Tennessee Worker's Compensation - Help For Injured Tennessee Workers

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    61

    Default Formula for MMI and How Settlements Amounts are Determined

    First of all, I would like to say the information and advice I have found from the users of this site is exceptional and well received. I have been able to answer many of my questions through different answers given however, I do have a couple of new ones for anyone willing to accept.

    I am a truck driver who had been involved in an accident roughly two years ago while on the job.

    Welcome to wc.

    Due to the injury received I underwent a spinal fusion (L4-L5-S1) and had been kept off work for nearly 10 months both before and after surgery. I returned to work in July '06 and typically work 70+ hours per week. I enjoy my work immensely and have been fortunate that the comapny I work for accomodated me in making my job easier. I had also been told on more than one occasion by my surgeon to think about a new career as truck driving is extremely damaging to your back/disks/lumbar. Also because of my age and injury I could expect to go through another fusion at some point in my life. I do find myself having to stop and get out to walk and/or stretch while driving more often. This seems to become more frequent as time goes by.

    I received a 25% impairment rating from a wc doctor who actually believes in me. Go figure. I am at this time attending weekly psychological therapy sessions to address PTSD. This diagnosis was given to me by yet another wc doctor because of anxiety/panic attacks, stress and anger issues. Initially I had been sent to the psychologist to address a sexual dysfunction problem I am dealing with. A neurologist had referred me after a quick 10 minute meeting. Therapy is seemingly going well and many of the issues mentioned are becoming smaller and easier to deal with. The sexual thing is still a problem as are the anxiety and stress. I have made it abundantly clear to the doctor that the stress and much of the anxiety are due to the dealings with work comp as well as "risk management" within my employer's corporate hq's.

    Sorry ......... questions.

    First, I don't want to ask my doctor but, how does one arrive at an impairment rating (MMI) for a psychological condition brought on by an injury or even the aftermath of everything else involved post injury? I have been told that I will recive an impairment rating once I am deemed to be "as good as I'll ever get".

    Secondly, what is the proper calculation method to be used when determining a settlement amount?
    Eg. I had received 706.00 per week when drawing from wc. A 25% impairment rating has been attached as BAW.

    I have secured the services of a very competent attorney and feel this was a smart move. However, as attorneys seem to be counting minutes, I tend to try to find answers on my own.

    Thank you very much for any input received!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    9,109

    Default Re: Here goes ......

    you should read the FAQs from the state website for help with some of your questions
    http://www.state.tn.us/labor-wfd/lsques.html#B

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: Here goes ......

    .SH

    I am more than familiar with the website as it is used frequently on this site. This was my first post and I would have thought I might have received friendlier advice. Where in the link you provided are the answers to the questions I asked?

    Unless I am mistaken, there isn't any information specifically showing a formula for figuring a settlement nor information concerning my other question.

    Thanks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    200

    Default Re: Here goes ......

    The primary problem you'll find is that there are not any numerical impairment ratings for psychological impairments in the AMA Guides (the book with all the ratings).

    Instead, under the AMA Guides, the psychiatrist is supposed to classify you into one of 5 categories, based on the diagnosis, severity, etc.

    What that does is make it almost impossible for you to accurately assess a percentage on which you can calculate a settlement. What it does in everyday practice is leave it open to a very wide range of interpretation.

    The WC law likes clean, neat numbers that can be multiplied by other clean, neat numbers to get to a clean, neat answer. When you throw a psych injury in, it really becomes neither clean nor neat.

    If there's impairment, it's usually left up to the Judge's discretion (as pretty much all of them are anyway), or whatever can be agreed on through settlement.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: Here goes ......

    JLJ,

    I appreciate your reply and interpretation with regard to impairment percentages etc. .

    Do you happen to know what the formula is in calculating a ballpark settlement amount? I have found a few threads within this forum (TN wc) and all seem to differ. As many times as I have written down the formula I have misplaced them over the months.

    Thanks again!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    200

    Default Re: Formula for MMI and How Settlements Amounts are Determined

    I could calculate a number of different ranges that could apply in your situation, but I really wouldn't want to do so without looking through the medical records, employment information, your background, etc.

    Given that yours is not simply a "straightforward" physical only injury, I am very reluctant to give you any direction that you might rely on in this forum. Simply being able to "do the math" in your situation is likely to leave you well short of what you could be entitled to receive.

    I understand that you are likely interested in trying to secure a settlement without retaining the services of an attorney, but given the mental component of your case, I would strongly recommend against it.

    I'm not trying to be intentionally evasive here, but I am trying to stress how important it is to let someone trained in WC law evaluate all of your information prior to even thinking about settling the case.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    61

    Thumbs up Re: Formula for MMI and How Settlements Amounts are Determined

    I have retained a reputable attorney and believe it was in my best interest to do so. As I have been unable to find any information regarding psychological injuries; I am guessing it's a difficult situation for me.

    I am beginning to believe that this tp of injury is NOT something that can be cured but, maybe more of a learning to deal/cope with it kind of thing.

    At any rate I appreciate your input and advice.

    Thank you.

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