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Settlements what to look for/expect - my brain fried
#1
Brand new to this forum - in GEORGIA- inj shoulder 2007 torn tendon - spring 2008 taken off work and had surgery to detach internal tendon r shoulder - fall 2008 shoulder had encapsulated and had to be broken loose, several times dr said lt duty return - employer could not accommodate so still out of work- all pt & dr stopped spring 2009 - shoulder hurts all the time - interferes w/sleep, cannot lift over 6 lbs w/r arm and cannot do anything functional overhead, arm tires very quickly even at waist height becomes painful if use too much also seems to trigger neck spasms and back by shoulder pain if use too much or sleep wrong. various amounts of numbness in r hand but after 2 emg's no reason for, had 2 cerv neck fusion previously while working same employer- not job related - but this could be aggravating - now have new disc bulge but no one saying result of compensation for shoulder not working properly - spoke to attorney - w/o dr agreeing or stating due to shoulder no avenue of relief. Still have not had an FCE - pt and dr kept mentioninf since summer/fall 2008 - but none - extremely depressed - they sent for psych eval but apparently eval very negative to me - have not seen - probably totally crazy now - what with not sleeping, pain and frustration - just know I cry ALOT!! Employers wants to settle - know I will not be able to make what was - can't collect soc sec for at least 6-7 yrs - granted a 15% ppd of upper extremity but the ortho surg that gave that also said perm restrictions from heavy lifting or repetitive overhead liftings and then he said I saw a psych and felt was fine and improving and didn't think I needed folowup psych wise - That I never said Do not even know what I should consider for settlement - atty seems to feel I should take settlement or they might find a way to bring me back and fire me - but don't want to be left hanging - only use lidoderm patches - can't take most pain meds and they at least take the edge off so I can sleep some. What should I expect in a settlement - will have lost job I intended to keep until retirement, which included ins and rx(am an acute chronic asthmatic and meds are couple of hundred a month), dental, 15-20% discount off items bought(retail store), mid 30-40's k for at least 6-7 more years of employment. Now looking at finding a job w/restrictions when unemployment at highest, cost of patches approx 300/mo, future possible problems w/shoulder etc? I was already receiving weekly amt when engaged atty so his cut is not going to represent alot of $ - think I trust him but he is an atty(and yes I used to work for attys in past and know they cant always be fully trusted) should the differential I would (I think) receive for a lower paying job for those 6-7 years be factored into the settlement - dont want to be greedy but dont want to give away the farm either- not sure I trust my instincts anymore so looking for advice for reasonable expectations you may know something that I should consider or at the least maybe I wont get so blindsided by the negativity talking to employer and attorney that I cant function or comprehend. Thanks sorry for rambling and being so wordy for injuries trivial to so many but life-altering for me
Nobody said life was fair and when it hands you lemons make margaritas
 
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#2
Every case is different and I did not have a lawyer. I had recurring carpal tunnel and my doctor that did my IME took over a hour 1/2 and used every instrument that the AME guideline book called for and ended up giving me a 32% upper extremity loss. I ended up having to give up my career as I was a phlebotomist and could no longer hold a needle anymore as I loss the use of my dominant hand.

The IC of course did not like the percentage of the IME of my OCC. med. doc. and sent me to their own IME doctor and he of course saw me all but 10 mins. and gave me a 10% loss only because I had a EMG that showed I had a result that stated I had " mild " carpal tunnel again. If it was not for that result I feel it would of been lower. He also stopped payments of all my medications because he felt I should not be on ANY narcotics for my pain or any anti-depressants because he feels I must of been depressed before the injury..LOL. I could not of had a happier life before my injury.

I ended up going to my hearing and getting $7,500.00 as an award and a lifetime of medical. That is tidly for my loss of my career but had I hired a lawyer maybe things would of been different. I just feel I waited to long into my case to go and hire one at the last min. Maybe, maybe not. I did end up finding a job within my restrictions and worked for 1 1/2 yrs. and now I got laid off 3 months ago. My arm is not any better and now my diagnosis is RSD and spreading to my other arm. At least I have my medical covered through wc and I have my personal insurance that pays for my medication through the insurance my husband picks up through work. I wish you well and hope it turns out better for you. It is so sad how we work so hard only to have our lives turned upside down in a matter of mins. I still cry and I am very depressed every day. Even more so now being laid off again. I no longer take anymore anti-depressants for fear of all the weight I gained so I stopped taking them months back.
carpal tunnel recurrence/ neuropathy / RSD.
1/29/07 injury date. Permanent. PIR settlement 8/4/08 10%
 
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#3
sparkey Wrote:Every case is different and I did not have a lawyer. I had recurring carpal tunnel and my doctor that did my IME took over a hour 1/2 and used every instrument that the AME guideline book called for and ended up giving me a 32% upper extremity loss. I ended up having to give up my career as I was a phlebotomist and could no longer hold a needle anymore as I loss the use of my dominant hand.

The IC of course did not like the percentage of the IME of my OCC. med. doc. and sent me to their own IME doctor and he of course saw me all but 10 mins. and gave me a 10% loss only because I had a EMG that showed I had a result that stated I had " mild " carpal tunnel again. If it was not for that result I feel it would of been lower. He also stopped payments of all my medications because he felt I should not be on ANY narcotics for my pain or any anti-depressants because he feels I must of been depressed before the injury..LOL. I could not of had a happier life before my injury.

I ended up going to my hearing and getting $7,500.00 as an award and a lifetime of medical. That is tidly for my loss of my career but had I hired a lawyer maybe things would of been different. I just feel I waited to long into my case to go and hire one at the last min. Maybe, maybe not. I did end up finding a job within my restrictions and worked for 1 1/2 yrs. and now I got laid off 3 months ago. My arm is not any better and now my diagnosis is RSD and spreading to my other arm. At least I have my medical covered through wc and I have my personal insurance that pays for my medication through the insurance my husband picks up through work. I wish you well and hope it turns out better for you. It is so sad how we work so hard only to have our lives turned upside down in a matter of mins. I still cry and I am very depressed every day. Even more so now being laid off again. I no longer take anymore anti-depressants for fear of all the weight I gained so I stopped taking them months back.


Sorry to sound so dumb, but I am still learning how this works. So, did you ever have surgery for your carpal tunnel? Did it work if you did? How can one Doctor give you an impairment rating and then another give you a lower rating? Are they allowed to "shop" for an impairment rating to see who will give the lowest one?
 
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#4
Trust me - not sounding dumb! I have a work history of working in medical and mental health field with managed care and this is still the most confusing, non-sensical system I have been around.

We are trying to figure out the same thing as you are - without much luck Sad

One of the most difficult concepts for me is that ( at least in AZ) an impairment rating is not the same as a disability rating.

Many states have a set schedule of settlement amounts for particular injuries, check to see if your state has one, or even check other states to see what they have determined as comparable.

While you may not be eligible for SSI for years you may be eligible for SSDI - might be worth looking into.
Wish I had more info for you.
 
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#5
Sad 
Well it all sounds as gloomy as I expected - and my doc only saw me 20-30 min and in his report said I felt not depressed and saw no reason for further psych- never said that!! Also does anyone know the differences in fed/irs taxes on the different types of settlements/awards? Saw something on another thread but can't find again and I got the impression that certain types were not taxable and others were - I think it was connected to whether it was lump sum or over time and maybe also how worded description wise - might be important long term - they've taken enough from me already- and thanks for all the great info - sometimes unrelated things trip the remaining brain cells
Nobody said life was fair and when it hands you lemons make margaritas
 
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#6
workers comp is not considered earned income and no tax
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/u...-000-.html
Smile
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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#7
I Believe You are Speaking of the "Uticka Mohawk Language" which is a System Used to Spread a Lump Sum Settlement over Your Life Expectancy to Reduce the Amount, if any, that would Lower Your Monthly SSDI Payments. But that wouldn't even have to Come into Play Unless You are on SSDI, and Settle Lump Sum! It's Pretty Confusing, so don't let it Bother You if You seem Lost, Most of Us are when Having to Deal with w/c, and Learning Your States w/c System the Best You can will Help You a lot! Best of Luck!!Wink
 
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