Minnesota Worker's Compensation - Help For Injured Minnesota Workers

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    3

    Default How Are Settlement Amounts Determined?

    I'm grateful for this site. Thank you in advance! My son has RSD/CRPS as a result of surgery for a broken foot that happened at work in 2005. He has been on crutches (unable to bear weight in addition to other RSD/CRPS symptoms) since 2006. He has lost use of his limb entirely and has consequential injuries due to use of crutches for that extended period. He is nearing MMI declaration. His attorney is suggesting a settlement demand amount that he/we consider insufficient considering the loss of use of an entire limb and the limitations incurred. In fact, we've inquired about amputation so he could potentially be fitted with a prosthesis and get on with his life (he has two young children). We were told that amputation would not remedy the condition because it is neurological so he is stuck with an unusable limb and pain that is incurable.

    How are values for such injuries determined? Are there tables for that or is it dependent on previous wage amounts? Is the WC claim the only suit that can be filed? I've read about tort actions. What are those? Is there any way to get a legal second opinion of this attorney's handling of the case without paying an attorney's regular hourly rate? I'll stop rambling and await insights and advice. Thanks much!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,018

    Default Re: How Are Settlement Amounts Determined?

    Awards are based on the impairment rating of the treating physican.
    Once the rating is known, the state sets PPD awards, and they are based on 'body part'.
    Where there is more than one body part rated, there is a formula for compiling the awards...

    You can go here for an explanation..https://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/rules/?id=5223.0300
    and here for the schedule..http://www.doli.state.mn.us/wc_ppdsched_rules1.html

    Is the WC claim the only suit that can be filed? I've read about tort actions. What are those?
    Generally the WC court/commission is the exclusive remedy for a work related injury, but it would depend on the particulars of the injury/claim.

    "Tort" is ''regular court''...or civil arena. Like having a trial by jury...there is no jury in WC.

    Is there any way to get a legal second opinion of this attorney's handling of the case without paying an attorney's regular hourly rate?
    Most attorneys will give you a one time consultation w/o fee. But if you sign with another atty, there will still be one fee from the award...and they will split that. Doesn't leave a lot of room for another atty to come on board...and it would be unlikely for another one to dispute yours.

    BTW...you should make every attempt to get the RSD accepted as a 'compensable consequence' to the orginial injury...the treatment for RSD is very expensive...and if you take a lump sum buy out of the claim, the treatment will be out of your pocket...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: How Are Settlement Amounts Determined?

    Sincere thanks for your help! The links you sent are very pertinent and useful. Having reviewed them can I ask one more question please? Would you be comfortable throwing out a figure that would be in the "reasonable" range or instruct me how to use the info in the links to determine that? Also, hope you don't mind my asking, what perspective do you approach this from? Are you an injured worker? Attorney? Worker's Comp specialist? I really appreciate the advice about RSD medical costs and considering those prior to a buy out.

    Thank you so much for your time and effort to help a stranger.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,018

    Default Re: How Are Settlement Amounts Determined?

    There would be virtually no way to determine a value to an award until you reach a level of P&S/MMI...Max Medical Improvement.
    At that point, the physican will evaluate your condition, and issue a report including the impairment rating.

    There are ways to dispute that rating..that process is in the url I gave you...

    You can't force the ER/IC to offer a lump sum payment...though they probably will at some point...the only good claim is a closed claim...
    And, any money you would/might be paid for future medical treatment will no doubt be paid in 'todays dollars'... which will never cover the cost of any anticipated treatment...

    SO, IF there is future medical, especially if you get the RSD accepted, it would be in your best interests to take the periodic/bi-weekly payments on the indemnity, and leave the medical open for some time...see what you need before considering a lump sum cash payment for that...

    IW just like you...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: How Are Settlement Amounts Determined?

    In the state of MN, medical cannot be closed out unless there are disputes involved. From the initial note, it does not appear that there are any disputes.

    If this is the case, settlement is based on TTD, TPD and PPD exposures, plus possibly PTD and retraining exposures.

    In the state of MN, these are max payouts.
    Your son is only allowed the following:
    104 weeks of temporary total disability(totally out of work)
    225 weeks of temporary partial disability(meaning he would have to be working at lesser pay than his wage was at the time of injury)
    PPD(which you are working on)
    Permanent total disability(He has to prove he can't do any kind of work at all. Benefits are payable until age 67 in MN at his TTD rate). Claiming PTD is tough to do depending on his age.
    He can also claim retraining benefits. If he needs to be retrained to be able to make his pre-injury wage, then he can use this exposure to increase the amount of settlement.

    These exposures all come into play when an insurance company is determining how much to settle with you. It appears medical will be left open so you'll still be dealing with them down the line.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: How Are Settlement Amounts Determined?

    Thanks BvIA and Pitchin21. My son will see primary pain mgmt Dr. on Tues. and I will be surprised if he doesn't declare MMI. It's been very helpful to have someone to talk to. This system is SO inadequate!!! It was hard for me to believe what my son's atty. was presenting, but apparently it is true. He isn't going to get as much help as he needs in a settlement.

    Let me ask you this please: can a person who is being retrained also get a lump sum settlement? Is there no compensation for the loss of use of a limb besides wage reimbursement at 2/3 the previous rate? If so, that is deplorable!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: How Are Settlement Amounts Determined?

    Not allowed both retraining and a lump sum settlement. One of the other.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: How Are Settlement Amounts Determined?

    I am also very grateful for this site. I've been learning a lot just reading most of the relevant threads.
    Some of the world's greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible.
    lineage adena

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: How Are Settlement Amounts Determined?

    I sorry 4 your son im in the same boat and have 3 boys and kno the helplessness just 4 doing r job we get screwed. my weeks r almost done an dont kno what 2 do i scared angry pissed at wc my atturney and doctors who misdianosed me any help from any one would b in detted to u and again im so sorry 4 ur son...

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