Here's Reader's Digest Version of my case:
2003- Cervical Discectomy w/fusion C4-5 2004- Rib Resection w/scalenectomy for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Added Causally Related Rt. Shoulder and Lt Shoulder (Impingment Syndrome and Partially Torn Rotator Cuff). Hand grip/strength has significant/progressive weakness- beginning of case- grip in rt hand was 54 lbs of pressure (should have been ~85lbs) and now ranges between 5 & 10 lbs of pressure. Had to stop working full time as ultrasound tech 3/07 but was "pushed" into resigning because I was the main tech and they wanted full time, not 20 hrs/week. Work per diem as ultrasound tech and docs have me only doing 6-10 hrs/week (actually don't want me working at all but I've begged to not pull me out permanently because I love what I do and don't want to give up everything I've worked so hard at!!! Early 2008- started developing "clawing of the pinky, ring and middle fingers of right hand (btw- I'm right hand dominant). Hand goes cold and white OR turns VERY red and hot with the slightest temperature change. NOW- have been told that my latest EMG is definitely abnormal showing that that ulnar nerve is trapped up in the forearm hence the clawing of my hand, decreased feeling, etc. Scheduled to see hand specialist this week. BTW- my last IME several months ago- the IME doc commented on the hand clawing- suggested an ulnar nerve problem and suggested seeing a hand specialist for probable surgery.
NOW- this weekend, I received a copy of a letter that was sent to my lawyer last week asking him to offer me a settlement in the amount of $104,000 saying that it represents an 8 year settlement at the current reduced rate of $250.00/week.
My question~ I know if I settled, I lose all medical- WHAT comes out of this settlement?? I know that the lawyer gets his percentage but do they take out of this what they have already paid me for my weekly earnings (which as of 1/9/09 equaled $50,585.25 Would this mean that I subtract that from the $104,000???? If so- then I'm not getting ANYTHING for basically losing the use of my hand for the rest of my life and having to stop working at a career I LOVE!!!!!!!!!! And someone PLEASE tell me what the hell kind of job can you do that does not involve using your main hand??!! Sorry- so damn frustrated with this and with people seeing, "Your so lucky you get to stay home." If they only knew how little you can do when you're in constant pain and can barely hold onto anything!!!
Thanks for any help and advice- Will anxiously await replies!!!!