Hello all, after a year of treatment I am being offered a settlement. I can not return to my previous job due to my restrictions. My former employer has hired a lawyer to negotiate a settlement with me. Initially I was offered $50k, and after further discussion, they have raised that up to $60k. I understand that a settlement has to be considered fair by the IC, and it has to be based on actual potential values.
Opposing council and employer believe that it should take me no more than a year to find a job that will make me an equivalent pay rate, so their offer is 1 year comp, 2-3 year medical expenses, and $5k for resume and job services. My initial offer of $266k included comp for 3 years of college training, 3 years comp, 25 years medical expenses. The attorney did her best to stifle a laugh.
She's not including any diminished future earning capacity because they believe I will be able to earn at my previous pay level by doing phone work at home. My permanent restrictions will only qualify me for sedentary to light duty where previously my job was medium to heavy duty work. In reality if I did work at home, I would make about 25% less. I know this from a general survey of the market through job postings. So I am trying to find some statistics to use their projections with the diminished earnings capacity to buttress my offer's justification. Bureau of Labor Statistics has not been helpful because my job title is massively broad and doesn't account for specialization or work environments. There are some websites that purport to have accurate pay scales, but these are all self reportable figures by individuals and vary by up to 50% on highs and lows.
Where or how can I get better numbers to support a long term diminished future earning capacity?
FYI: The plan here is to get the best number possible, then shop that figure over to 2-3 comp lawyers to see if they can do better. If they believe they can, I'll take the best one I like to see how much better than can do with their customary cut above my best negotiated offer. If I get a consensus that they can't do much better, I'll settle with the best figure I can get myself. Thanks in advance.
PS: Any WC lawyers work by the hour instead of contingency?