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Second Injury fund judge's ruling - Printable Version

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Second Injury fund judge's ruling - samepage - 11-11-2015

Hello All,

Due to a low back injury in 95' I was deemed a good candidate for the New Jersey Second Injury Fund. I was found to be 100% disabled by SS. My education did not continue past high school and I am 55 years old working mainly in the construction and building trades most of my life. After 3 back surgeries and a spinal fusion I am left with chronic back pain and diagnosed with depression as well. I can not sleep in a bed because of the pain and now have bladder issues 2-3 times a week. I have been sleeping in a living room chair about 2 hours at a time throughout the day and night. The EMI doctors placed me at 100% disabled and 25% disabled (carriers dr.) Unfortunately, I am now on my third attorney with the same NJ law firm (I guess they quit or get fired) and he came in after my second attorney filed my Second Injury Fund petition. Two weeks ago he sent me a letter stating that the judge thought that I was retrainable and recommended an offer of 50% for 4 years. I argued with my attorney and told him about my incontinence and sleep habits and he seemed totally unaware. He and one of the firms partners called me to try to get me to take the offer. My God it was like a seen out of The Rain Maker. So my questions are:

                   1. Should I ask for a trial?
                   2. Does a WC judge often over rule or rule a SS judge?
                   3. Should I accept the offer?
                   4. What are my options? 

Thank you all very much for your time and help.

Samepage Sad

RE: Second Injury fund judge's ruling - 1171 - 11-11-2015

social security has little to do with state work comp. the laws and requirements are totally different and one does not have any bearing on the other. so yes far more often a state comp judges opinion disagrees with whatever social security determines.
now that you have advanced knowledge of the judges opinion you should not want it on the record.
legal opinions and settlement values are based on the strength of the medical evidence-especially the credibility of the reporting physicians. since your attys and the judge do know the evidence you should be very careful when ignoring their professional opinion on your case and chances of prevailing.
if you want to fight on you and your attys need to develop better medical evidence. if your current attys are hesitant then you should talk to others before deciding to fight on.

RE: Second Injury fund judge's ruling - samepage - 11-11-2015

1171 thank you for your words of wisdom and especially about not ignoring their professional opinions. That being said, what has been your knowledge or understanding of the NJ WC trial process and typical out comes? Please advise.


RE: Second Injury fund judge's ruling - 1171 - 11-11-2015

there is no generalized outcome; much depends on the individuals involved: judges, attys and doctors opinion/evidence.
the legal system in general wants to avoid trials and winner-take-all situations; they would much prefer a negotiated resolution where both sides get something. the whole system incentivizes negotiations and discourages trials, appeals, and the lengthy delays and the resources they consume.