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LTL Picker for XPO (Forklift Operator) Logistics in Stockton with many Questions
#1
Sad 
Hi everyone this is my first post here. On Feb 7th 2017 I injured my back while picking product for XPO Logistics (I was employed through Select Staffing)
After informing my supervisor and staffing manager I was sent to the insurances Dr for a drug test and exam. I passed my drug test and during the exam I was unable to stand straight or even bend forward, and i was suffering from intense back spasms.those were the only two tests I was given aside from my blood pressure and drug test. They determined i was suffering from a lumbrosacral strain and prescribed me opioids and muscle relaxers for pain and gave me work restrictions including no lifting over 30lbs. My staffing agency informed me that my former employer would not be able to accomadate my injuries and that i would become a sign holder for the agency until a could return to my regular job. I did that work for a whole day while still in immense pain and discomfort despite the medicine. I requested an Xray from the insurances Dr. and they relented, although the Dr. point blank told me it was a waste of time. I took the Xrays and waited to hear back from them for almost a week before attending a scheduled Dr. Exam where i asked to be read the results. The Dr reported to me that I had multiple fractures but that they were congenital defects and an old childhood injury that i must have forgotten, NOT CAUSED by my work accident. I called an attorney that day and sought representation. I recieved the firms support and was able to secure physical threrapy and chiropractic services.I went thru all my sessions, reached MMI and attended an AME where my WPI was set at 20%. . However I greatly contest the apportionment he gave me which states that my injury was 50% caused by my injury on2/7/17 and 30% by a pre existing congenital abnormality called spondyloysis, and spondylolisthesis, and 20% by an elevated BMI (20%). I am still unable to return to work and will most likely not be returning to my former line of employment, and thus far have not started to receive Permanent Disability Benefits although I was taken off Temp Disability 7/26/17 when I was deemed Permanent and Stationary. I have an attorney but the original lawyer I met with has left the firm and now I am stonewalled by temps and assistants, and no one can answer my questions. They are as follows.

I was 33 years old at the time of injury, and I was a standup forklift operator (Licensed and Certified)
I made between 500-600$ a week after taxes
Is my case a strong one? Do I have hope for a settlement to help keep me financially afloat?

Can I contest the apportionment portion of the AME? I had Kaiser Medical insurance throughout my life and until I was 18 I was completely covered and have records to prove that I never sustained a back injury while playing football, or anytime afterwards and be for the date of my injury. Is it up to them to prove that I had this pre existing condition or up to me and my lawyer to prove that I didnt?

Also the company I was working for at the time of my injury was asking us to shoulder an amazing workload, and they were well aware that we were lifting packages and boxes that were intended to be team lifts or mechanism lifts only. We were not issued back braces or given walkie talkies to communicate with others when we needed assistance and were given very high pick quotas to hit. I have multiple former employees willing to make statements regarding the conditions, will this help my case any?

Im sure there will be many more questions but im glad I could get this thread started, thanks so much in advance for your assistance.
 
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#2
Also, any settlement ball parks would be a huge help, I've tried to run the formulas online but if I was a great math student I wouldn't be running a forklift, although there is no better time to Learn I guess. Thanks for the help. If I need to post more info to have my questions answered just let me know.
 
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#3
Also would my stellar work history with the company as well as my staffing agency of whom I was employed for 3 years before the injury with no record of back pains or problems help prove my case for no pre existing condition?
 
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#4
As of 10-2-17 I am still awaiting my consultative rating, and this is in the state of California.
 
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#5
I'm assuming your claim is California law; my comments do not apply to any other state.

You have permanent disability.
You are entitled to limited time disability payments and future treatment.
Whether the carrier is willing to buy out your claim for a lump sum depends on the negotiated price.
You can contest the apportionment with evidence that contradicts the findings the AME used to support their opinion. The AME has X-ray evidence. Whether your arguments will be more persuasive then that is up to the judge but doubtful.
You'll Likely need evidence that the X-rays were read incorrectly or that they are not yours.
Co- employees statements will help you substantiate a safety complaint to cal osha but not add to your comp benefits.
The DEU will issue a PD calculation but you and the carrier will have to negotiate the value of medical. Total settlement value of Both is unknown.
The fact that your old fractures didn't cause ongoing problems may not be relevant to the AME apportionment opinion.

You can change attys at any time; there will be a single fee shared between them.
........Each state has their own comp system; POST YOUR STATE to get accurate information.........
 
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#6
Thanks so much for your quick response, it is greatly appreciated. I understand what you said about the apportionment, however would my personal Dr.'s readings of my Xrays and my AME requested MRI be enough to contest the AME' s apportionment?

Also how long does the consultative rating process take? Any ballpark time frame before we receive the report?

I have been without benefits for almost 3 months now, should my PD benefits have started already? Will I receive retro pay benefits for PD starting from the week my TD benefits ended? Im behind on bills and barely staying afloat, many of my bills required a large payment, something i wont be able to do if i only being paid 230$ a week.
(10-03-2017, 05:39 PM)1171 Wrote: I'm assuming your claim is California law; my comments do not apply to any other state.

You have permanent disability.
You are entitled to limited time disability payments and future treatment.
Whether the carrier is willing to buy out your claim for a lump sum depends on the negotiated price.
You can contest the apportionment with evidence that contradicts the findings the AME used to support their opinion. The AME has X-ray evidence. Whether your arguments will be more persuasive then that is up to the judge but doubtful.
You'll Likely need evidence that the X-rays were read incorrectly or that they are not yours.
Co- employees statements will help you substantiate a safety complaint to cal osha but not add to your comp benefits.
The DEU will issue a PD calculation but you and the carrier will have to negotiate the value of medical. Total settlement value of Both is unknown.
The fact that your old fractures didn't cause ongoing problems may not be relevant to the AME apportionment opinion.

You can change attys at any time; ther will be a single fee shared between them.
 
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#7
Contesting it takes very little; but persuading the judge to throw out the apportionment takes a lot more. The AME is given great credibility by the court- that's the whole point of using them but any one can make a mistake. You have to prove they did. It can,t just be a difference of opinion -- has to be erroneous facts.
Generally the AME is depositioned to see if they would correct their opinion if there was other information. This helps the atty to decide whether to chance a trial or how strong to negotiate a buyout.
I don't know what the workloads are at the DEU but I'd guess 60-90 days from when they got the report.
Since you are not working they should have made some kind of payment up to the minimum not in dispute. You can request a penalty.
........Each state has their own comp system; POST YOUR STATE to get accurate information.........
 
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#8
Will the AME's apportionment have an effect on my settlement if any is offered now at all? Am I correct In assuming that if a 20% WPI was given and 50% of it is being deemed not at the fault of my employer or my injury on 2/7/17, this will drastically effect my case?

(10-03-2017, 06:13 PM)1171 Wrote: Contesting it takes very little; but persuading the judge to throw out the apportionment takes a lot more. The AME is given great credibility by the court- that's the whole point of using them but any one can make a mistake. You have to prove they did. It can,t just be a difference of opinion -- has to be erroneous facts.
Generally the AME is depositioned to see if they would correct their opinion if there was other information. This helps the atty to decide whether to chance a trial or how strong to negotiate a buyout.
I don't know what the workloads are at the DEU but I'd guess 60-90 days from when they got the report.
Since you are not working they should have made some kind of payment up to the minimum not in dispute. You can request a penalty.
 
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#9
It reduces the WPI to 10% for the disability part of the C&R amount. They will offer something; They won't go to trial unless there is an impasse. The medical portion is unaffected and not apportionable.
........Each state has their own comp system; POST YOUR STATE to get accurate information.........
 
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#10
I am posting pictures of my AME report and after MRI findings from my AME Dr.
I have been left to wonder if WC Dr's or even WC system as a whole is giving these blanket apportionment to back injury sufferers with a history of high school football. I even very vi vividly remember the deposing attorney jumping on my admission that I had played football in High School, and she asked very pointed questions regarding that when before the questions were very vague and general. Based on the reading of my reports im left to believe that my settlement could be reduced on my injury by a phantom pre existing condition that Dr's are blaming on High School football. In your research is this common? Im especially concerned with the last paragraph i photographed. It suggests that one o my injuries was not ratable, a T-11 wedging deformity. The Dr seems to suggest that the injury could not have occured or been caused by my work injury because the pain woulf have been high and my disabilty great (which was the case on 2/7/17 but not as much on 8/25/17 when the MRI was taken, or even on 7/23/17 when my AME was given. "It is more likely the compression deformity (fracture) occurs in High School football. I have seen cases where injured athletesvcould work through an injury such as this, although typically they would not forget it."

Two questions on that statement:

1) does that mean I have a compression fracture that will not be considered in this settlement, and if so is it possible to make a case that if a high school athlete could have sustained a similar injury and been able to work through it isn't it posing and even more likely that a grown man working to support his family could be equally as determined to work through the pain?

2) Can I sue my parents for forcing me into football as a child when any future injuries I receive or sustain can be partially blamed on my participation in a sport almost twenty years prior? (Sorry just slightly bitter and hoping I have a valid argument)

(10-03-2017, 06:44 PM)1171 Wrote: It reduces the WPI to 10% for the disability part of the C&R amount. They will offer something; They won't go to trial unless there is an impasse. The medical portion is unaffected and not apportionable.
 
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