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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2015

    Default Nurse Injured While Transporting a Patient

    Hi! I live in MA and in April of 2014 I was injured while working. I am a nurse and while transferring a patient with all safety techniques and place the patient let go of the bar and grabbed/pulled my left (nondominat) shoulder. I reported the injury and went to the hospital where they sent me to occupational health. I then had x-rays and physical therapy but my injury felt worse. They sent me for an MRI and the occupational health doctor sent me to an orthopedic surgeon. I then had steroid injections with no effect, so they scheduled me for a subacromial decompression with debridement in December 2014 secondary to impingement and moderate bursitis. After completing the surgery and physical therapy my shoulder began to feel worse again. I then had a another steroid injection with no effect and a follow-up MRI which showed bursitis. Worker's Comp sent me to an acupuncturist and she states that I have a slightly frozen, shoulder, nerve impingement, scar tissue around my cuff, and bursitis. All in all I have felt a plateau in my healing after my surgery. I have not been back to work since. My claim adjuster thanks it may be a good time to settle my case. I do agree as I feel like this maybe the best I get and it could just be a slow healing process. The adjuster told me to think of the amount of time it would take me to get back to work, (as I live in Massachusetts I don't have to worry about the medical benefits being cut off) this is purely financial. The adjuster said she would feel comfortable giving me an assessed 10 to 15% rating. This means I wouldn't have to go to the doctor to receive it. I do feel that this is a fair rating as I don't see it being higher or less at my doctors office. My concern is how long it will take to heal and was wondering if anyone has any experience or input into what is a fair settlement. Thank you so much for any insight you can give, or if you have any advice on how to negotiate a settlement as I really would prefer not to have a lawyer involved.

    I should also mention that I do have a work order that states I can lift no more than 5 pounds, no overhead, and administrative work only. As you can see this does not help me find a nursing job at this time. Because of this temporary work order I have been receiving only 75% of the 60% wages for only the last 5 months.

    Thanks again!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 1971

    Default Re: I Am Lost

    The adjuster said she would feel comfortable giving me an assessed 10 to 15% rating.
    What does your doctor say?
    Have you had an IME yet?

    I wouldn't put too much trust in that adjuster, a rating isn't something to guess at.
    If that adjuster is willing to give 15% it's probably worth 25% or more.
    You need to have an FCE and receive a rating from your primary treating physician before you accept anything.

    how to negotiate a settlement
    Hire a professional with knowledge of your states laws and how to negotiate with the carrier.
    This stuff isn't a do it yourself project, you have too much to lose.
    Without a lawyer that adjuster isn't about to play fair, they'll take full advantage of you.

    Don't play with it, consult and retain a lawyer specializing in worker comp before you decide or do anything further - you have too much at stake.

    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
    Feb 2007
    831 East Morehead St., Ste 355, Charlotte, NC 28202

    Default Re: I Am Lost

    Tony is correct. And I also think the proposed rating is a lowball rating. You have not had a good outcome with your surgery.

    I am not familiar with the comp law in your state, but here in NC, with those facts, fair settlement value could be a multiple of the 10% rating amount. That is because the restrictions hamper your earning capacity. You are doing yourself a real disservice by "not getting a lawyer involved." You cannot trust the insurance adjuster to look after your interests. You will have no idea what the fair settlement value of your case is unless you let a professional who is only on your side evaluate it for you, which means you have to talk to a good workers' comp lawyer. And you may be looking at another operation anyway, to break up adhesions under anesthesia, so you need to factor that in as well.
    Last edited by complwyr; 10-02-2015 at 10:05 PM.
    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

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