California Worker's Compensation - Help For Injured California Workers

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    2

    Question Waiting to Settle with 30% Disability and Need of Retraining- What's Next

    I was injured more than 2 years ago. I have had an AME rule that I have 30% disability, permanent and stationary, and have had 3 surgeries to implant a spinal cord stimulator which will be implanted for life. My physician and the AME have agreed that I won't be able to return to my profession. My lawyer retired and recommended a new lawyer, who so far, is pretty useless at providing information, so basically I need to know- what happens next?

    I am requesting future medical- I am in my early 30s. I also need to retrain for a new career. I have applied for medical retirement at the advice of my physician and pain management doctors- but it can take up to a year to receive approval for the medical retirement.

    What kind of steps are typical at this point? I don't really know what to expect- should it take long for a settlement once the AME report makes it to the worker's comp board? What determines if I get a lump sum settlement, or what percentage of settlement I will receive? How long does the finalization of a case typically take once an AME has rendered the P&S verdict? TY!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,045

    Default Re: Waiting to Settle with 30% Disability and Need of Retraining- What's Next

    You are not guaranteed of any cash settlement. You are entitled to the number of week PPD indemnity benefits associated with your PD rating. Those weekly benefits are paid at max of $230...$260 depending on the facts surrounding your claim.

    As to retraining... VR in Calif no longer exists. You may be eligible for a SJDV/voucher to use on your own for retraining services.

    There is no statutory timeframe for any settlement. Stipulation w/Award can be done at any time....C&R can be done at any time the parties can come to agreement.

    Spend some time reading through the facts sheets for IW's here http://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/InjuredWorker.htm

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,045

    Default Re: Waiting to Settle with 30% Disability and Need of Retraining- What's Next

    then why do lawyers take a comp case, if your not entitled anything when you settle,
    not being entitled to a cash settlement does not mean there is no settlement/resolution to a claim, or that attys don't receive a fee.

    Attys are awarded a fee by the WCAB judge, no law on this, but fees range 9% to 15%, but average is 12% appx. Depending on the work performed. These fees are taken from your PPD weekly benefits, depending on how it's structured, fees can reduce the number of weeks indemnity due, or reduce the weekly rate.
    I don't know anything about comp, most of the time I am just ranting about what I fear
    Maybe some knowledge of the system would help alleviate some of those fears.
    I would suggest again, Spend some time reading through the facts sheets for IW's here http://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/InjuredWorker.htm

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Waiting to Settle with 30% Disability and Need of Retraining- What's Next

    Thanks for the info- I appreciate the facts sheets- it is just hard to know where to even start... my attorney doesn't even return my phone calls and nobody else will take my case- so I feel lost.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,045

    Default Re: Waiting to Settle with 30% Disability and Need of Retraining- What's Next

    What kind of steps are typical at this point? I don't really know what to expect- should it take long for a settlement once the AME report makes it to the worker's comp board? What determines if I get a lump sum settlement, or what percentage of settlement I will receive? How long does the finalization of a case typically take once an AME has rendered the P&S verdict? TY!
    Ok...Once you are declared MMI, and rated by PTP, apparently the CA has disputed that, and AME has evaluated and rated.
    If the CA disputes that report, they must file a DOR for MSC. If no dispute, the CA must begin to pay PD benefits.
    That must happen within 14 days of receiving the report.

    Beyond that, there is no statutory timeframe...you are not entitled to a cash offer in Calif to settle your claim, only ongoing benefits, and access to medical care. At some point, your atty can file for MSC...attempt to settle by Stipuation or C&R, if that's not possible, you go to trial...and a judge will issue a Finding w/Award and Order, judge has no option but to issue a "forced stipulation" per se.... benefits, and future medical.

    What do you want to know from your atty?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,863

    Default Re: Waiting to Settle with 30% Disability and Need of Retraining- What's Next

    Quote Quoting lgsin7905 View Post
    Thanks for the info- I appreciate the facts sheets- it is just hard to know where to even start... my attorney doesn't even return my phone calls and nobody else will take my case- so I feel lost.
    How long has it been since your attorney has not returned your calls? Call and make a face to face appointment with him.

    Try calling attorneys outside of your area for attorney's.There are a lot of applicant attorney's in our state.

    Your attorney will get paid between 9%-15% of your PD rating. That is how they get paid. If you are offered a C&R and decide to close out your medical (which I do not recommend) then your attorney will get the same % from that as well.
    Last edited by kelly38; 02-14-2013 at 03:51 PM.

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