain fluids leaking from his fractured skull. Multiple skin grafts were required on his head and body to cover the third-degree burns caused from the chemical acids, and he was fitted with an eating tube.

The teen spent most of the next five months in the hospital, wondering if he’d ever piece back together his shattered life.

Stories like this are all too familiar to Matthew Wilson, a workers’ compensation attorney with Philadelphia-based Martin Law. When clients first come into his office they always begin with their personal injury story. Sitting across from Wilson, often in tears, they usually say, “You can’t possibly imagine what I’m going through.”

That’s when Wilson is able to tell them he can understand, because it happened to him. He was the 17-year-old who nearly lost his life in that chemical explosion all those years ago. Thankfully, after months of recovery, Wilson exceeded all expectations, not only returning to normal activities but also working his way through college and earning top honors in both law school and graduate school.

This life experience makes Wilson unique in the industry and also gives clients a tremendous sense of comfort and trust that he is on their side.

“What happened to me that day fundamentally shaped my direction toward the law,” says Wilson. “It left me with a deep and personal understanding of what an injured worker experiences and what it takes to put his life back together. After 28 years in practice and handling thousands of cases, I have seen my clients through nearly every imaginable type of injury and employment situation. This isn’t just about their case; it’s about supporting every client in their journey back to optimal health and security.”

In addition to his personal qualifications, Wilson is known as one of the most accomplished and expert lawyers in workers’ compensation law. He has been named among the Best Lawyers in America every year since 2010, and was named as a Top 100 Philadelphia Super Lawyer this year.

As a 22-year partner at Martin Law, Wilson has dedicated the majority of his career exclusively to this area of practice. A frequent expert resource for other lawyers, as well as physicians and insurance groups on workers’ compensation, Wilson has been tapped for the past 10 years to co-author the Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s workers’ compensation practice and procedure manual.

In addition, Wilson has served on the Workers’ Compensation Law Section Council of the Pennsylvania Bar Association since 2007, and is immediate past chair of the organization. He is an active member of the Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Associations, as well as the Workplace Injury Litigation Group.

Earlier this year, Wilson became a Certified Specialist by the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s section on workers’ compensation law, as authorized by the state Supreme Court. This was especially significant as he was a founding member of the committee that implemented and manages this groundbreaking workers’ compensation certification process.

About Martin Law
Wilson and the entire legal team at Martin Law are armed with decades of experience to help clients secure access to quality medical care, maximize their benefits and prove their injury is work related. They have represented workers for every type of work-related injury, including amputation or loss of the use of a limb or limbs; head trauma; back, neck and spinal cord injuries; disfigurements, including burns and scars; vision loss or hearing loss; nerve, muscle or tissue damage; repetitive stress injuries; occupational diseases (toxic or harmful exposures); mental stress and impairment; and fatal accidents or wrongful death.

Martin Law also recovers wage loss benefits and protects ongoing benefits when the employer tries to terminate the claim. The firm also guides clients with vital decisions involving receipt of ongoing benefits versus lump-sum settlement.

“We do it all,” Wilson says. “Our passion is helping the disabled individuals. Although we regularly handle Social Security, long-term disability and veterans’ cases, the primary focus of our practice is helping people who have suffered disabling work injuries,” he adds. “The entire firm is built around serving clients and is one of the industry’s largest, with more than 14 lawyers and 70 professional staff. Each lawyer and client is surrounded by a multidisciplinary team to ensure the best outcome for each case.”

What sets Martin Law apart from other law firms that handle workers’ compensation cases? The short answer is expertise. Every partner in the firm has earned the prestigious recognition as Certified Practitioners under the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation standards and Wilson himself served on the committee to design the original certification program.

“Our clients come from a range of places and a massive range of injuries,” Wilson says. “We deal with a broad spectrum—just about anything that gives rise to work injury: a heart attack, a fall down the stairs, a car accident, chemical exposure. But what I think we’re most sensitive to is the recovery process. The word ‘counselor’? That’s who we are.”

Frequently, Martin Law’s clients bring problems they encounter because of the work-related injury, whether it be a financial problem, fear of losing their home or obtaining quality medical care. “We are advocates for each individual client and we counsel them each step of the way,” notes Wilson, “whether that’s medical referrals, financial planning or recommending alternative available benefits such as Social Security disability. We’re known for going above and beyond to do whatever is best for the client. They trust us, knowing that anything that can be done legally will be done to help them.“I am satisfied knowing a majority of my clients will put their lives back on track and move forward,” he concludes. “That’s what fuels me every day to do what I do. I’ve been there, and I know what they’re going through. I also know that it is possible for my clients to regain control and rebuild their lives.”

Martin Law
1818 Market Street, 35th floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103
215-587-8400 | 888-722-6671

Photograph by Jeff Anderson