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Gerald Gregory Lutkenhaus
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Gerald Lutkenhaus’s Answers

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  • I live and work in Delaware. I was injured on the job and have been collecting Workmen's comp for about 9 months.

    The accident was very bad and I have had two surgeries and may need a third. My employer sent me a letter last week terminating my employment. Being on Workmen's comp is approximently $1,800.00 less a month then my net pay was. The insurance compa...

    Gerald’s Answer

    In Virginia if you are not able and willing to work you cannot file for unemployment compensation. I would think the rule would be the same in your state. You may want to check with a WC lawyer in your state to make sure you are being paid the correct rate.

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  • Am I entitled to more than lost wages and medical expenses due to faulty work equipment causing me a possible permanent injury ?

    I fell off my truck at work because the door sticks and the foot board is damaged. I hit the back of my head on the asphalt and was knocked unconscious and now have protruding discs in my neck due to the accident. This injury occurred 7 days ago a...

    Gerald’s Answer

    You probably are restricted to only getting lost wages and medical expenses through Workers Compensation insurance. If the problem with the truck is due to the fact it is old or due to poor maintenance then that is the fault of the employer and not the manufacturer of the truck. However, if the truck is new, then perhaps you have a claim. But you did indicate the floor board was damaged. That again sounds like poor maintenance.

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  • Two separate checks or one?

    I have two worker's comp claims open and I'm only receiving check for one. Do I get paid for both or do they merge into one case?

    Gerald’s Answer

    If this is temporary total disability (lost time compensation), then you are probably restricted to payment of only one. If both injuries are with the same employer then this would be most likely the case. However, you may want an award for both. Contact a Virginia WC lawyer.

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  • Workers Comp Attorney Fees

    I was injured on my job in 1996. I settled my Workers Comp case about 7 years ago and just recently received a letter from Social Security requesting information on my settlement. I suspect they are claiming overpayment in disability benefits. ...

    Gerald’s Answer

    If you settled your workers compensation case, there can be a problem if there is an overlap of WC payments and SS payments. For most people SS payments are reduced when you receive WC payments. If you settled the WC claim for a lump sum back in 2008 that does not necessarily end your problem. Unless the lump sum WC settlement was pro-rated over your lifetime, the SSA will project your lump sum settlement as weekly payments based on the weekly compensation payment you were receiving at that time of the settlement. You can always contact the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission for a copy of the settlement order. That number is 1-877-664-2566. Of course, if you were receiving SS Disability prior to 2008 then you may have a problem if SSA was unaware of your WC payments. After 2008, you may be all right if the correct proration language was inserted in the settlement order. Hopefully, there will not be an overpayment of SS disability benefits.

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  • Does my work comp carrier have the right to attend my physician appointments?

    The insurance adjuster assigned an RN Case Manager to my case, the RN wants to attend my doctor's appointments with me, she stated to be my "patient advocate". I am in the health care field and my wife is an RN, I do not need a "patient advocate"...

    Gerald’s Answer

    I would only add in Virginia it depends upon the doctor. As a practical matter the doctor wants his bills paid. So, if he or she can get the Nurse Case Manager (NCM) on board with his/her course of treatment then the doctor may feel things will go more smoothly. The dangerous area is that some doctors allow the NCM to medically manage the case. By and large most doctors in Virginia will talk to the NCM. Also, the doctors do not like to do things twice. So, when they explain the plan of treatment they will probably bring in the NCM to explain the plan so that they can get the treatment authorized (whether it is therapy, MRI's, an operation, etc.). Beware of the NCM who wants your doctor to refer you to the NCM's favorite doctor. You need to consult as Virginia WC Claimant's lawyer to know your rights.

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  • Do I have to talk to the Insurance carriers attorney if they call me.

    I have a work comp hearing and the adjuster told me their attorney would contact me. I do not have legal representation yet, do I have to talk to them?

    Gerald’s Answer

    Their attorney wishes to talk to you to find out what your testimony will be at the hearing. You do not have to talk to the insurance company attorney unless he takes your deposition under oath. You need to discuss your case with a Virginia WC Claimant's attorney as quickly as possible.

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  • Can someone get widows benefits and retirement Social Security at the Same time. Will one or both be reduced?

    My mom is currently receiving approx $1400 a month in widows benefits (She has been drawing it for about two years). She is due to reach the full retirement age of 66 in two years. Can she draw both the widows benefits and social security at the s...

    Gerald’s Answer

    She can draw whichever benefit is higher but she cannot draw both. I hope this answers your inquiry.

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  • I have a hearing date scheduled for September, 2015 should I have legal representation for this hearing?

    Complex Worker's Comp case involving a communicable disease.

    Gerald’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    If you have a hearing set this means your claim has been denied by the insurance company. You have to "prove" by medical evidence that this "exposure" occurred at work and "caused" your disease. "Other causes" must be ruled out by your doctor. At a minimum you need to have your evidence and their evidence reviewed by an experienced WC lawyer.

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  • Can I suing my Employer Insurance co for tortious action involving the carrier for giving me the wrong medical care long story !

    First treatment was ER then PT after that I had a referral to a Orthopedic by the Insurance Carrier and a long treatment there without getting better then the treating doctor there quit after contacting the Insurance carrier by phone and E mail be...

    Gerald’s Answer

    Virginia WC law works as follows. You have an injury. You go to an ER or Patient First. Then that provider refers you to a specialist. If you accept this referral that doctor becomes your treating doctor who is supposed to manage your medical care. You indicate that specialist left. At that point the insurer is supposed to provide a panel of three (3) doctors so you can choose a new specialist, but sometimes the insurer refuses to do this. Your remedy is to take it to the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission for relief.

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  • Work injury that left me disable wrong medical treatment from doctor and worker comp and employer insurance carrier

    nerve damage to my leg which if treated right wouldn't have been disable Can I suing the workers comp insurance company and the doctor forcing me to go there and I had the wrong medical treating for over a year

    Gerald’s Answer

    I agree with my colleagues. (1) You can bring a medical malpractice claim against the doctor if you can prove he caused you harm. (2) The workers compensation insurance company is responsible for any worsening of your accident caused injury due to the erroneous medical treatment. You can consult a medical malpractice lawyer but as a practical matter your claim will not be considered unless there is clear evidence of negligence and you have suffered more than $100,000.00 in damages.

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