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

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    1

    Default Back Injury Settlement, 22yr Old Male

    Im a 22 year old male. I was injured at work about a year and a half ago. I have been collecting work comp pay for a little over a year now. I have a lawyer, but I dont think they are looking out for my best interest. I have no idea what I am suppose to do. My lawyer is talking about a settlement right now, the number that i have been told is 45,000. Im worried about the future. My lawyer says that, that is the highest the insurance company will go. I have been recieving $430 a week from them. Im young and have no idea what to do. that number sounds good to me, but is it the best i can get? And what do i do in the future when im still hurting?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    ca
    Posts
    863

    Default Re: Back Injury. Settlement, 22yr Old Male

    RJL, you are right to be concerned.. You are young, you will probably be dealing with pain the rest of your life. I dont know the laws in your state, but you need to look out for your future care. Do some research, dont settle just to end it and get the check. If you have problems in the future, you'll regret it.....
    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world...indeed...its the only thing that ever has - Author Margaret Mead

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Back Injury. Settlement, 22yr Old Male

    you must be still injured or ic would have stopped those checks already. 45,000 will last you 2 years. that is if you do not have to have any medical treatments that you will have to pay out of that 45000. keep in mind your lawyer will get around 10,000 if it also. is he already getting every fourth check? have the ic or your doc. talked about taking you off of ttd? if you live in n.c. they have to pay you until you are able to go back to work. do you think you can go back to your old job or have you been terminated? what kind of injury do you have? did you get the lawyer after you started receiving your checks because if not a settlement is the only way he would make any money unless he has done something for you that has helped you keep your benefits or get something you had not been getting before you hired him. answer these questions and see if 45,000 seems to be a good settlement or would you be better off keeping the claim open because just one surgery would wipe out that 45,000. before you decide read and listen to other posts on this site because in just a few months i think if you take the 45000 that 430.00 a week will look pretty good to you. i am not a lawyer but i have been dealing with my back injury for over two years now and reading this forum i have seen it is best to keep the claim open. check your injury with others posted here and see what they are doing. checkout your lawyer on the commisioners site to see what his record and experince is. what ever you decide please think it through.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    3,009

    Default Re: Back Injury. Settlement, 22yr Old Male

    Under NC law, a 22 year old has a life expectancy of a little more than 55 more years. Under NC law, the insurance company has to pay you until you return to work, if ever, or die of old age, so long as you cooperate with medical care and vocational services. Using your comp rate of $430 per week and a 55 year life expectancy, and a discount rate of 8% annually, the Present Value (PV) of the weekly check to you, assuming you never go back to work, is around $276,000.

    And that amount does not include anything for future medical care.

    You stated "I have a lawyer, but I don't think they are looking out for my best interest." Gosh, they have obtained an offer of $45,000 for you. Now, if the offer is $45K for a clincher, and the PV is $276K plus medicals................

    At your comp rate, a rating to your back of 10% is worth 30 weeks x $430 = $12,900, so the insurance carrier is obviously concerned about the cost of future medical and future disability. That is why they have offered almost 4 times what a 10% rating would cost. So apparently there is reason for you to be concerned about your future.

    Why do you want to settle the case? Wouldn't you rather draw the weekly checks until you are well enough to work again, so that you can support yourself? You are not required to settle the case. Whose idea is it to settle? Do you want to settle in order to avoid a worse outcome, or to do something special with the lump sum of money? What is your goal here? These are the questions you have to ask yourself. The current situation is a safety net for you. The younger you are with a serious back injury, the larger the settlement should probably be. I have settled back injury cases for a whole lot more than $45K, for older workers, but without knowing all the facts of your situation it is hard to know whether the offer is a good one or not.

    I am simply trying to educate you to the questions that you need to think about and perhaps ask. But I would caution you about rushing into a settlement, as you can make a big and un-fixable mistake that way.
    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    ca
    Posts
    863

    Default Re: Back Injury. Settlement, 22yr Old Male

    Please listen to Bob!!!! He is a workers compensations specialist!!!!!
    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world...indeed...its the only thing that ever has - Author Margaret Mead

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Back Injury. Settlement, 22yr Old Male

    Wow. You are very informative. Good job

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    atlanta, ga
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Back Injury Settlement, 22yr Old Male

    I know excatly what you are going through man. I was hurt at work I am or was a truckdriver. I was hurt in early 2010 I had two disc in my lower back that had to be replaced I just had the surgery in March 2011. I know all about the constant pain and hurting. It changes you life. Don't let you lawyer tell you just anything if you feel you need to get another lawyer don't be affraid to do so. If he is telling you that the insurance company will only pay 45,000 and you feel you deserve more don't take the settlement take them to court and let a jury decide. I have been on workers comp since early 2010 I have been going through alot as well don't let the ware you down because they will try. let you lawyer know in you lawsuit needs to be a claws to where they take care of your medical needs for as long as you need them too. My email address is truckman2584@live.com you can email me and we can talk more I'm only 27 and like you I have along time to still work and now I don't know if I will be able too because I'm in constant pain. Just hang in there man. I'm praying for you.

    ---------- Post added at 09:23 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:07 PM ----------

    To complwyr. This is truckman2584 my situation is similar I am 27 and my injury was early 2010. I had two disc that were bad and I had to have surgery in March 2011 to replace those disc and I now have 2 rods and 6 pins in my back and I am in constant pain. I had to get a lawyer and fight for my care because at first my job sent me back to work in pain with their doctor claiming that I was ok to work. My lawyer gave me a figure of between 30,000 and 70,000. My surgen told me before my surgery I would not be able to return to truckdriving. I have to find a new career now so that means going back to college If I can work anymore because my pain is severe everyday. Would I be able in your opinion to get them to pay for my education since I have to make a career change and also I feel that I deserve alot more money. That figure above is a settlement offer I think I deserve more If I hold out and go to court will I be able to get more. I have been receving 337.00 a week in comp benefitis since May 2010.

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