Skip to main content
Gerald Gregory Lutkenhaus
Avvo
Pro

Gerald Lutkenhaus’s Answers

2,256 total


  • Workers comp doctor's report says that I'm not at MMI but will be by Sept. 1 and can resume full duties. How do I dispute this?

    I worked as an aide in a day care center. I tore a tendon in my foot/ankle. I had surgery a year ago on 8/25. I still have a great deal of pain and swelling if I'm on my feet for any long period of time. The only jobs that I've had in the past...

    Gerald’s Answer

    Mr. O'Donnell has given you excellent advice. I would only add you need a contrary medical opinion. However, your current doctor is probably considered the "treating doctor" under Virginia WC rules. This means his/her opinion on your ability to work will be hard to overcome. You need to seek the opinion of an experienced WC lawyer immediately. Sometimes, one can prevail on the treating doctor to order a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE). This FCE by a disability examiner can show you have standing work restrictions.

    See question 
  • WC panel Dr will accept me as long as IC agrees to "billed charges" Is this legal of the Dr?

    I have been presented with a medical panel. One of the doctors will accept me as long as there is an agreement between the doctor and IC that the IC accept billed charges. I was told that a Dr can not do this as claim is WC. If a panel is diff...

    Gerald’s Answer

    You need to talk to a Tennessee WC lawyer. I know Bill Cremins in Knoxville is an experienced WC lawyer. You can also use the AVVO Lawyer find tool.

    See question 
  • Settlement for neck fusion surgery have not lost wages because am paid salary

    I am approx 18 months out from injury have saw many Dr's. Finally had enhanced mri with dye, Dr states surgery now. Have never had a major injury feel if they would have taken action sooner wouldn't be having surgery have had two wrk comp represen...

    Gerald’s Answer

    You have a claim. You have lost no wages. You work for an "amazing company" so you want to stay working for this company. You need to explore all your options with the HR Director and an experienced WC lawyer. You may not want to settle. You may want to stay employed if possible with this company. A successful neck fusion should allow you to do this. Neck fusions are often more successful than back fusions in my experience.

    See question 
  • How can they do this?

    I was injured at work. I reported it and was told I had to see one of their doctors. It wasn't until the following Tuesday I was told they had scheduled me an appointment, but also, their insurance had denied my claim, I went to a doctor and wa...

    Gerald’s Answer

    In Virginia it is not unusual for the insurer to send you to a doctor and then later deny the claim. If your claim has been denied, then as Mr. Sweeny says (1) you file a claim for lost time and medical coverage with the Virgina Workers Compensation Commission; (2) you will need a report from a doctor documenting your injury, that it occurred at work and that it resulted in disability; (3) you can use the form provided by the Commission called the Attending Physician Report; and (4) since the claim has been denied you can to any doctor under your health insurance or you can self-pay.

    You need to consult with an experienced Virginia workers' compensation lawyer. Use the Lawyer Find tool here at AVVO to find the best lawyers for this problem.

    See question 
  • Is there a way to change the amount I was awarded in disability with a disability lawyer?

    I was born with a progressive (EDMD) emery Dreyfus muscular dystrophy. At the Time I was awarded disability I was 22 and had worked small jobs so was only awarded around six hundred a month. Now I'm 33 and have learned that a person that is bo...

    Gerald’s Answer

    An adult disabled before age 22 may be eligible for child's benefits if a parent is deceased or starts receiving retirement or disability benefits. We consider this a "child's" benefit because it is paid on a parent's Social Security earnings record.

    The "adult child"—including an adopted child, or, in some cases, a stepchild, grandchild, or step grandchild—must be unmarried, age 18 or older, and have a disability that started before age 22.

    The above is the Rule. Thus, you can only collect disabled child benefits if you were disabled before age 22 AND your parent is deceased or receiving SS retirement or disability benefits. Even though your mother makes $100,000 you don't draw from her benefits if she is not receiving any SS.

    See question 
  • Any legal recourse with my medical provider as they made me wait a significant amount of time before treatment I needed?

    Kaiser Permanente is my provider, I have been suffering with stomach pains and went to primary care Dr and followed all Dr recommendations. As symptoms got worse I needed referrals, which took 2-3 days for them to respond to. I kept calling statin...

    Gerald’s Answer

    If this is a Virginia Workers' Compensation claim, then you can contact the Virginia Workers' Commission but if you have your medical procedure scheduled for mid-August I don't know if the Commission can make something happen any further. I don't see any claim for damages.

    See question 
  • Does my attorney have to appeal my workers' comp case?

    I lost my workers' comp hearing and yelled at my lawyer because I was upset. Now he won't appeal my case to all three commissioners because of our argument. Doesn't he have to?

    Gerald’s Answer

    Mr. Sweeny is correct. In Virginia you have 30'days from the date of the Deputy Commissioner decision to ask for a Review of that decision by the Three Commissioners. Your attorney has no obligation to represent you further. You are free to have the decision reviewed by another attorney. It can be very difficult to overturn a Deputy Commissoner decision especially if the Deputy Commissioner made a "credibility" decision against you.

    See question 
  • Looking for a local SSDI attorney

    Have already been denied once, appeal has been done. Commonwealth of Virginia has declared me legally 100% disabled.

    Gerald’s Answer

    There are a number of Social Security Disability attorneys in your area. You can use the AVVO attorney finder or your can use other sources. Even though the Commonwealth says you are disabled that is not necessarily binding on Social Security. All that Social Security has to do is give some deference to a finding of disability by other agencies. I am located in the Richmond area if that is convenient for you.

    See question 
  • Was this right?

    My workers' comp lawyer did not front the cost and pay for a questionnaire from my treating physician because he was worried it would not be supportive. I didn't have the money for it. Should I file a grievance?

    Gerald’s Answer

    The standard attorney fee agreement requires the client to pay costs. Your attorney could choose to "advance" costs but unless your contract says different he/she is not required to do so. You indicate your attorney refused to advance costs in your case because the attorney did not feel the doctor would be "supportive" in your case. The attorney is not required to take this gamble. If the attorney gave you the opportunity and you refused then that is your choice.

    See question 
  • I got hurt on the job 10 weeks ago and workers comp has not processed my claim yet and i'm not working

    every time I call the adjuster says she has not got to it yet. I have been out of work for 10 weeks with out pay. what should I do?

    Gerald’s Answer

    The key is has a doctor taken you out of work. If the doctor has you on light duty, you may need to do a light duty job search. Contact an experienced workers compensation lawyer for further advice. As others have said, file a claim with the Commission with your medical records "taking you out of work for this injury" immediately.

    See question