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  1. #1
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    Apr 2014
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    Default How Do I Find a Lawyer to Represent Me Before the Board of Adjustment in Al

    I have been dealing with the AL Board of ADJ for several years from an injury received at work. Diagnosed and treatment for Multi-level herniated discs, abd. hernia, severe depression, & Htn. The Board only pays for out of pocket co-pays for medical visits and meds and milage, I have had no problem in getting this but they are slow & it takes a yr to get the previous yrs expenses. At this time I have asked for compensation for my injury for the time of Permanent Partial disability (5 yrs) and Perm Total Disability, I have spoken to several and they each have had to deal with the board of Adj 1 time and never will do it again because it is a no-win and the State can have some type of ''immunity'' and no guarantees. Or they have a co-worker or know of another lawyer that dealt with the Board. What am I going to do? I don't know the legalities of settling a claim for compensatory damages and how to avoid ''offsets'' if there was a settlement. I have been approved for SSDI. My doctor that I have been using for this injury was fine until I told her of filing for the compensation part, now she seems to be ''different" toward me and will not state truly in a written statement the extent of my disabilities and leaves out certain details & gives mis-information when I need a statement. I am so tired of this and it has been going on so long I feel like giving up. Is there any lawyer that any of you know of near Tuscaloosa or Birmingham or Jasper that would represent me? I have kept copies of everything in files & folders, made notes, medical records etc. I was forced to resign from my position at that job by my supervisor within 2 weeks of the injury. I had extensive injuries shown by the MRI and the Dr never took me off work for 12 days until she could get the MRI scheduled & results back. My supervisor told me I could not take off sick or I would be fired and if I didn't come in I would be found abandoning my job. Anyway between these 2 weeks, I was in so much pain, confusion, couldn't sleep for pain and humiliation and I could harldly arise from the bed, my doc wouldn't write me off work and I just was not able to do the lifting, my supervisor told me ''I need someone able to do the work''..you cant take off no one to substitute for you''...you are not cut out for this''...I agreed to resign because I knew I could not keep coming in and lifting, I had no choice. Come to find out by the time the MRI's got back I had herniated discs in neck, 1 thoracic & 1 in lumbar also starined an abd hernia. I wasn't able to work for a little over a year, I had PT, Epidurals, etc and the Surgeon wrote a statement for me to never lift above 5 lbs. and that I would need further care in the future such as surgerty, epidural blocks, PT.So I was left paying Cobra due to the injuries until I got on my spouses insurance. I tried to work another job over a year later similar but could not do the work and resigned. I have had consistent medical visits to Neuro, chiro, surgeon, PT, Pain Epidurals this whole time since the initial injury. The lawyer for the State has written a letter to the board denying I had been injured (I have reports), jhad pre-existing(I have none), and says I need to prove legal & legal standing iin asking for compensation with all kinds of other things I don't understand. I need help from a lawyer or advocate but cannot find someone to help me. If my Doctor will not stand by me now after all these yrs (10) of treating me & referrals for injuries by writing a ''strict'' letter of disability and they know I don't have a lawyer representing me what options do I have? I did no wrong here except to get hurt while performing my job duties which involved lifting 50-125 lbs. daily. I am at a loss here, how can the state get away with letting you get hurt & they don't have Workers Comp in the dept I worked in, they are never out nothing but milage & co-pays and looks like now they will not be compensating me for my past PPD, PTD or future loss of earnings. This has been a nightmare having to fill out all their forms and getting required info. How can they be so heartless and how can a lawyer that says I have everything in order & if it was WC they would take the case but won't take it since it deals with the State Board of Adjustments because of the rules they follow. Let me tell you they don't follow any rules that are against their best interest but the injured employee has to follow WC rules. Any advice anyone?

    - - - Updated - - -

    in aboe...legal and medical standing that they are responsible for compensation.
    Last edited by tony; 04-08-2014 at 04:15 AM. Reason: removed personal info

  2. #2
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    Oct 1971
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    Default Re: How Do I Find a Lawyer to Represent Me Before the Board of Adjustment in Al

    Aquarious
    How Do I Find a Lawyer to Represent Me
    Tuscaloosa or Birmingham or Jasper
    Here's a couple of attorneys in your area that handle BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT claims.
    http://www.birminghamlawyers.com/Lawyers/Donna-Smalley
    http://www.balch.com/people/detail.a...a-272ac336e193

    Also try this:
    http://lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/pr...on-Law/Alabama

    Tony
    Moderator Responses are based on my personal bias, experience and research - They do not represent the views of the admin nor may be accepted in the legal community, always consult an attorney.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Default Re: How Do I Find a Lawyer to Represent Me Before the Board of Adjustment in Al

    Thanks Tony I cannot find anyone. But I wish there was someone who was a public employee that hired an attorney to rep them before the board. I guess I am out of luck and wont receive compensation for my injuries because I don't know how to prepare a case in proper format and deal with SSDI offsets, MSA if needed. I don't know what to do, I hate to give up and just forget it but looks like that is what I am gonna have to do. Dealing with this has me so sick & stressed I can hardly concentrate. I have lost everything I've had anyway, marriage, house, car....living in a small tin cracker box in need of repairs, but I have somewhere thank goodness. The pains & radiculopathies, lack of rest & comfortable sleep have just about drove me over the deep end, but I am floating.I will call some more on Monday. Even the names I got from the State Bar will not take a Board of adjustment case any more.
    Last edited by tony; 04-08-2014 at 02:56 AM. Reason: removed personal info

  4. #4
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    Oct 1971
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    Default Re: How Do I Find a Lawyer to Represent Me Before the Board of Adjustment in Al

    Aquarious
    I cannot find anyone.
    I have no idea of why that would be, that's ridiculous.

    To hell with it, here's the link to various claim forms, find the one that applies to your situation and file it on your own, it looks basic enough to me.
    There are time limits, you may be past the Statute of Limitations but try it anyway - All they can do is deny the claim, you have nothing to lose.
    http://bdadj.alabama.gov/pages/forms_instr.aspx

    Here are the rules.
    http://bdadj.alabama.gov/pdfs/RulesRevised_8-24-12.pdf

    Homepage
    http://www.bdadj.alabama.gov/Default.aspx

    I'd try this one first, Supplemental Claim for Personal Injury or On the Job Injury Claim
    Read and follow all instructions, have the claim notarized, make two copies for your records before submitting.
    http://bdadj.alabama.gov/downloads/2...jury_Claim.pdf

    The only way to get the ball rolling is to file a claim, doing nothing isn't an option.
    See pg.7 "CLAIMS ADMINISTRATION PROCEDURE"
    14. Procedure for Filing Claims for Personal Injury; Damages;Vendor Claims.
    (a) Initiating a Claim.
    The jurisdiction of the Board is invoked by a claim using a form provided by the Board for that purpose.
    http://bdadj.alabama.gov/pdfs/RulesRevised_8-24-12.pdf

    Now just to cover my butt, this isn't legal advice, I'm just telling you what I'd do, always consult a lawyer before taking any action.

    Give Em Hell
    Tony
    Moderator Responses are based on my personal bias, experience and research - They do not represent the views of the admin nor may be accepted in the legal community, always consult an attorney.

  5. #5
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    Apr 2014
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    6

    Default Re: How Do I Find a Lawyer to Represent Me Before the Board of Adjustment in Al

    Thanks Tony, . The initial & supplementals-they are a nightmare. Never received any TTD, PPartial nor PTotalDisability compensation from them for the injuries, that is what I am working on now. I have filed my medical claims & milage all these years myself. I am just emotionally, financially, physically able to deal with them any more. I just don't know how to determine the amounts to ask for because the Doctor I have seen for this will not write it up in percentages of impairment ect. like they ask for.

    If you make a settlement for the Perm Partial Dis for mulitspinal injury, hernia, b/p, retroactive...can I ask to leave medical open so that I wont have to guess in how much to put in a MSA for future use? I just don't understand all the wc laws but I am reading all I can. Thanks for the links.
    I just don't understand WHY attorneys do not want to help anyone deal with the States Boards Of Adjustments, they are more prepared to stand up to them and all the nonsense than a lay person is. I don't mind paying them their 15-20% and a retainer because I know how slow and aggravating they are to deal with. Every attorney says its not worth their time and they cant win a judgement-no one wins. This is a very big problem seems like I am whipped from the get go. Things like this shouldn't be allowed to happen.

    All Public entities are not required to have WC and that is sad. Then you have to deal with board of adjustments.

    I am just so beat down, pain in spine and neck pains, hands wont hardly function, until I cant hardly hold my head to go thru files, reports and get this together.
    Last edited by tony; 04-08-2014 at 04:13 AM. Reason: removed personal info

  6. #6
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    831 East Morehead St., Ste 355, Charlotte, NC 28202
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    Default Re: How Do I Find a Lawyer to Represent Me Before the Board of Adjustment in Al

    If it is correct that "no one wins" then that explains why lawyers are not interested in taking these cases on a contingent fee. A 20% fee in a loss is a fee of zero.

    It sounds like this is a bad situation created by the politicians in your state, such that you don't have much of a legal remedy for your problem.
    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 and Board Certified Specialist in NC Workers' Compensation Law

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How Do I Find a Lawyer to Represent Me Before the Board of Adjustment in Al

    Aquarious
    I just don't know how to determine the amounts to ask for because the Doctor I have seen for this will not write it up in percentages of impairment ect. like they ask for.
    That's weird, wonder why he refuses to write up a percentage of impairment.
    That's your main problem, it's not the Board of Adjustment.
    You'll have to work this doctor, tell him the problem he's causing - ask if he has any ideas of how to solve it.

    From what I see, in your state the judge can assign an Impairment rating, it's not necessarily needed by a doctor.
    I would think the same rule applies to the Board of Adjustment.
    So, guess a rating, make it high say 70%wpi (whole person impairment) and let the Board decide, do not leave that area blank, they'll deny the claim.
    Write in the rating and initial it, put a footnote the doctor refuses to write a rating so you determined it yourself based on your symptoms and pain levels.(hell, it's worth a try)
    It would be beautiful if you could find an occupational therapist to do an FCE to support your determination but it's not needed.

    Look at this.
    Permanent Partial Impairment Ratings:
    When the employee reaches MMI, the ATP will usually give an impairment
    rating. The doctor may give it him/herself, or send the employee for a FCE,
    and then agree with the subsequent assignment by the therapist.
    The PPI may be to a scheduled member, body as a whole, or both.
    While settlement based upon the physician-assigned impairment rating is an
    option at the time, it is not mandatory.
    It is ultimately the duty of the Judge to render a decision as to a claimant’s
    final impairment rating, and the Judge is not bound by the physician-assigned
    impairment rating.

    http://www.constangy.com/media/mater...at%20Sheet.pdf

    Monday, July 22, 2013
    Alabama Judges can Assign Disability Ratings that are Lower than the Impairment Rating Assigned by the Doctor
    http://www.alabamaworkerscompblawg.c...ink.asp?id=337

    Again, I'm just telling you what I'd do, always consult a lawyer before taking any action.

    Tony
    Last edited by tony; 04-07-2014 at 01:20 AM.
    Moderator Responses are based on my personal bias, experience and research - They do not represent the views of the admin nor may be accepted in the legal community, always consult an attorney.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    6

    Default Re: How Do I Find a Lawyer to Represent Me Before the Board of Adjustment in Al

    Thanks Tony I have more calls in to attorneys, maybe 1 will take it. I am also getting an appointment with a Physical Therapist to do a FCE. I have several herniated discs in c,t,& lumbar since the injury.Epidurals, PT, Chiro, treatments. I have filed the medical claims all this time myself but since it has gotten this far & time for compensation and retro-active for PPD and now PTD I don't understand all the things I need to ask for on my own or how to reach an agreement settlement in my best interest.

    If you leave Medical open for life do you have to do a Medicare set aside?

    Would a SSDI have a right to any offset money pertaining to the retroactive compensation? Doesn't seem like it would since I didn't have that during the time I was injured, only been on SSDI recently. I think the loss of future earnings would since the SS didn't back up & pay for that time.

    Thank you for your opinion. Are you in AL?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: How Do I Find a Lawyer to Represent Me Before the Board of Adjustment in Al

    Aquarious
    If you leave Medical open for life do you have to do a Medicare set aside?
    Check out the requirements for a WCMSA.

    4.2 When Establishing a WCMSA is Not Necessary
    It is unnecessary for the individual or beneficiary to obtain CMS approval for a proposed WCMSA amount if all of the following are true:
    a) The facts of the case demonstrate that the injured individual is only being compensated for past medical expenses (i.e., for services furnished prior to the settlement);
    b) There is no evidence that the individual is attempting to maximize the other aspects of the settlement (e.g., the lost wages and disability portions of the settlement) to Medicare’s detriment; and
    c) The individual's treating physicians conclude (in writing) that to a reasonable degree of medical certainty the individual will no longer require any Medicare-covered treatments related to the WC injury. However, if Medicare made any conditional payments for WC-related services furnished prior to settlement, then Medicare will recover those payments. In addition, Medicare will not pay for any WC-related services furnished prior to the date of the settlement for which it has not already paid.
    http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Coordina...on-13-copy.pdf

    Be aware, there is no law mandating that you submit a WCMSA, that's one of the biggest wives tales out there.

    There are no statutory or regulatory provisions requiring that you submit a WCMSA amount proposal to CMS for review. If you choose to use CMS’ WCMSA review process, the Agency requires that you comply with CMS’ established policies and procedures in order to obtain approval.
    http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Coordina...on-13-copy.pdf

    Would a SSDI have a right to any offset money pertaining to the retroactive compensation?
    Offsets are based on an average over a lifetime, if there where an offset, it would be minimal.
    Be sure to word the settlement accordingly.
    Here's a good explanation:
    The most common way of reducing the potential offset is by reducing the lump sum award by all excludable expenses then amortizing the net lump sum award over the claimant's life expectancy (Steam Rolling Method). This generally helps younger disabled workers and workers who were high wage earners. The excludable expenses include legal fees and litigation expenses. By spreading the net lump sum settlement out over the life expectancy of the worker,
    http://www.ssdisabilityrights.com/bl...ON-SETTLEMENTS

    Also:
    DI 52101.001 Introduction to Workers’ Compensation/Public Disability Benefit (WC/PDB) Offset Provisions
    https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0452101001

    Take Care
    Tony
    Moderator Responses are based on my personal bias, experience and research - They do not represent the views of the admin nor may be accepted in the legal community, always consult an attorney.

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