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(NJ) Left with Nothing?...
#1
Hello Everyone,
ON 12-7-12 a truck pulled away from the dock at my job and I fell. I was subsequently out of work for 3 weeks (until 12-31-12) I received 70% pay after the holidays (they (IC) made sure I had NO $$ until AFTER Christmas)
I went to IC Phys/Ther sessions, (6) after which they said "No benefit seen" &, discontinued therapy.
BTW, IC Doctor diagnosed "hematoma" lower back/hip. I went to their ortho specialist 5 times, each time who advised " little" damage, most damage from earlier injury" (had back injury at work 8 yrs prior). MMI reached 4/15/13.

Being a fall from truck, I was told by retained counsel to file a 3rd party suit-done.
Nearly 2 yrs later Section 20 (?) demand was tendered $17.5k. IC stated that they "needed time" to figure out how to disburse funds, (since 3rd party suit involved). Judge was irritated that they had not figured this out PRIOR to going to court appearance and said to "report back " within 1 cycle (21 days). He was angry, imo.
When they came in, a month later, they countered with a $4300.oo payment of which I would get $3800.oo, keep case open 2 yrs. and A LIEN OF ALMOST $12,000.00!!

MEANWHILE, a different lawyer (same firm) had an offer of $15,000.oo of which about $11500.oo would be mine.

Now with the WC IC lien, I may just about break even-How can this HAPPEN?!! I cannot even get a better mattress!!

The atty representing me on my WC advised taking the $3800.00 (but could not give me the lien amount at the time.) I was told it would (lien) be no more than $3000.oo and it was a fair offer. The other (3rd party) also said HIS negotiated $15k was a fair offer. That I would be done by mid August, once WC finalized.
Now everything is F'd I may get NOTHING!
THIS LAW FIRM HAS HAD 3 SEPERATE LAWYERS WORKING ON MY WC ASPECT, AND THE "LAWYER" NEGOTIATING MY 3RD PARTY CASE IS ACTUALLY A PARALEGAL! I complained about the lawyers changing, but was told "You hired our firm, NOT ONE PARTICULAR LAWYER. I asked about being Cc'd on ALL CORRESPONDENCE never done. I received only 1 letter during this 19 month old case!
I am starting to believe I am being given bad legal advise, which is adversely affecting my case outcome.

Please, anyone some advice?!!!
 
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#2
when you say "break even" I don't think you are counting all the treatment $$ or the wage replacement that was paid during recovery.
you are not entitled to a double recovery for the same injury.
subrogation laws allow the comp carrier to be reimbursed for their costs.

you will get more then workers comp paid but not full settlement for both comp and third party - just the greater of the two.

you can change attys at any time. talk to a few before deciding.
Reminder :
........Each state has their own comp system; POST YOUR STATE to get accurate information. Use the search feature to find information from similar questions.
THANKS FOR POSTING.
 
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#3
(07-30-2014, 11:16 AM)1171 Wrote: when you say "break even" I don't think you are counting all the treatment $$ or the wage replacement that was paid during recovery.
you are not entitled to a double recovery for the same injury.
subrogation laws allow the comp carrier to be reimbursed for their costs.

you will get more then workers comp paid but not full settlement for both comp and third party - just the greater of the two.

you can change attys at any time. talk to a few before deciding.

 
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#4
(07-30-2014, 03:00 PM)Vinnyherman Wrote: [quote='1171' pid='157645' dateline='1406733365']
when you say "break even" I don't think you are counting all the treatment $$ or the wage replacement that was paid during recovery.
you are not entitled to a double recovery for the same injury.
subrogation laws allow the comp carrier to be reimbursed for their costs.

you will get more then workers comp paid but not full settlement for both comp and third party - just the greater of the two.

you can change attys at any time. talk to a few before deciding.


Thank you for your time to reply. I am a layman here, and am wondering THIS:
IF THIS ACCIDENT WAS NO FAULT OF MY OWN, why do I have to pay my employers IC back, for their "wonderful" (eye roll- it was a joke) cutting edge treatment? Shouldn't this 3rd party insuror pay back WC IC. Why am I on the hook? Seems to me WC should go after the driver/trucking co. 's insurance to recoup their outlay (I am NOT an expert on this subject)
And you implied, IMO (albeit indirectly) that I am "double dipping".
I do know as a victim of this WORKMAN'S COMPENSATION debacle that I am permanently hurt, lost $$ on wages, OT, had to use vacation to pay bills, and been treated like a pariah at work.
WHY: Because some guy rolled out prematurely and I fell off a dock.
I should get more $$ than this but fighting A FORTUNE 500 FIRM & their pit bull, CRAWFORD IC, has financially and morally bankrupted me. Max recovery 1.5 yrs ago and nowhere near getting ANYTHING, other than seeing THEIR doctors more than 18mos. Ago, who downplay everything. A nurse accompanied me on EVERY OFFICE visit! This is a small - $30k case! My co. Would not even give my atty. an accident report! (what are they hiding?) just ranting, I guess, but how does one get NADA?? WTH
BOTHER EVEN FILING?? Very sad and frustrated.
Thanks for the advice, though...

 
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#5
comp is "no fault" for both you and the employer. that means both parties share the costs.
you should not be on the hook for anything; isn't your medical and wage loss being paid?
have you've got out of pocket expenses that's not getting covered?


there is nothing wrong with "double dipping" where permitted. subrogation prohibits it for comp.
your claim for wage loss above the maximum provided by workers comp, restoration of vacation, any permanent impairment should be addressed by your atty when negotiating with the third party.
will your comp claim be closed? if not, permanent disability and future medical benefits may yet be available.

why your third party liability claim is not worth more is impossible for this board to know. if you were promised more by your atty you are owed an explanation.
Reminder :
........Each state has their own comp system; POST YOUR STATE to get accurate information. Use the search feature to find information from similar questions.
THANKS FOR POSTING.
 
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#6
(07-30-2014, 06:47 PM)1171 Wrote: comp is "no fault" for both you and the employer. that means both parties share the costs.
you should not be on the hook for anything; isn't your medical and wage loss being paid?
have you've got out of pocket expenses that's not getting covered?


there is nothing wrong with "double dipping" where permitted. subrogation prohibits it for comp.
your claim for wage loss above the maximum provided by workers comp, restoration of vacation, any permanent impairment should be addressed by your atty when negotiating with the third party.
will your comp claim be closed? if not, permanent disability and future medical benefits may yet be available.

why your third party liability claim is not worth more is impossible for this board to know. if you were promised more by your atty you are owed an explanation.
I
I am EXTREMELY IMPRESSED with your
KNOWLEDGE of workers comp law/procedures, & 3rd party, "1171",
And I mean that with the utmost respect. I only wish I had YOU as an aattorney! In this stage it is (will) be VERY difficult to obtain new counsel. One final pondering:
Is it normal to:
1) Get 1 letter in 19 mos?
2) Have a para negotiate a 3rd party?
3) Have a lawyer change & only find out when I called for an update?
4) Be told case should settle in 30 days (8/15/14) for a ttl. $14000.oo only to be told now theres practically nothing left, shouldn't lien amount been disclosed along with IC proposal?
5) Have to get court dates myself (I HAVE NEVER BEEN ASKED TOLD IN WRITING OF ANY SETTLEMENT CONFERENCES?
6) I HAVE NEVER EVEN MET THE 3RD PARTY LAWYER, is this how firms do business, ie lower paras do EVERYTHING?

At this stage, it'd be hard to obtain NEW COUNSEL. Nobody wants to fee split or bad mouth a fellow atty, IMO.

Now, 1171, you MAYBE can see WHY I am disillusioned with this...
Again - MUCH THANKS for your knowledge.
 
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#7
yes I understand the frustration.
I see it/read it every day on this board.
it is especially evident in litigated cases. the worker trusts that he's doing the best thing for his claim by getting an atty and yet it still turns to excrement and he can't understand why.
the big problem is that there is so little communication or understanding exchanged. expectations and assumptions are made and then way down the line the disappoint and anger builds.
today the law is all about quick settlements and heavy volume especially with large law firms.
personal service is usually only available from the smaller one person offices.

message boards like these try to give a little knowledge and a small dose of reality but too often we are too late.
by the time they come here looking for information and understanding the situation is critical.
while the warnings signs were there. you never thought they were bad enough to be worried about the outcome.

i wish i could give you a "do over" button to push.
I'm sure you learned a lot if you ever have to get involved with the legal system again.

Reminder :
........Each state has their own comp system; POST YOUR STATE to get accurate information. Use the search feature to find information from similar questions.
THANKS FOR POSTING.
 
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#8
Vinnyherman,

As you have figured out and I don't care what state you are in when a person gets hurt on the job expect to get the raw end of the deal. Were are just a rat in a cage while they poke our lives away and anything we have ever works for goes right out the window..

It takes your signature for the agreement to be final, if your not satisfied in anyway don't sign it. There are a lot of attorneys out there but not many give two hoots about you, they just want your money. take care..
.
 
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#9
1171 & Bronco,
THANK YOU for acknowledging my FRUSTRATION. You are RIGHT ON about using this (these) forums AFTER the fact /damage is done! I will keep the forum abreast of anymore tricks or (God willing) a positive outcome. As I indicated, I had a previous WC claim about 10 yrs ago. The level of SERVICE & basic CUSTOMER SERVICE was outstanding. I received MAILED copies of litigation events, case settled for $25k for a herniated disk within 18 months! Although my back was never the same, it was a fair award, imo.

So my point is this:
I DO KNOW what level of service to expect...
Sadly, I chose a more "local" atty. thinking "What's the difference"? It's THIS:
No letters,
No updates
No Court notices Rudeness Indifference
Having your atty switched 3 times in 18 months (turnover) once in middle of negotiations-& this guy is still with firm??
Told" you hired firm, not a particular atty. "
I said that I don't conduct my business THIS way, & I should be mailed or called, not find out when I call for an update. I was then told my case was" NOTHING"
EXACT WORD USED!
Couldn't /shouldn't the assigned he FINISHED his job? This is my WC aspect, btw...
My 3rd party" attorney" is a Paralegal!
Again told my case is "garbage" his exact word used when I voiced my dissatisfaction, with their service!!

Hopefully,
new litigants will see these red "flags" & STAY AWAY - before they get too far along w/ an "ethically challenged" or outright LAZY firm.
And if you're in NJ pm me & give this firms info privately, to help some poor person. I am tired of fighting & crying, hurting, cursing and waiting. Like I said, MMI was reached 18 months ago & still no settlement!

I'll be writing a timeline so new members know how long WORKMAN'S COMPENSATION takes, in my case.

Thanks & Good Luck/Health to All

We the people -
FOR THE PEOPLE!!
(Not big business)
 
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