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Settlement in PA? - Printable Version

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Settlement in PA? - bandj - 09-15-2011

Short version - severed tendon in rt index finger on 8/23/10 and still off work. Had surgery to repair immediately and 6 weeks of OT while hand was in hard splint. Didn't work. Went to different surgeon and had 2nd surgery followed by more therapy. Developed a staph infection after this surgery which required a 3rd surgery to clean it out and 4 weeks with a PICC line in arm to get high dose antibiotics 3 times/day. Developed carpal tunnel and had surgery for that (4th surgery in a year) in June 2011. Dr has now released me to light duty and work claims they have a position which accommodates that. MY WC atty is telling me I don't have to go back until the Dr approves the position and if he does, then I will go to another Dr. I would like this to be over because now the employer has dropped my Health Benefits. I am still going to therapy but getting tired of it all.

What are the possible next steps - settlement, continue with weekly checks, drop it all and hope to find a new job that I can do with my limitations?

Is it worth waiting to see if I can get a settlement? I only make $9.95/hr at my job and get $300/week from WC. How much of a settlement would/could I get?

If I have to go back to work I am afraid they will do something to me that forces me to quit or find a reason to retaliate and fire me.

I do have permanent loss of use of my index finger - the top joint does not move and there is still constant radiating pain throughout my hand.



RE: Settlement in PA? - 1171 - 09-15-2011

this is the type of conversation you should be having with your atty.
only someone with advanced knowledge of the issues in your case can really offer intelligent advice.

settlement value depends on evidence of disability. no one who is not familiar with the details of your case can determine how much of a settlement will be negotiated on your claim.

if your atty cannot make time to discuss these issues with you or doesn't seem to take your wishes into consideration, you should contact a few other attys.


RE: Settlement in PA? - Timothy Belt - 09-16-2011

You pretty much listed the next possible steps. You can attempt the job and see how that goes. If you do, your wage loss will either be reduced or suspended based upon actual earnings and depending on how long you return and the steps taken by your employer, the burden of proof could change for future disability. If your doctor does not approve the job, you can refuse to attempt it. If you do this, your employer would have to file a petition and demonstrate that the job is physically appropriate. If they are successful, your wage loss would be reduced or suspended and you could be saddled with a bad faith finding which would follow you in future petitions. Furthermore, if you do not attempt the job, your employer is free to present witnesses who can claim the job could have been modified further, and you would have no way to dispute that testimony since you did not go. You could walk away and get nothing but have the matter over, or you could try to settle. Settlements are voluntary in PA and both sides have to agree on a number. If either side is unwilling to settle, or if an agreeable number can not be reached, the case does not settle.

The matter is very involved, so as 1171 said, you really need to sit down with your lawyer and go through the possible outcomes.


RE: Settlement in PA? - Timothy Belt - 09-16-2011

You pretty much listed the next possible steps. You can attempt the job and see how that goes. If you do, your wage loss will either be reduced or suspended based upon actual earnings and depending on how long you return and the steps taken by your employer, the burden of proof could change for future disability. If your doctor does not approve the job, you can refuse to attempt it. If you do this, your employer would have to file a petition and demonstrate that the job is physically appropriate. If they are successful, your wage loss would be reduced or suspended and you could be saddled with a bad faith finding which would follow you in future petitions. Furthermore, if you do not attempt the job, your employer is free to present witnesses who can claim the job could have been modified further, and you would have no way to dispute that testimony since you did not go. You could walk away and get nothing but have the matter over, or you could try to settle. Settlements are voluntary in PA and both sides have to agree on a number. If either side is unwilling to settle, or if an agreeable number can not be reached, the case does not settle.

The matter is very involved, so as 1171 said, you really need to sit down with your lawyer and go through the possible outcomes.