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Need advice IN Pennsylvania
I will try and make this as brief as possible. D.O.I. Aug. 05, First Surgery 1-06, Second Surgery 11-06 all surgeries were ulnar nerve transpositions. Both failed. Surgeon is a panel doctor for WC. I had 4 EMGs all confirming ulnar denervation. Left arm weakness, color changes, temp changes, off the chart burning pain. DX. by pain MD with RSD. Sent for 4 IME's all with the same hand surgeon. Now the problem I need advice with. I have had several court appearances My attorneys took a deposition from the surgeon who took my arm apart twice and put it back together, he has treated me right along, he is a very well respected Dr. in NE Pa. I trust and admire him. Keep in mind he is a wc panel Dr. I have never treated outside of the WC MDs not even with my PCP. I am a nurse a figured if anyone wants me put back together and functioning it would be the WC doctors. In his deposition he confirms that for all intent and purposes I have lost the use of my arm. and have developed a worsening of a pre-injury carpal tunnel condition due to overuse. So after this deposition, the attys for my employers insurance company send me yet again for an IME with the same hand surgeon to determine if I did indeed lose the use of my arm for all intents and purposes.
Now from what I am told by my attorney, is that they want to settle, I agreed to a figure that is far less than the specific loss amount would be. Pressured by my attorney because he now tells me that the judge is going to accept the IME's determination over the surgeons determination. "[AND HE DOESN'T EVEN HAVE THAT REPORT BACK".[/b][/color][/size][/font] So I told my attorney I am not signing a C & R on tuesday before the judge if I don't even know what the IME report is saying. I smell a rat! any advice would be greatly appreciated. It is to my understanding that I can withdraw my acceptance at any time is that correct. thanks in advance for all your thoughts
PS the surgeon who performed the surgeries and the surgeon who performed the IME's are both panel doctors for WC but they are 2 different doctors
If You've not Signed anything Yet, You should be O.K.! I'm from Pa., and Mr. Belt who comes on this Site at Times is an Attorney that Deals in w/c in Pa., so He May See Your Post and Answer also! I can't Understand Either that if this Same Dr. that is doing Your IME has said in the Past that You have Severe Issues, and has been the Surgeon for You, would Cause Your Attorney to Rush for a Settlement Less than what Your Case is Worth! I Hope I got what You've Written about Your Dr., usually they don't Send You back to the Treating Dr. for an IME, they Send You to a Dr. to Review what the Original Dr. has done. So I may be a bit Confused on that Issue, but it does Seem to Me that Rushing to Settlement this Quickly could cause You to Leave some Money on the Table, and I'm Concerned about Your Future Medical Care, how is that to be Handled? I think Personally Your Attorney is Moving too quickly to Settlement, Pa. w/c is no Picnic, but the One thing We have in Our Favor as Injured Workers is the Ability to Negotiate Our Settlements! My Opinion Only, You need to Slow things Down until You are Satisfied and Thoroughly Understand what Your Attorney is Expecting You to do or Sign!! Err On Caution, and be Sure of Your Attorney's Motives!!Wink
I was also told by my attorney that workers comp never, ever pays attorneys fees for the injured worker. And that open medical is virtually unheard of. I didn't mention that the IC, and my attorneys were ready to hang me out to dry when the IC mistakenly video taped my best friend who looks very much like me. She bought my car as I can't drive, the PI followed her to her house and video taped her putting her grandsons playhouse together. They called me in to review this damaging evidence told me they couldn't represent me anymore and that the IC was pressing full charges. Then he puts this tape in and my husband jumped up, I started crying and shaking. All He said you mean to tell me this isn't you in this tape. He sounded almost dissappointed it wasn't me. I had to produce side by side pictures of my friend and I and the Bill Of Sale for my car. I actually did their job for them. Something is not right with this picture, I am just wondering is it to late in the game to fire them?
It's not too Late to Change Attorney's, but it May be Tough to find One at this Late of a Date in Your Case. Another Problem is that the 2 Attorney's may have to Split the Fee, so it May be Tough to Find an Attorney to Work for 10%. My Opinion Only, You May want to Speak to a Partner in the Law Firm You have, and See if You can Switch Attorney's and stay with the Same Firm. You seem to have a Lot of things Going Wrong in Your Case, and Open Medical is done Everyday, and ask Your Attorney to Explain what happens when there is an "Unreasonable Contest"!! That will Shake Him Up, because in such a Situation if the Judge Agrees, the Defense has to Pay Fees from a Quantum Statement given to the Court by the Claimants Attorney, and You get back All of the Fees You've Paid! I'm Sure this doesn't Pertain to Your Case, but I just Won a Portion of My Case as being "Unreasonable" and it has been Sent back to the Judge for Correction by the Appeals Division. The Winning Party also Bills the Losing Party for any Depositions, Costs etc. that have been Accrued, and You should only be Paying 20% of any Monies Your Attorney has Won for You! You should have signed a "Contingency Agreement", try and Find that Document, it thoroughly explains what You are to Pay! I Hope this Helps, and Have a Great Day!!Wink
To answer your questions, you never have to settle your case in PA. A compromise and release agreement is not binding until the judge issues a decision approving the agreement. This is true even if you have already signed the agreement and had the hearing. Settlement value depends on many factors, and if your claim is now a specific loss claim, the lump sum value would be substantially less then the total number of weeks for the specific loss. This is true because of the time value of money (you get the money in a lump sum rather than biweekly installments) and the fact that there may be a credit for compensation paid from the date that your injury became a specific loss through the present.

You can always change lawyers in PA, but a fee split may be necessary. An award of unreasonable contest attorney’s fees is possible in PA, but it is rare.

If you are not comfortable with your lawyer and his advice, this is a problem. Since I am a lawyer in NE PA I probably know the lawyers and doctors involved. I am not a big fan of poaching other lawyer’s clients, but I would be willing to talk to you and maybe there is another lawyer at your current firm that would be able to take another look at your file.
Again our white knight rides to the rescue...Thanks Tim
........I love cats, I just cant eat a whole one by myself......

Hi Burns54, Welcome to the forum! So sorry we all have to meet like this!!!

do not accept anything lower than what you believe is acceptable, (do the simple math calculations for the remainder of your life)....even if your lawyer is pushing you to do so.
As far as I know, the Ulnar nerve controls the entire function of the arm. A friend of mine went through the very same thing 30+ years ago. The dying off of that nerve takes quite a length of time...and is de habilitatingly painful! Then comes the atrophy of the entire arm, because of the loss of function. Then, since the muscle mass is gone...this makes your arm more susceptible to bone breakage.

You need to take this all into consideration, as far as dollar amount for settlement IF you decide to take it. Please do all your homework to cover your butt for your future. This could be many , many years, depending on your age....as finding one arm jobs is a difficult challenge, and may not be successful at all. Timothy Belt can certainly advise you of your best options...as he watches over us IW's!

Good luck and prayers for you Burns, LillyWink
Injured worker, & tired of it all! I'm too old for games!!

A careless word may kindle strife, a cruel word may wreck a life, a timely word may level stress, and a loving word may heal and bless!
Big Grin 
thank you Limbo, Tim, Jayne and Lilly for your support. I will be doing some more research on my pending doom lol. thanks again and God Bless you all. I will keep you all abreast of any new developements.
Your Welcome Burns! If I didn't Have an Attorney I Trusted, You can Bet Your Hat Mr. Belt would be Mine, He seems very Compassionate and Well Versed, and I believe He Fights Like He** for His Clients!!Smile

Tim, I don't want to Say too Much about My Case, but I Won 11 1/2 out of 12 Petitions, and the Appeal was for Unreasonable Contest, and AWW Amounts. The Appeals Board Affirmed all of the Judges Rulings, but Remanded Back to Her because a Large Portion of My Case was deemed Unreasonable by the Appeals Panel. So the Judge now has to Figure what Portion of the 2 1/2 Year long Case dealt Directly with the Unreasonable Portion! I don't know how They are going to do this, but I did Actually Win a "Partial Unreasonable Contest". I'm in South West Pa., let Me know if You would Like to know More about it, PM Me and I would be Happy to Give You My Case Number!Wink
jayne: you don't know tim is white. if you don't behave the Obama will get you.
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.

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