Texas Worker's Compensation - Help For Injured Texas Workers

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    1

    Default Workers Comp Injury Settlement Pending

    Last February I tore my ACL and my medial and lateral meniscus. Surgery was in March and I received a few weeks of temp disability payments until going back on light duty. I completed several weeks of rehab which helped but I have been in pain since. Today my Dr said because my knee was so badly damaged that this is the best it will get. I am having MMI meeting with a Dr next week and I am told there will be a settlement. My question is if my knee is going to be an ongoing problem how to they figure out a settlement amount? Also do I have to just take the offer or is it better to get an attorney. I really don't want to get an attorney if at all possible but I don't want to have to come out of pocket for future problems associated with my knee. According to some research I have done the settlements seem to be very little compared to what I am going to have to spend, especially when a knee replacement is necessary. So any idea what kind of $ figures I could expect, and do I negotiate or is the offer final?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: Workers Comp Injury Settlement Pending

    I don't know how it works in Texas so I won't even try to answer the question though I would say your best bet for accurate information would be an attorney. Their consultations are usually free so I would go there to ask for information about what your settlement options are in your state. If your knee is going to be an ongoing issue I would make sure to ask about lifetime medical on it.. If its available in your state I would make sure you have it included in your settlement.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    9,108

    Default Re: Workers Comp Injury Settlement Pending

    The doctor does an impairment rating.
    Whether it's better or not can't be guessed at beforehand; a lot depends on what you want.
    Each settlement is different; whether negotiations will reach an impass or be successful can't be predicted.
    Have you discussed the process at all with the carrier or read the material on the state site?
    http://www.tdi.texas.gov/wc/indexwc.html

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Workers Comp Injury Settlement Pending

    What's going to happen is the DD will exam you and do tests to check for range of motion and pain, he will also examine your medical records. He will decide if you are at MMI or not, if he determines you are at MMI he will assign you a impairment rating. You will need to get back with your treating doctor go over the report and see if he agrees with it or not. If you and the treating doctor don't agree with the DD you can file for a review with the Benefits Review Conference. This has to be done within 90 days or it becomes final. The office of Injured Employees can help you with filing for BRC, AND requesting a second MMI review by another doctor (generally recommended by your treating doctor) who is registered with the TDI to do MMI/IR certifications. Your injury will be covered by the insurance even after settlement. Your impairment rating is the % of permanent disability you have (0 is considered a rating). The IC will take this % and multiply it by 3 times 70% your average weekly pay. Example if you get a 5% impairment rating it would equal 15 weeks of 70% of your average weekly wage. After you get the second rating then you need to contact the IC about settling with them. Under the new rules you have to have records of attempting to settle or the BRC may be denied. This is a lot that has to be done in such a short time frame, the 90 days will go fast, so don't waste any time. If the DD doctor tries to back date your MMI and you can prove that your injury was not at MMI on the date the doctor stated you have different avenues you can take. Trying to find an attorney is difficult because the state has made it so they can only charge a certain amount and it is not always profitable for an attorney to take. Just because your going for the MMI exam, it doesn't mean you are at MMI or the doctor is going to say you are. The IC will request the exams as soon as they can to try and get you back to work.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Workers Comp Injury Settlement Pending

    Going to jump in here to say that 25% of your claim for an attorney is a lot, don't know why it's so hard to find an attorney here. Other states are much less.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    3,048

    Default Re: Workers Comp Injury Settlement Pending

    Actually, in many states they aren't lower than that. In NC the standard fee is also 25%.

    In Texas, your comp system is so bad, no lawyer wants to handle a case for a fee any smaller than that. They cannot afford to take a case. The fees are already cut to the bone due to the poor benefits you guys get.

    And making it harder for an injured worker to get a lawyer is part of the plan in the pro-business, politically conservative work comp reforms that are sweeping the country. It isn't just TX.
    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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Workers Comp Injury Settlement Pending

    Quote Quoting madiandcindy View Post
    Going to jump in here to say that 25% of your claim for an attorney is a lot, don't know why it's so hard to find an attorney here. Other states are much less.
    The problem is the amounts that the attorney can recover from the injury, 25% of $1000.00 isn't much for the amount of time and research that has to go into contesting these cases. If you are unfamiliar with the rules, the IC can use them against you and they do. They won't explain to you what is really said, they will only take what they can use out of context to beat you. This is why it is so difficult to find representation in Worker Comp cases, the attorney only gets paid back 25% of each check you receive and most of the time isn't much if any at all.

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