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

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    18

    Default I Was Offered a Settlement

    I'll try to briefly explain my situation. I was injured in 1998, my case was open for 10 years and I was offered a settlement on August 15th 2008. It's now been 3 months and 1 week and nothing. I am coming here because my own lawyer who is supposed to be representing me just can't communicate.

    I would like to know is there a timeline that they HAVE to pay me? is it 4 months? 3 years? I have no idea and when i contact my lawyers office they patch me through to voice mail and NEVER return my calls. I have been very patient with their office for 10 years and now when I want to know one thing they baiscally just ignore me. It is a small settlement but I need this money to pay utlitiies that we are about to get shut off not to mention just buying food.

    I feel like if I call them again (which would only be like the third time) that they would just make me wait as long as they could or even pull the offer off the table. That may sound absurd but this blows my mind. I hired this lawyer and he has the audacity to refuse to communicate with me at a very crucial point. Are they not paying me because of what is going on in the world of finances right now with the credit markets tied up? What is the reason?

    So for now my only question is, so I can regain my peace of mind is how long do they have. If i knew for a fact that 4 months from the court date they HAD to pay me I would get by until that day. But if this could go on for 2 or 3 years I want to know.

    If Decmeber 15th (4 months) was the deadline I wouldn't expect it one day sooner.

    I hope someone can please help me with this question.

    Thank you
    Dave

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,011

    Default Re: I Was Offered a Settlement

    I was offered a settlement on August 15th 2008. It's now been 3 months and 1 week and nothing.
    Was the settlement agreed to by both parties...?
    Or was the a counter to the ER/IC's offer by your side/AA...?

    Once the agreement/settlement is finalized between the parties, the WC judge/commissioner then has to review the documents for adequacy to you/IW.

    That review can take time depending on the backlog at the WC court/commission.
    Under Section 32 of the WCL, parties may enter into a binding agreement settling upon and determining the compensation and other benefits due to the claimant. If approved by the Board, the settlement is binding on all the parties and not subject to appeal. Section 32 agreements can expedite the adjudication of issues or entire claims, while assuring the rights of the claimant and all other parties.

    Another method to settle a claim is the Board's WISK Program (Walk-In Stipulation Calendar). When interested parties wish to settle matters quickly and equitably, the WISK program allows them to stipulate to certain findings and resolve claims. Upon reaching agreements, the parties may request time on the WISK to seek approval of the agreed upon terms from a Judge.

    A third option of settling a claim is through a lump-sum settlement, which allows the parties to agree to a lump-sum amount to be paid to the claimant. A lump-sum settlement is considered closed unless there is a change in the claimant's condition that was not contemplated at the time of the agreement.
    http://www.wcb.state.ny.us/content/m...msprocess5.jsp
    Did you sign off on the C-32 form ?
    Once that is submitted to the board, there is a 10 day waiting period before it's even reviewed. That is due to either side having the opportunity to challenge the agreement.http://www.wcb.state.ny.us/content/main/forms/c32_1.pdf
    Additional information on the section 32 process is here...http://www.wcb.state.ny.us/content/m...n046_119_1.jsp

    If you'll read the instructions on page 2 here...http://www.wcb.state.ny.us/content/main/forms/c32.pdf, and ensure all of the items/requirements were met, you can get a good idea of what may be taking some additional time.

    Sometimes it is much more involved than a 'simple' agreement or offer to settle a claim...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    9,108

    Default Re: I Was Offered a Settlement

    being offered a settlement is not the same as getting a settlement as you found out. once an amount has been negotiated then the paperwork needs to drawn up and then all parties have to sign.
    the settlement papers have to be submitted to the work comp board for approval. once written approval is issued then they can cut a check.
    You should be contacting other attys. there is a single fee that is split among all your attys.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Western New York State
    Posts
    1,340

    Exclamation Re: I Was Offered a Settlement

    Quote Quoting DaveZ View Post
    I'll try to briefly explain my situation. I was injured in 1998, my case was open for 10 years and I was offered a settlement on August 15th 2008. It's now been 3 months and 1 week and nothing. I am coming here because my own lawyer who is supposed to be representing me just can't communicate.

    I would like to know is there a timeline that they HAVE to pay me? is it 4 months? 3 years? I have no idea and when i contact my lawyers office they patch me through to voice mail and NEVER return my calls. I have been very patient with their office for 10 years and now when I want to know one thing they baiscally just ignore me. It is a small settlement but I need this money to pay utlitiies that we are about to get shut off not to mention just buying food.

    I feel like if I call them again (which would only be like the third time) that they would just make me wait as long as they could or even pull the offer off the table. That may sound absurd but this blows my mind. I hired this lawyer and he has the audacity to refuse to communicate with me at a very crucial point. Are they not paying me because of what is going on in the world of finances right now with the credit markets tied up? What is the reason?

    So for now my only question is, so I can regain my peace of mind is how long do they have. If i knew for a fact that 4 months from the court date they HAD to pay me I would get by until that day. But if this could go on for 2 or 3 years I want to know.

    If Decmeber 15th (4 months) was the deadline I wouldn't expect it one day sooner.

    I hope someone can please help me with this question.

    Thank you
    Dave
    Dave, welcome to the wonderful world of being abused by the IC. They can offer and a verbal agreement , etc., al can be agreed to but not until it is in writing, and signed sealed with a hearing can it be an agreement which either or both parties having a ten day period after to back out of, no questions asked. Just wondering, sometimes they will see if you are interested if it may involve something about your case, so be wary as they may be up to something to use against you.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: I Was Offered a Settlement

    Thanks for the repsonses. After I left this question here I emailed the Workers' Compensation Board who in turn gave me a number to call, which I did call. They are sending out a letter to the Insurance Company and my lawyer as a follow up. I have dealt with this for 10 years and am well aware how insurance companies do whatever is in their power to screw you over. It seems like you hire a lawyer but then the lawer works more closely with the insurance company than you. The woman I talked to at the board was very polite and helpful so I will see where that will take me next. I have been very disheartened over the years in dealing with this which I am sure is one of the insurance companies ploys and with the offer being being made, which is aboiut 75% lower than what I felt I should have been offered they are only making it worse by dragging it out. I guess I'm just venting now. I'll post back to let you know what the letter from the board did for me in a week or so.

    Thanks for your help.
    Dave

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Western New York State
    Posts
    1,340

    Thumbs up Re: I Was Offered a Settlement

    Quote Quoting DaveZ View Post
    Thanks for the repsonses. After I left this question here I emailed the Workers' Compensation Board who in turn gave me a number to call, which I did call. They are sending out a letter to the Insurance Company and my lawyer as a follow up. I have dealt with this for 10 years and am well aware how insurance companies do whatever is in their power to screw you over. It seems like you hire a lawyer but then the lawer works more closely with the insurance company than you. The woman I talked to at the board was very polite and helpful so I will see where that will take me next. I have been very disheartened over the years in dealing with this which I am sure is one of the insurance companies ploys and with the offer being being made, which is about 75% lower than what I felt I should have been offered they are only making it worse by dragging it out. I guess I'm just venting now. I'll post back to let you know what the letter from the board did for me in a week or so.

    Thanks for your help.
    Dave
    Yes, it would be interesting to hear whether or not the board was helpful or not. It seems that the IC plays the IW as they aren't here to help but just to force us out of the system so they can make as much $$ as possible, it isn't fair about as fair as it was when I was injured, as we/I never wanted yo be hurt and couldn't work nor be part of this system.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: I Was Offered a Settlement

    Quote Quoting Q-man View Post
    Yes, it would be interesting to hear whether or not the board was helpful or not. It seems that the IC plays the IW as they aren't here to help but just to force us out of the system so they can make as much $$ as possible, it isn't fair about as fair as it was when I was injured, as we/I never wanted yo be hurt and couldn't work nor be part of this system.
    Update: I received the letter that was sent out by the board. It basically says - At the hearing 3 months ago the outstanding issues were to be resolved by section 32. There is no record that an agreement has been reached to date.

    Please adivse regarding the status of the settlement or the case will have to be returned to a formal hearing.

    I got that letter on Friday (a week after I talked to the board). Since my own lawyer doesn't return my calls I suppose this was the next best thing I could do. In my mind I would think they would now want to settle instead of going back to another hearing and explain a delay but what goes on in my head and the IC's head are 2 different things. Since the letter doesn't stipulate how long they have to respond I am imagining 30 days at the most and if they treat this like they have treated my whole case for the last 10 years they will use all 30 days.

    Thanks for all your help and interest in whats going on. I hope my path can help others too.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Western New York State
    Posts
    1,340

    Arrow Re: I Was Offered a Settlement

    Hang in there DaveZ. Its obvious that the IC is trying to play games and either your attorney isn't in the mood to play, tactfully playing his or her own game or, just a baffon who doesn't care cause he/she knows there isn't a settlement on the horizon thus, no settlement no pay for the attorney who represents you.

    Trust me, you will know when there is a real settlement when your attorney calls you, in person and becomes really nice. If you want to be a *rick, let them do all the paperwork and then turn down the settlement, tell them you want to live the way the IC wanted you to live all the time you wanted to settle, tried discussing it but, you (your attorney) couldn't find time nor have the decency to talk about it when you asked in the past.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: I Was Offered a Settlement

    Well here it is 8 months after I was offered a settlement and the insurance company still hasn't written a check. I had one hearing 2 weeks ago and they gave the excuse they were looking at my getting SSD as a reason for the delay. They currently owe me half of what the settlement is in back compensation to which I think works out great for them. In the mean time it is getting harder day by day to just pay my bills.

    Shouldn't this have been resolved in 30 days? Shouldn't the judge in my case have said you have had 7 1/2 months NOW SETTLE? Am I dealing with a corrupt system?

    They have succeeded in taking all hope and moral from me.

    My attorney isn't worth 2 cents and I believe the insurance company knows they can get away with this plain and simple.

    I have 5 herniated discs and in 10 years my life has deteriorated because of this injury.

    I find it very ironic that insurance companies cry about fraud and yet they guilty of that very crime themselves..... the only difference is they get away with it....


    GETTING FRUSTRATED..........

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: I Was Offered a Settlement

    Quote Quoting davez View Post
    i'll try to briefly explain my situation. I was injured in 1998, my case was open for 10 years and i was offered a settlement on august 15th 2008. It's now been 3 months and 1 week and nothing. I am coming here because my own lawyer who is supposed to be representing me just can't communicate.

    I would like to know is there a timeline that they have to pay me? Is it 4 months? 3 years? I have no idea and when i contact my lawyers office they patch me through to voice mail and never return my calls. I have been very patient with their office for 10 years and now when i want to know one thing they baiscally just ignore me. It is a small settlement but i need this money to pay utlitiies that we are about to get shut off not to mention just buying food.

    I feel like if i call them again (which would only be like the third time) that they would just make me wait as long as they could or even pull the offer off the table. That may sound absurd but this blows my mind. I hired this lawyer and he has the audacity to refuse to communicate with me at a very crucial point. Are they not paying me because of what is going on in the world of finances right now with the credit markets tied up? What is the reason?

    So for now my only question is, so i can regain my peace of mind is how long do they have. If i knew for a fact that 4 months from the court date they had to pay me i would get by until that day. But if this could go on for 2 or 3 years i want to know.

    If decmeber 15th (4 months) was the deadline i wouldn't expect it one day sooner.

    I hope someone can please help me with this question.

    Thank you
    dave
    go to the libary know your rights

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