Worker's Comp.

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No Worries!
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 225
   Posted 10/28/2011 8:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello,

I was injured on the job over a year ago and my Worker's Comp case is scheduled for a hearing on Nov. 22, 2011. My attorney is trying to have the case settled for a lump sum, possibly by next week.

Does anyone know the Pros and Cons for Settling vs. a Hearing? I have no idea what my attorney is asking the Worker's Comp attorney for in the settlement. I did let my attorney know that I have several surgeries, procedures, treatments, medication and PT and the settlement must be enough to cover the costs for the rest of my life.

He has been handling Worker's Comp cases for a long time, but we have had very little communication and I honestly don't know if I can trust him. It's too late to get another attorney and besides they all pretty much are the same. I'm just afraid I'm going to get screwed and think maybe it's best to take the case to a hearing. After all, Worker's Comp initially gave me an award letter, but then revoked it when I got an attorney and they stopped paying for everything!

Any advice is better than none at all...???

Thanks!

Purgatory
Elite Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25394
   Posted 10/28/2011 11:34 PM (GMT -6)   
What state do you live in? The situation you are in would really vary immensely depending on where you live for starters. A W/C attorney would typically go for a good settlement, more assurance he/she will get their 40% or so cut out of a guaranteed settlement, as opposed to gambling on a hearing in which you could lose, and then the attorney would lose big time too.

If this lawyer is a W/C specialist, you should be in good hand, but I am concerned when you say you have had little communications. If a settlement is being proposed, there is no reason that the attorney shouldn't be telling you what amounts are being considered and how it would go down in the end. If he's thinking settlement, then he already has a number in mind.

Without knowing any the particulars of your case, it would be hard to even guess at what results a hearing would produce.

Certainly not an attorney, but as a former CFO, spent many years handling business law matters, including fighting W/C claims on behalf of the employers. So I have seen how the other side works.

My advice is to call or sit down with your attorney, and get him to spill the beans on what he is thinking/planning. You have a right to know, after all, he is working for you (and his cut of course), and not the other way around.

Good luck, I hope it goes well for you.

David in SC
Age: 58, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 7 of 7 Positive, 40-90%, Gleason 4+3
open RP: 11/08, on catheters for 101 days
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos margin
Incont & ED: None
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
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Latest: 6 Corr Surgeries to Bladder Neck, SP Catheter since 10/1/9, SRT 39 Sess/72 gy ended 11/09, 21 Catheters, Ileal Conduit Surgery 9/10

bayoub2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 2861
   Posted 10/29/2011 9:31 AM (GMT -6)   
Absolutely right!!! I was a law clerk and that lawyer should have you in his office discussing your options. I would call and make an appt Monday am. Do you know what his cut is, and approximate cost of surgeries, home care, drugs treatments all of it. The upside of a quick settlement is you get money right away..downside is you may not get as much, and you may not yet have knowledge of the true cost of the injury.

You need to be assertive with attorneys and doctors, they will sometimes take the easiest route for them if you do not speak up!!

Good luck
Maggie
"We never realize how strong we are, until being strong is the only thing left"
Major Depressive Disorder, ptsd, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, l3/4, L4/5 gone, bursitis arthritis sciatica


welbutrin HBP meds abilify seroquel hydrocodone flexeril klonopin magnesium

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16804
   Posted 10/29/2011 10:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello Whats Done and I certainly would not agree to anything unless I felt it was ok. You have mentioned many good points that should be taken into consideration. But, above all remember no one can force you to make a settlement. You will have to sign papers stating you are in agreement with the settlement, without your signature the papers are worthless.

I worked as a paralegal over 20 yrs and before the laws changed in Tx in 1991 our firm was pretty much 98% worker's comp cases. If this atty handles pretty much nothing but comp cases then he should have the experience under his belt to do you a good job. One thing I will point out is each state has their own worker's comp laws meaning what may apply in Tx does not apply in your state.

Since you are going to need a lot of future medical care one thing I would ask the lawyer is, has he talked to your dr to find out what kind of future care you will need and for how long. If your state permits it then be sure that you have open medical that the comp carrier pays for x amount of years. Not knowing the laws of your state or any of the particulars makes it really hard to offer up much to you.

There should be a limit on the percentage an atty can charge for a WC claim, I am sure you have paperwork somewhere telling you this. I would sit down & make out a list of questions to ask the atty and then call for an appt when they open up on Monday. Bottom line is don't do something unless you are comfortable with it. Take care.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

No Worries!
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 225
   Posted 10/30/2011 12:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the advice everyone.

I live in Virginia unfortunately...I am from New York and I really miss it. I don't have any family here.

Anyways, my attorney will get 20% of whatever award or settlement I get. On Monday I am having surgery, so I can't meet with him tha day. Funny thing is that I sent his office and him an email stating when I will have surgery and his assistant called me to setup an appt. to meet with both him and the attorney for WC on Monday! Good idea, I'm all doped up...let's sign sme legal papers! According to his assistant, my attorney has been out of the state traveling/working, etc. and Monday was his only time to meet.

Don't worry I said no way! Still, his assistant said she is trying to setup a meeting for Friday, November 4th to meet with both attorneys. I just sent him a lengthy email advising him that I was just approved on Friday by my health insurance for the Intrathecal Drug Pump test phase. I explained to him that the Drug Pump is extremely expensive, costing between $25,000.00 to $40,000.00 not including additional surgical fees. I also advised that every 5 to 7 years I will need to have surgery to replace the Pump/battery and/or the catheter at a similar cost per Pump. I asked him very clearly in my email to tell me what exactly s the amount he was considering for the settlement. I also requested we get together before we meet with the other attorney.

He acts like I'm disturbing him whenever I call him or his assistant asking information or giving them updates on my treatment, so I reminded him that he works FOR ME and that I prefer we do most of our communication via email. His attitude changed slightly, but the main reason for switching to email is because of my poor memory thanks to my medication. Anyways, things are gong to be happening rather fast soon enough, because my WC Hearing is scheduled for November 22.

Waiting for his response...
Say what you mean and do what you say. Integrity and Pride are never taken away... They are given away. Stay true to yourself and embrace Karma!

bayoub2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 2861
   Posted 10/30/2011 5:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Good job and good luck

Maggie
"We never realize how strong we are, until being strong is the only thing left"
Major Depressive Disorder, ptsd, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, l3/4, L4/5 gone, bursitis arthritis sciatica


welbutrin HBP meds abilify seroquel hydrocodone flexeril klonopin magnesium

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16804
   Posted 10/30/2011 12:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Whats done, something I wanted to let you know about in the event that you end up having a pump implanted.

There is a pump out by a company called Codman that has a pump that is ran off of gasses within the unit and it does not require a battery. By not having a battery that means the end of repeated surgeries. This is a pump that my PM dr is recommending that I go with when it is time for a new one. I have spoken with 2 of her patients that have the Codman and they are very happy with the pump.

She says that candidates for this pump are people that has their pain pretty much under control, they are not in need of having to go to the drs office for a bolus and that sort of thing. I have heard Medtronic is working on one very similar to this one but will have more bells & whistles.

Take care.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

No Worries!
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 225
   Posted 10/31/2011 5:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello everyone,

Thanks for all the advice and information regarding the Drug Pump. Stray dog, I believe my PM Doctor uses Meditronic devices. I believe they have a contract through the hospital, but if I can remember I will certainly ask my doctor about the Codman Pump.

Do any of you recall your trial phase? I am curious as to what exactly will happen while I am in the hospital. If they inject one pain medicne in me and I'm not active...sitting in my bed then I'm afraid the test would be a false positive. Also, I find that in the mornings, besides being exhausted from little to n sleep, my pain is more like a 3-5. However, as soon as I get out of bed and start to get ready for the day m pain increases and increases and then in the evening hours I'm in so much pain I have to lay down. It took my Regular PM doctor a little time before he actually heard what I was trying to explain to him.

So, what can I expect for the trial phase with the different meds? Also, how does this work when I have so much pain meds already in my system? I'm afraid that I'm going to experience withdrawals, which I am no stranger to, but still it sucks! I realize the Drug Pump may not work for me and I plan to keep an open mind when I am there, but having this imformation would help a lot.

FYI: this morning I had surgery where I had my permanent Interstim Neurostimulator implanted! I'm am very excited and sore, haha! It has helped me with my bladder disorder and i feel it has given me a part of my life back!

Now, if this Drug Pump works...I'm praying it does. I deserve to get at least partial pain relief from this and another part of my life back! Hahaha....I'm doing it one part at a time, but man I feel good knowing that I made this happen....I am my own best advocate! That's my message for everyone else...only you know how your pain effects your life hour by hour, day by day and it is YOU who must take action and be your own best advocate. Of course having a strong support group with family and friends helps a lot. I don't have many family members and they are all in New York while I am stuck in Virginia. Besides my wife, I feel everyone on this website is my family and support. Thank you, thank you thank you?

Happy Halloween!
Say what you mean and do what you say. Integrity and Pride are never taken away... They are given away. Stay true to yourself and embrace Karma!

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16804
   Posted 11/1/2011 9:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Not sure if I told you about this bit of info on the Codman or not but here goes. They are not a good pump for someone to start out on because they are such a basic pump without a lot of bells & whistles so to speak. They are reserved for for pump patients that are pretty much under good control of their pain with a drug regime that requires little change to it. Once you more or less plateau out then you may be a good candidate for the Codman, just not in the very beginning.

Since my trial was so short, I feel certain with the longer trial they would have you doing some activities to see how you respond and maybe even change out & try different drug combinations to see which is the most effective. Is your dr going to allow you to have the PTM with your pump? It is a device that is hand held that the dr can program that allows the patient to give them self a bolus through out the day. A bolus with a pump is like giving yourself a small pain shot for when the pain spikes. Some dr believe in them and some don't. Your insurance should pay for it, out of pocket they cost around $1,000.00. For instance with you, lets say every day your spikes out of control at around 5:00pm. Your dr can program the PTM to give you a small bolus every day at 5:00pm to help reduce the pain. I have an older model and the only way I can get a bolus is if the dr programs one there in the office.

If you have not visited Medtronics website do yourself a favor and go take a look. They have the best web site over any of the pump makers out there. Just go to Medtronics.com and you can also read about the PTM there.

The medications used in pumps is in a concentrated form and much more potent than a pill, there really is no comparison to the two. That is why most people end up on less pain meds with a pump.

Take care.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum
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