First let me say I do not have an attorney. I am 42 yr olds and had a seriouS back injury at work in June 2008. In July 2009 I received a MMI settlement. Then in 2010 I reinsured my back at work and found out I would not receive benefits for missed work. I am now no longer able to work and have filed for disability. I have been denied twice and I am waiting for my hearing.
Now my IC is talking about a medical buyout where they will no longer be responsible for my medical treatment. I am suppose to receive a offer amount soon but I don't know what to do. My doctor and I have been trying to get WC to approve a second surgery for over a year and they keep denying it. They sent me for a IME and they say that doctor said I didn't need another surgery. My medical care over the last 3 yrs has averaged $7200/yr and they say my life expectancy is 35.4 yrs.
I have a wife and 4 kids to consider and I am in constant pain. What is my magic number that I should take? Is the buyout money I will get to pay for my medical care or will it be put n a trust? What do I do if it's not enough can I negotiate or is it too late to get a lawyer? Should I get the department of labor involved can they help me get a fair settlement? Can I negotiate that the IC first pay for surgery then do a buyout? I feel like I am going to get snowed by a large amount waived in my face then I'll realize it won't be enough and me and my family will suffer tremendously.