New Jersey Worker's Compensation - Help For Injured New Jersey Workers

• New Jersey Worker's Compensation - Quick facts about worker's compensation law, benefits and lawyer fees.

• New Jersey Worker's Compensation Resources - Links and resources for injured workers.

Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Frustrated

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    North New Jersey
    Posts
    6

    Default Frustrated

    To start in Oct of 1999 I injured my back on the job during the Hurricane Floyd cleanup. I had a previous spinal fusion in 1996 and had relatively little problems with it until the accident at work. I Hired a workerís comp attorney in NJ who is one of the best, Long story short after 8 long years I finally went to trial the judge felt that I was totally disabled and made a deal with the other attorney to take back to AIG the Insurance company, after 6 weeks he came back and had said they accepted the financial award but had not signed off on the medical, so the Judge gives him another 6 weeks, when he comes back they request that I see a Pain management doctor because they never sent me to one before, only orthopedic and nerve doctor not to mention a shrink!

    So they finally send me to a doctor but not a pain doctor but ortho doc the day before court, and my lawyer had asked for a voluntary financial payment $10.000 or so to get me through the rest of the bullshit! The other lawyer said that AIG should give me the money but I have still not gotten it, and the Judge has rescheduled the case for another 6 weeks.

    Right now my wife is on disability because of skin cancer and we have used all our money we cannot even keep our utilities on this coming month, Are these delays the way it goís? Supposedly the Judge called the other attorney and told him to get the voluntary financial payment to me? The award was $125.000.00 back pay and $539 a week for the rest of my life plus the $1,186.00 a month from SSD.
    Can anyone give me advice? I feel like Iím ready to hang myself!! Canít take the emotional roller costar any more!

    Signed frustrated!

    PS if anyone can give some advice ilaw61@hotmail.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    9,108

    Default Re: Frustrated

    contact your utility company and explain about your disability situation. many have programs that can provide lifeline type help.
    you can also apply thru the state
    http://www.state.nj.us/njhrc/consume...ce_energy.html
    contact your union and your church -most have emergency aid programs. contact your county agencies; the have many programs to help those with low income needs.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,011

    Default Re: Frustrated

    Supposedly the Judge called the other attorney and told him to get the voluntary financial payment to me? The award was $125.000.00 back pay and $539 a week for the rest of my life plus the $1,186.00 a month from SSD.
    Sadly the delays are ''normal''...
    You have some other concerns here to be taken into consideration BEFORE you settle this claim...
    Namely, you can NOT settle the medical here until you have made provisions to protect Medicare interests..in your case, you/the IC must submit a proposal to CMS/Medicare for a WCMSA/setaside account for the future medical needs to your injury.

    There are several sites you can go to, and find the information on what is required by you/the parties where SSA/Medicare is involved in a WC claim..
    http://www.cms.hhs.gov/workerscompagencyservices/

    Under "Disability Benefits'' here...http://www.workerscompensationinsura...ad.php?t=32283, there has been a LOT of discussion you should read before you enter into any settlement...it would be wise to CYA now vs trying to later on...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    North New Jersey
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Frustrated

    Thats all been worked out by the judge, I will be resposable for all medical up untill the point were I sign off on the case then the workers comp insurance will foot the bill for presciptions and medical

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    PA, but worked in NJ
    Posts
    670

    Default Re: Frustrated

    Hi, I understand ones frustration if they are hurt at work and fall under the NJWC guidelines!!!!

    There are many things I see here that are Not S.O.P. ( Standard operating procedure) For example if the Judge has made his final ruling that's it!! If your lawyer is as good as you claim he is that should be all it takes because further litigation will only cost the carrier more in the end, as we all know insurance companies are in biz to make money, not bad legal choices that cost $$. Sure they can dog you a few weeks but in the end they will be in front of this JUDGE again, and they want the JUDGE on their side, and the best way to do that is to follow his rulings. After all these years I would imagine that a Pain Drs opinion would be palliative at best, therefore not covered under NJWC??? You never said if the ortho had rated your back condition MMI? If no MMI was ever noted then this Pain Dr may have something If u were givin MMI, Your TTD (Temp total disability) as well as your continued corrective medical care should also end, unless you are working under a work agreement, then the work agreement supersedes this statement.You are without a doubt in rotation and this means your case is closing down!!

    There are no WC benefits that I am aware of under NJWC law that give an amount of money for life??Please ID these benefits if you feel I may be incorrect on fact. In NJWC the WC payments terminate at the treating Drs MMI rating. At best there is the Second Injury Fund but this is for the duration of incapacitation,not for life, if you qualify, and with your previous injury I would imagine that you do, as you state you have been found totally and permanently disabled under SSA rules,which is a huge part of determining 2nd injury,along with the earier injurythat was not totally disabling, and 2nd Injury Fund Benefits are usually awarded during the final hearing, along with settlement. So I can only assume there is some kind of work agreement that you are following?? This may be important???

    Anyway 8 years sounds about right for the duration of a disabling work injury in NJ. So the hardest parts should be in your past now, just hang in there its almost over. Also each township has benefits available from the county so if I were you I would call the city government bldg to see if you and your wife qualify for help, it goes by your income and this has helped many others in NJ during the lag time in WC settlements.

    As for additional advice I'll send a copy of this to your mail box. I know how frustrating it is to get a straight answer from a lawyer in a case such as this, but you seem to be well informed?? Which has me believing that you may have mis understood something?? And that is so easily done. Or there is some other contract in force along with NJWC???

    Hope your day is going OK??

    BUG

    I may have some bad news for you in regards to this settlement. The lawyer may take all of his fees from this leaving you with about 1/3. However at this time your relationship with this lawyer terminates as this settlement is only part of what is received under his actions but the money you get after the settlement is all your to keep with no fees owed? You will see the paper work at lawyers desk for you to sign, stating he will accept this form of payment in full, as long as he filed for the carrier as well as the ins co to pay your fees too?? But I need much more info to be certain this will happen in your case

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    North New Jersey
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Frustrated

    My case was decided by the judge and the lawyers after my testamony and they came up with a complromise, the ins co wil pay the 234 weeks or so and then the second injory fund will take over. I was told that the state will be paying the &539. a week for the rest of my life plus the SSD I collect.
    They came to court and agreed to the financial but told the judge that they had not yet gotten aproval for the medical (The Insurance co will have to pay for meds and docs visits) So the judge gave them 6 more weeks to have me seen by a pain med doc but they send me to a ortho doc who asks notting about the meds i'm on. So another 6 weeks Sep 4th and the judge also called the otherr lawer to tell him to get me the volontary payment, but no responce! Today my lawer saw the other lawer in court and asked about it and he said he did not think they would give the volentary payment now! so I'm having my utilities turned off in the next two weeks and i'm pissed, My lawyer is now saying we sould go to trial and it would take 6-8 months? I'm so pissed off!!!

    Sorry to vent I do not know what to do?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    North New Jersey
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Frustrated

    By the way the Lawyer only gets 20% in NJ and the other insurance co has to pay half that's what I was told by my lawyer

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    PA, but worked in NJ
    Posts
    670

    Default Re: Frustrated

    Hey venting helps blow the steam off and that's what ones needs when facing some of these issues. As for the electric call them and see if you can get extension under extraordinary circumstances, they wont wait till this settles but you may be able to buy some time. Did you call the city municipal bldg., for assistance?? I dont know where you are in NJ but in cities like Florence, Burlington, Mapleshade, Cherry Hill these all have help just waiting for those who really need it. It sounds like you will qualify. Having shut off notice speeds things up, just a suggestion, also it does not need repaid it just stops once you have cash flow again..

    OK well, you still were unclear as to when you were deemed MMI. Once you are MMI, TTD and medical care stops as you are no longer eligible. I "assume" you were MMI after 234 weeks which is an extraordinary amount of time for TTD. Be grateful you were not MMI sooner!!!!!!!!!!! Its better to be owed than cheated out of. Your medical will be paid up until the MMI rating, all meds visits, mileage, all expenses incurred in the course of the covered care. I didn't want to break the bad news but I was thinking the "voluntary payment" you wrote of would not be honored, it would be a first if it was, at least to my knowledge??

    OK I miss understood you when you wrote the JUDGE made a ruling. I for some reason thought it was final. It sounds like they made an agreement in front of the JUDGE, and now are renigging. See this is where good lawyering comes into play. No insurance company will go to a hearing knowing they will lose!!! It is more cost effective to just pay what is due under the law once the lawyer has asked for it. It just may take 6 months to get a hearing before the Judge, but you are in rotation which means the case is brought up on a cycle (like every 2-3 weeks) and both sides state for the record they are, or are not ready to move forward.

    You may be mistaken on the 2nd Injury Fund the 539 sounds more like the bi weekly amount not weekly. This fund pays every 2 weeks. The State is the 2nd Injury Fund

    Yes, both the State as well as the ins. carrier will kick in towards your lawyer fees. Again you are correct in the fee under the law is 20%. I do think the TTD is counted towards the fees, as the 234 weeks you mentioned, and the compensation for the measurable amount of disability. On top of the 20% the lawyer "I think" can charge for medical reports and expenses stuff like that. It will not be a clean cut like 20,000 out of 100,000. On this area I am a little unsure but he may also be entitled to fees from the Injury fund payments, so instead of you paying him bi-weekly when the case settles for the measurable amount of disability (settlement) he will take all his fees from this. Thus ending the relationship of lawyer client. It is very difficult to follow the fees due!!!!! As I for one am unsure of what benefits qualify towards the fees, but most likely all benefits are subject. I was once told that the TTD was not, so I cant be positive, sorry.

    This is some advice for down the road, once the settlement has been reached and you think this is all over, it is NOT!!!! Your 2nd Injury benefits are NOT a lifetime benefit !!!!! It is imperative that you remain under Dr's care and this Dr MUST support your position of permanent total disability, because under the law the 2nd Injury Fund must hear from your Dr. Yearly, for the first few years, then after 5 yrs you will be reviewed for the 2nd Injury fund again but this review will be extensive. If there is ANY waiver in the magic words "permanent, total disability", you will need to report to the job ctr for re training in another line of work. You will still be under the 2nd injury fund, but until this is completed they can stop your benefits until you comply, if you return to work your pay is deducted from the fund and you get the balance. The same thing with SSD/SSI they call this the review, but if you return to work chances are good this will terminate as I think you are allowed to make some money, but only a very little amount. In your award letter it states specifically when this will happen, for backs it is customary to be reviewed in 2-3 years, but they can do it every 6 months if they feel it is warranted, or as long as every 7 years.

    Do yourself a big favor and at least call the NJ BAR to check on your lawyers credentials, his/her record MUST be spotless, no disciplinarily's and things like that. I dont know where you got the rating of your lawyer, but great WC lawyers dont get stiffed like you have explained. Actually they tell the ins company how it is, and because the law backs up what the WC expert says the insurance company agrees to avoid the cost of litigation. Also a great WC lawyer will not tell you something is going to happen then come back and say "OH by the way" its not happening the way I said. This is a red flag in my book. I dont want to add extra worry, but with all that is at stake for you, I just want you well informed. It may very well be the case your lawyer is very talented, or gets his advice from a well talented WC lawyer, but none the less call the BAR. Its not the most vented way to learn of your lawyer but it is a start, and actually this should have been done as soon as you had an idea this injury would be a permanent total disability situation, but it looks like we began posting to each in the bottom of the 9th inning.

    OK so call your municipality BLDG for assistance it will not be a windfall but when you are getting the lights turn off it will keep them on!!! Hey I was in your situation many years ago, but I only got 12 weeks of TTD before the WC DR said MMI. I lost everything I worked for quickly!! If not for the local assistance I was able to get I would have been living in a cardboard box till settlement day!!!! Call yours!!!! That is my best suggestion to keep the light burning at home. Take one day at a time, and soon you will be through the final hoop, then your life can once again be full of good surprises. If you need to vent do it too, as you must remain focused on your health issues and this is related to the stress you find yourself under. Hang in there, your not alone, and will not be the last. You can do it, but at 1 day at a time!!

    BUG

Similar Threads

  1. Frustrated and in Pain
    By HURT.FL.EMT in forum Moral, Emotional and Spiritual Support
    Replies: 29
    Last Post: 07-27-2009, 07:20 AM
  2. Frustrated and Confused
    By OUCH!!! in forum California
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 05-02-2009, 07:52 AM
  3. Very Frustrated
    By eskimo910 in forum Washington
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-14-2008, 07:16 AM
  4. Frustrated
    By DMAC57 in forum Moral, Emotional and Spiritual Support
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-04-2008, 11:53 AM
  5. Frustrated with WC
    By jim_pa in forum Pennsylvania
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 10-27-2007, 07:55 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
 


Find a Lawyer