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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    4

    Unhappy Offered Settlement - What to Do?

    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!!!!

    Kris

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    28

    Smile Re: Offered Settlement~ What to Do?

    WC case in New York: Hi Chris I wish I was as smart as BvIA and give you all the legal info you may need to proceed with your case. I'm BvIA's biggest fan, but I can't. I can tell you that I have similar injuries as yours and that yes it is very hard not being able to use your dominant hand. I use a grab it on the days when I can squeeze things. Thank God for my family members, they also are a big help. I never thought that I would not be able to do for myself. In reference to your settlement. I received a settlement totalling 100,000.00 dollars,after attorney fees I received 66,600.66. In my opinion I don't think you should settle if your medical is not paid for life. I received money but my medical is paid for, for life. I think you should get your lawyer to look into the offer your job is making about the medical part of your injury. Never close your case without being provided for medically. P.S. for Tony and BvIA I want to be just like you guys when I grow up,so smart and knowledgable. Thanks!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,021

    Default Re: Offered Settlement~ What to Do?

    krissy,
    The amount of money you are talking about is the full settlement of your PPD indemnity, and the SWAG/Scientific Wild Ass Guess on the potential need for additional treatment, and the dollar amount, payable in 'todays dollars'....which could be a significant reduction in the actual amount you will need in treatment.

    The money you have already received in weekly wage replacement benefits is NOT taken out of this money. Only AA fees, and IF there are any costs the AA has advanced on your behalf, those would be deducted from your award.
    Generally, the comp court must approve the AA/attorney fees in a claim.

    You can follow the links here...http://www.wcb.state.ny.us/content/m...rs/Workers.jsp and find answers to how comp claims are handled in NY.

    motherdread...thank you for your kind words... however I'm just another IW like the rest here... no genius... just adept at finding the answers to your questions...and hopefully helping you/IW's understand how the system works...and as a rule...screws us.
    And someone PLEASE tell me what the hell kind of job can you do that does not involve using your main hand??!!
    There are RTW benefits available...be sure to ask about these...
    http://www.wcb.state.ny.us/content/main/workers/rtw.jsp

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,021

    Default Re: Offered Settlement~ What to Do?

    After re reading your op, and a note from a friend, If there is a surgery contemplated in your future, I think you should be very seriously consider NOT accepting this settlement at this time.
    [QUOTE]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.[/QUOTE]
    The money being offered for future medical will NOT come close to paying for any surgery you may need. Even with interest....

    There is another consideration here as well, and that is you may be suffering from RSD/CRPS... and that is something the treatment is very expensive, and long term. There is no cure for RSD... you can get more information here...www.rsds.org. You should definately discuss this with your treating physican BEFORE you accept ANY offer to settle this claim. Regardless of your attorney advise.


    The question you should ask regarding the offer should be...''is this offer based on all 'new money'?''...Meaning there is NO deduction for ANY benefits/PPD already paid.
    A C&R offer should be a 'net' figure to you...and there should be NO reductions to any payments you may have already received.

    Appearently this ER/IC is anxious to settle this claim because you are anticipated to need additional, potentially costly medical treatment in the not so distant future.

    Think about your options here... carefully please, before you accept any offer of a lump sum.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: Offered Settlement~ What to Do?

    Hi Krissy! I also would not settle! I almost did, and thank god I didn't. I need to have a fusion, and I would have never gotten the help that I needed. The money sounded great, but it wasn't worth it. They just want to get rid of you! They are just jerks who think nothing of you, and don't care that you are suffering!!!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: Offered Settlement~ What to Do?

    im going back to court agian in May, i still have a cervical stabliztion surgery approved that i didnt have yet, and the IME doctor said i need a scapuler (spelling) nerve release operation, ive been offered 250 k in the past but now im on SSDI and i know that any settlement a percentage of it goes for future medical , now with that i dont think its worth any settlemnet unless its in the millions , and we all know thats not going to happen, i just want them to stop following me, i dont want to go to court any more

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,021

    Default Re: Offered Settlement~ What to Do?

    As you are receiving SSDI, and are Medicare eligible (certainly with in 30 months of a settlement) you must take the steps to protect Medicare interests.

    You can't settle this claim until you consider a WCMSA, a proposal to CMS/Medicare and THEY will tell you IF you need one, and HOW MUCH money is required to fund the account.

    There is a lot more to consider now vs a lump sum, and 250K... a settlement in the 'millions' isn't unheard of... just rare.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: Offered Settlement~ What to Do?

    BV just had an ime and the doctor said i cant work anymore due to my injury there is no futher need for him to see me anymore and his is recommending that the IC should settle

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Wicked Witch Of The East
    Posts
    106

    Default Re: Offered Settlement - What to Do?

    Hello matty, Very sorry to hear what you are going through. Its bad enough to suffer with RSD/CRPS but then you have to be put through the ringer with WC issues as well.

    I have the same hand issues as well with my hand and the RSD/CRPS. Had to also give up the career and life that I loved because of the RSD/CRPS. Then to add insult to injury everyone was trying to give me career and legal advice without knowing anything about this mysterious disease.

    I think what these other fine posters are saying is right on. You don't want to jump the gun and settle just to make things easier. In the long run you may have no recourse if your injury gets worse or if you experience other complications. Keep in mind that RSD/CRPS has a good chance of spreading. If you settle and your condition gets worse you are on your own.

    I know court is a tough thing. I think sometimes they just make things as difficult as possible and make you jump through hoops until you just get tired and want to give up. I think they sometimes go through the law book and pull out any thing they can. Thnk long and hard before you do anything.

    In the end you have to do what is right for you. If youfeel that a settlement is the only way for you to "survive" then no one can really tell you otherwise. Just make sure you really know what you are getting and giving up before you do.

    Best Wishes!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,021

    Default Re: Offered Settlement~ What to Do?

    Quote Quoting matty223 View Post
    BV just had an ime and the doctor said i cant work anymore due to my injury there is no futher need for him to see me anymore and his is recommending that the IC should settle
    That's fine for the doctor to opine on the situation...has no bearing on your claim. And IMO he should not be 'recommending' anything regarding settlement to anyone. Doctor is there to 'treat'.

    You didn't say what kind of specialty this doctor is... but you should be referred to a Pain Management Facility...there you would receive a multidicisiplinary evaluation, and a treatment plan developed to address your pain issues. Additional surgery to see how things go in relationship to your nerve damage/pain may or may not provide the successful outcome as desired. Surgeons 'cut', Pain Management treats the 'whole body'.

    Before you consider any settlement, you need to read through the CMS web site http://www.cms.hhs.gov/WorkersCompAg....asp#TopOfPage, and understand the issues surrounding a settlement that includes Medicare consideration...here is another good one..http://www.jjcelderlaw.com/SettlementProcessMSABull.htm

    With the new reporting rules in place July 1st, your claim is going to be reported to CMS/Medicare... and tracked. Medicare will not provide benefits to your injury/body part...and that includes the RSD if included in the claim, until money you receive for future medical care...is completely exhausted.

    If your atty, and the other 'interested parties' do not comply with CMS rules...there could be up to $1000/day in fines...yes PER DAY!.
    So the setaside issue is not something that should be overlooked here, and that is appearantly what the CA/IC is attempting. You should have already been asked to sign a release of information form to SSA so they can provide your status prior to any negotiation.

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