My workers compensation claim was made in the State of: New York. First time poster who is NOT computer savy. Abbreviations(all) such as MMI and PPD I need to know what they mean since I'm new. I'd like to thank you all in advance for your help.
I've had 2 attorneys. Originally I had one for my WC claim. I switched attorneys after hiring my 2nd one for SSD and he agreed to take over my WC claim (which had already been settled). I was injured in Jan 2007 so I do know I'm under the old law. Mine was a neck injury but in the end they ruled it occupational disease. I was ruled 75% disabled. I also suffer from spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease so I do get SSD.
Attorney #1 was all about making deals. My benefits for WC (before I filed for SSD) were for $233.34 per week. In one of my doctors reports, they released info that I was HIV positive. The NY State Insurance Fund got hold of that and wanted me to release all my medical records and I refused. They started making threats and subsequently I signed an agreement for the Special Funds Conservation Committee and an agreement was reached where my benefits were cut in half to $116.67 per week. To this day I do not understand this.
In the meantime I had to appeal my denial of SSD and since I wasn't pleased with attorney #1, I hired attorney #2. He agreed to take my WC case because attorney #1 wasn't happy because I hired attorney #2. I won my appeal and was very pleased with attorney #2. I eventually received a settlement offer from NYS Insurance Fund which I contacted my attorney on. I briefly spoke to him and he advised against settlement. He actually sends out a generic letter. Being that I now also received Medicare I wanted to know how it would affect that. I tried to schedule an appt w/him but kept getting denied by his receptionist to speak with him even by phone. I'd have to submit a question and the receptionist would get back to me.
I found this unacceptable and was uncomfortable about it. Since this was a so called lifetime decision I felt I was entitled (for $5,000.00) to have a sit down discussion with him so I could have an explanation and understanding of the case, especially WRT how it would affect my Medicare and future medical treatment. I spoke with my social worker from Workman's Comp (who's an absolute doll by the way) and she advised me to submit 2 offers. One that was a one time settlement with medical treatment and one without. I submitted that to the secretary and she called me back and said my attorney said no. I then proceeded to insist on an appointment(which she told me he was unavailable at the time. This was my 3rd request) I asked what was I paying $5,000 for and she said it was to represent me. I asked her, "don't you think I should have a right then to sit down and discuss it with him and I was informed this was not their procedure. I even offered to pay for an appointment and was denied by this "Matlock" wanna be. I asked her 3 times if she had a law degree since she kept advising me on what to do. She said no. Needless to say I boiled over and told her I hired an attorney and not a F'ng receptionist. My attorney quickly called and resigned from my case. I know I was wrong but I lashed out because I was so frustrated with her.
I sent this man alot of business. I told him I felt I was entitled to an appointment since this would affect the rest of my life. He appologized because he was busy with other cases. I said in all due respect, you agreed to represent me and you stand to gain another $5,000. So, needless to say, I'm without an attorney. When I try to get another one they say my case is too far along.
So if anyone out there has been through accepting a settlement, with continuing medical benefits, I would appreciate any advice WRT to any deceptions by the Insurance Co. Does it affect my Medicare? I understand that all medical issues WRT my neck have to go through WC, but is there anyway if I should need another surgery that they try to pawn it off on Medicare and I'm left hanging in the cold?
Thanks everyone for your help and advice. Abe.