North Carolina Worker's Compensation - Help For Injured North Carolina Workers

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    VT
    Posts
    25

    Default Mediation - Settlement

    My case is in NC. I had a slip and fall at work in Feb 08. I have played all the games with WC, going to all there doctor appoinments. I have an attorney as well. I was sent to a spine ctr (April 08)which sent me to theraphy for a couple of weeks(June 08). When back to the spine ctr.(Aug 08) and she know tells me she has read the x-ray and I have two herinated disc, this is why I have the pain I do! OK, if the doctor did her job back in April 08, I could be fixed or on a road to recovery. She is know ordering a MRI. Mean while, the insurance adjuster want to settle. I have turned thwm down once all ready. So we are going to mediation to reach a settlement. What to do? I have not reached my maximin impairment yet, they have done nothing to help me. Theraphy? That was more like a tourcher chamber! Know they are taking low numbers $40 - $50,000. This is my spine and I have to live with this for the rest of my life! This same law firm has settle rupturd disc/herinated for around $130 -$150,000. Why are they trying to low ball me? Any advice?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    VT
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Mediation - Settlement

    I have nothing but time. My health means more to me then money! All there games are a waste of time to me. So you are saying I should drag this out and seek medical attention!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    189

    Default Re: Mediation - Settlement

    Sunshine,
    I too suffer from a back injury and in my opinion, it is way to early to even consider a settlement. You should ideally be at MMI before a settlement is even considered. There are way too many variables and possible future medical costs. A six-figure settlement may sound good now, but one fusion surgery would eat that up.
    The IC is trying to limit its liability by settling the case early. It is a very common tactic with potentially high-dollar spine injuries. DO NOT bite!! You need to make sure you are as well as you are going to get before even considering their offer.
    You do not have to settle. Hopefully, you have an attorney. If not, do not go into a mediation alone. The opposing counsel will eat you up and spit you out in the WC arena.
    Good luck with your injuries.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    VT
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Mediation - Settlement

    Dandecker,
    Thank you for the advise. I have told my attorney that my health is more important then any dollar amount. I will post the out come. It will be interesting to see what the IC has to offer. I still have two legs to walk out! Thank you again.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    3,047

    Default Re: Mediation - Settlement

    DanDecker is right.

    What is your comp rate? If you have surgery and are out of work for another 6 months, then go back to work making what you made before your injury, they will still owe you 10% or greater rating to the spine for the surgery. A 10% to the spine is worth 30 weeks of your comp rate. That 30 weeks plus the 26 weeks for recovery time, plus the cost of medical treatment, may approach $100K in value.

    The big settlements (over $100K) occur because a person cannot go back to work for a long time. I have settled a number of back injury cases for over 100K and it is always because my client has been unable to return to work after surgery, usually for years.

    Patience is a virtue in work comp. Being in a hurry to settle is not good.

    If you settle now, before you are well and before you know whether you can go back to work and earn a decent living, then you will be taking a huge risk. Once you settle your case is over forever and they will never owe you or pay you another dime.
    The North Carolina Court of Appeals has held that "In contested Workers' Compensation cases today, access to competent legal counsel is a virtual necessity." Church v. Baxter Travenol Labs, Inc., and American Motorists Insurance Company, 104 N.C. App. 411, 416 (1991).

    Bob Bollinger, Attorney at Law

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Mediation - Settlement

    Hi, I was injury in sept. 2006 from a fall off a motorized pallet jack at work, and sustained 3 ruptured disc from l3-l4, l4-l5 and l5,s1 which was confirmed by a MRI that was done later that year in november. I went to this nero surgeon that wanted to cut me from jump start and I told him that I was not ready to have surgery on my back and that I would wait until I could not take it anymore. He gave me all these different meds to take that didn't work at all that just made me feel worst. He sent me to physical therapy for 2 weeks ( work harding and a fce to follow) but I had to stop because my body could not take the physical punishment. Then I started back after about 2 weeks, I had swelling in my groin from the second time and had to stop again then I went back and barely pushed through it. I went for my FCE and was lied on by the person that did it she looked at how big and muscle I was and thought I was faking but in reality I was not and, really doing the best I could through all the pain I was having. After a few weeks I got the FCE back and the results really made me mad she made as if I only tried on 3 out 22 tasks that were giving during the exam. Now before I had the FCE me and her had a run in because she said that I needed to try in work harding and I told her I was, and that she did not know what my body was going through. Anyhow when I recieved my results from the test it said I was 67% self limiting and the doctor gave his final MMI rating of only 3% PPD. So then I went for second opinion with another doctor and he said that I was disabled and gave me a PPD of 15% and said that I had some more with my private area as well but it was out of his area to rate it and that I would need to be under doctors care for the rest of my life weather I had surgery or not. So this year 2008 I had another FCE done and it was like night and day everything was done right and it showed me being able to only lift 8lbs constently, 20lbs frequently, and 40lbs occasionaly and the person that did my FCE told me that I was really jacked on that first one that was done and it was not fair to me. I have been looking for work for over a year and no one wants to hire me because they see the restriction that I have and say I should be totally disabled. I was in college at the time I got hurt and was a double major in music and CJ I was getting ready to go to highway patrol school when I finished to be a state trooper but the extent of my injury stopped it. My professor said they would not even look at me with those injuries. So then I went on to finish my music degree but soon it got haulted when I was not able to go to school anymore because of not being able to sit for long periods of time and stand or walk for long periods. So then I tryed to finish it online they only offer one class and I took it but then there was no more classes for music degrees online at the school so now I'm stuck with no way to finish school doing what I really love which is music. I have checked every school I could online and to see if they had a degree online in the field that I am trying to pursue but no luck. The closes I came was for a school in boston MA. but it still was not what I really needed and it would cost over 20K to go there and they do not accept pell grants so I am lost now I don't have 20K and my credit is not enough for me to get a loan for it cause I 've tried. Now we are in the process of going to medation now. I have had 4 offers sent to my lawyer the highest being 70K but I had to let that lawyer go cause he really was not putting forth the effort to help me. Now I have a great lawyer now and I hope he can get everything that is due to me. My question is how much is a case like mine worth? How much should I try and go for (I have number in mind but they will more than likely say I am crazy) if anyone can help me I would surley be greatful I need some advice. Aslo be in mine I am 23 years old and it has been over two years since I got hurt.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    3,047

    Default Re: Mediation - Settlement

    It is impossible to tell you an amount that your case is worth. It depends on your AWW, your CR, your PPD ratings, your life expectancy, your anticipated future medical expenses, your education, your work history, your location, your job search results, and your demeanor. Your own lawyer should be able to evaluate these factors and come up with a range of reasonable settlement figures. The amount of time it will take for you to get back to work, earning your pre-injury wages or more, is a key factor. Make sure you have these conversations with your lawyer.

    Good luck.
    The North Carolina Court of Appeals has held that "In contested Workers' Compensation cases today, access to competent legal counsel is a virtual necessity." Church v. Baxter Travenol Labs, Inc., and American Motorists Insurance Company, 104 N.C. App. 411, 416 (1991).

    Bob Bollinger, Attorney at Law

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