Settlement / hearing - Printable Version
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Settlement / hearing - sparkey - 05-20-2008 09:27 PM
I got a call today from the NH labor board telling me that after reading the IME report and the PIR report they are automatically sending me the 10% now for the rating their IME doctor gave me. She then told me that because of the big difference of ratings ( PIR had 32 % and IME had 10% ) that I had to have a hearing. I do not have a lawyer and she stated that I need to get documents together to bring to the hearing and have a treating doctor say why I was more at the 32 % than the 10%. Document to prove why.
Here is my question as I do not have a lawyer and do not know what to do now. Do I go back to the doctor that did the PIR rating and tell him what happened with the IME doctor and if he could explain more of why he put me at 32% or do I go to another doctor to have them put it in writing. I was told that I need to gather all this info before my hearing date to be ready to present it to the judge.
I remember reading on here that 95% of injuries that go to hearings win. How so? Does the judge believe the injured person more than WC? The labor dept. said they were sending me the 10% check and did not offer anything else. Said because of the big difference that it is the law that I have to bring this to a hearing to show the difference and if i win I would get the rest of the percentage, or come to an agreement.
I have no idea what to do now. Any insight would help as far as what doctor would be good to get a report from, what sort of documents do I bring? Do i see the judge, or do they make a decision before the hearing by the paperwork I have to submit to the IC before the hearing and possibly not have to go to the hearing and have it settled between the IC/ WC and myself? I am lost and do not want a lawyer seeing I have gone this far alone.
RE: Settlement / hearing - Still in Limbo - 05-21-2008 02:17 PM
Sparkey, at this point in Your Case, I would strongly Suggest that You retain Legal Counsel to Assist You. My First round of Hearings before the w/c Judge took 2 Years, and there were 12 Petitions to be resolved. The Judges final Decision was given on April 15, and it was 51 Pages Long!! I won 11 1/2 of the 12 Petitions, and I did so because the Judge found Me Personally, as Well as My Dr. More Credible than the i/c's Dr. You are at a Very Crucial Point in Your Case, and if You feel that You should be More at the 32% Level, there is a lot of Work to be done to try and get You there, up to and including possible Depositions of the Dr,'s. I think You should be Commended for taking Your Case this Far without Counsel, but I Personally think the Time has come to turn Your Case over into the Competent Hands of an Attorney. You May think it will Cost You too Much to Retain One, but they only get Paid on the Monies they Win for You, You have already been Approved for the 10%, so that is Yours, and any Monies Won from this Point on is a Bonus!! I Hope this has helped, and I Wish You the Best in whatever You decide!!
RE: Settlement / hearing - sparkey - 05-21-2008 06:36 PM
Thank you very much. I have been going through my records and doing my homework. I also have just had a MRI that i am waiting on the results. One that I have been begging every doctor ( about 8 ) to have done for me to find out my problem. My records mention cervical spine many times and neck pains and even one of my dr's notes said " not needed at this time". That was a year ago. So goes to show you that I probably would not be in chronic pain had they of treated me early on for possible disc problems.
I go to my primary care doctor tomorrow and I have a few doctors I know that would be able to help me out with documents of my ADL's being effected in my life and I really feel that is why it was only 10%. If they would of figured in that, i think it would be more i would of received in his rating.
RE: Settlement / hearing - lfoster21 - 05-23-2008 12:29 AM
I personally could not go through the rest, on my own, but I understand you not wanting to get one now, after all the work you have already put into it all. If you do decide to get a lawyer, jsut remember what Limbo said, all the work you already did, has gotten you the 10% check. So, feel proud about that part of it.
Nonetheless, if you do not get a lawyer, I have a couple of suggestions. Obviously, the more Drs. reports you have, that state a higher %, the better off you are. You want to make sure that the wording of the notes mention that the specific symptoms, conditions, treatments etc. are all due to the original injury. I am going into a hearing tomorrow, to get some benefits approved. My lawyer was telling me that out of the 5 notes that we have, stating my conditions, only 2 of the Drs specifically stated that the issues were due, directly to my injury. She said that although we will present all of the notes, the 2 will be the most affective and if I could get my other Drs. to fax me, even a note on a perscription pad, that states that my conditions are "due to initial injury", we would be even better off.
As far as a judge making a assumption, such as "the notes that say, you did not need an MRI, and now you are worse off, so if you had had the MRI and found out the problems earlier, you might not be where you are today"...This happened to me. The Drs. requested me to have P/T and now a year later, and w/o p/t, I am worse off. My lawyer said that even though we both know that I needed that P/T, I really needed notes from the Dr. stating that if I had gotten the P/T earlier, they are convinced that I could have gotten help and not been where I am today. It sounded like, even though it's logical, the i/c would debate it and the judge won't neccesarily make assumptions.
I hope that helps a little, as to what you should get from your Drs. And the more the merrier.
RE: Settlement / hearing - sparkey - 05-23-2008 05:16 AM
Thank you Foster. Well, I got the results from the MRI and another doctor screwed up. Does not surprise me. The MRI was mostly taken on the LEFT side and report was of the left side. It is the RIGHT side that is the side giving me pain. I know the MRI does the whole neck, but the report focused on the left. I did not have bulging disc like I thought or herniated disc, but in fact the report said that 3 of the disc had a arthritic crystal covering my disc and one was very severe near the C5 nerve, pressing on it. Which would explain the pain on the left..LOL I barely have pain on the left.
So so much for that. I just needed to rule that out in my own mind. I had my insurance pay for it. Maybe this should not even be brought up at the hearing or anywhere else. It has nothing to do with my injury of my right hand.
I got the letter yesterday from the labor board saying i won the 10% award but they are withholding it pending the hearing. Now i am forced to go to this hearing and who knows when it will be? Could be another year from now. In the meantime i am checking through all my notes and thank you for the info reguarding making sure it states that it is because of this injury etc. at work. I have seen alot of papers that said work related that I will definitly use.
Anything else I should know that would help me for this hearing? Anything is appreciated as I will not get a lawyer at this time seeing I have come this far on my own. I cannot sit down and go over this whole injury thing and have the lawyer pro-long stuff and take over my case. I like being able to have contact if needed with the Adjuster. Not that I call, but seems to be moving faster without a lawyer taking his sweet time with things.
RE: Settlement / hearing - Still in Limbo - 05-23-2008 10:09 AM
Without Counsel, all I can do is Wish You the Very Best! Your whole Case at this Point has been dealing with an Adjuster, NCM, and Dr's., when You walk into that Hearing Room You are going to be Dealing with a Lawyer and a Judge. Your Case is probably not as Confusing as Mine was, but I had to Attend 12 Hearings, and Testify at 9 of them, and I would have Not Won without Counsel. I Applaud You on Your wanting to do this on Your Own, Best of Luck!!
RE: Settlement / hearing - stiffnecked - 05-23-2008 12:20 PM
An MRI for the neck does not focus on the right or left side. If the radiologists remarks are directed towards one side it's because they are seeing something on the film that they need to address. Pain on the left side may in fact be caused by something on the right side.
RE: Settlement / hearing - sparkey - 05-23-2008 06:29 PM
Good thinking. I was wondering why I only saw pictures of the left and back of my neck. Never the right side that i am having the most problems with. Anyways it was just crystals from arthritis and when i see the chiro he will help me suggest to do some things that may help relieve the pain.
This could have NOTHING to do with my injury, but had to rule it out. My EMG says " mild carpal tunnel" and they doctors are all saying Neuropathy. So, i am at my wits end now as my husband said i would be foolish to let the doctor do a gangloin block on me. I know that is what she is going to suggest when i see her this week. They tried to set it up last month, but i wanted more info and to think about it first. My husband says I am asking for more trouble.
RE: Settlement / hearing - stiffnecked - 05-23-2008 08:50 PM
Do you have copies of your MRI? You should be able to get either the film copies or a copy on a CD. I always request them. That way you can go through them yourself. There are many views on them and some surgeons just don't want to take the time to show you all of them.
RE: Settlement / hearing - sparkey - 05-24-2008 06:45 AM
I have the CD and when i looked at it and compared it to bulging disc online and herniated disc, mine looked just like it. That is why i was so surprised that it was not mentioned. Said only that i had arthritic crystals over the 3 discs in the back of my neck and severe pinching of C5.
At least I have the disc , but I am still in shock that what i saw and what the doctor saw is so different. I do not think i can use that MRI for my case , as it is totally the opposite side i have been having trouble with.