I was injured on the job just shy of 3 years and have been unable to work. I did attempt to return the work force but only lasted 2 1/2 months During this period I was taking twice the amount of pain medicine that was noticed by my treating physician. A pretty dumb and obviously bad decision but I desperately wanted to return to work. Therefore, I had my attorney contact the Insurance Company, informing them I could not continue. I went back on TTD payments
I have had 2 surgeries, 2 procedures and over 18 months of rehab/therapy.
I have now seen 3 doctors for IME's and have "exhausted" my ability to choose the "2" doctors on my own.
I am currently seeing a Pain Management docto
My current doctor states that pain management is the course of action needed as the previous surgeries, procedures and therapy have not alleviated the issues and he does not foresee that any additional surgeries, procedures or therapy will resolve the issue.
My concern is that the Insurance Company's choice of doctors for the last 2 IME's have been sub par and these doctors did not look at my medical file prior to my mandatory visit. The 2nd IME report also included fabrications by the doctor for tests/assessments he said he did but did not. I did inform my attorney of the fabrications and he has done nothing with this information.
As it is apparent to me and confirmed by my doctor that once/IF I am able to return to work that returning to the same line of work will not be possible. I would take a position outside my field and for a lower wage. I understand that the Insurance Company has an obligation to make up the difference. The issue is that it would actually be less money than I am currently getting in TTD payments and as I can not drive the added expense of public transportation. I feel that I could do more with the money(settlement) than I could with the make up in reduced salary. My compensation during my career and at the time of injury has always been heavily weighted with additional incentives such as car payment, cell phone, personal/life insurance, gas and heavy bonus structures and these do not figure into my workers compensation weekly check. I have exhausted all savings and the current TTD checks barely pay for the essentials. Again, I could "swallow" months of this but years has taken its toll on me - physically, emotionally and mentally. The settlement offer is less than what the Insurance Company would pay over the course of my "working life", even taking into account the valuation of the dollar.
With this information and the fact that there doesn't seem to be any alternative medicines, procedures or additional doctors the Insurance Company will authorize, I have instructed my attorney to send a settlement letter to the Insurance Company.
If a settlement happens, this would allow me to see a specialist that was recommended to me by my 2nd surgeon and try some alternative medicine. I assume the Insurance company will not accept the settlement offer my attorney sent (as he told me as much)
I am hoping to get some really clear advice/answers:
1) If they reject the offer sent by my attorney, can my attorney file a motion to send my case to an arbitrator? Insurance company is making weekly TTD payments
2) If the answer is Yes - what will this arbitrator rule on? Also what is the typical time frame that it would take to have my case seen by an arbitrator? Do I need to be there?