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I am looking for info on how to go about settling a workers comp case in Florida or even if its possible.

Sarasota, FL |

I had surgery a year ago on my elbow and on my shoulder. Right side and I am right handed. The ligaments and tendons had to be removed cleaned up and reattached. I had tears repaired and an anchor put in place on the rotator cuff. I had PT for almost a year ( 6 months before and after surgery) 3 times a week for an hour each time. After 6 months the Dr released me and i went back to work in my dept with my title. Workers comp covered the total cost of wages and the surgery. Now not even a year later I returned to the Dr, I was again in pain and concerned about my arm. MRI was done of the shoulder only a tear was found and surgery performed. I want to know if i can settle the thought of going through this again is torture. We havent even addressed the elbow yet!. Please any advice.

Attorney Answers 6

Posted

Sure. Tell the adjuster that you would like to resolve your Permanent Disability and leave your medical open (in case you reconsider).

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Posted

For specifics, you should talk to an attorney who practices workers comp in Florida. Start with those site. Also look at Florida workers comp attorney web sites. You can get a lot of info there.

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Posted

You need to talk to a Florida Workers' Compensation lawyer. Worker's Compensation laws are state specific, in other words, getting advice from a lawyer who does not know Florida Law can cost you dearly. For example, in Florida you must settle your entire claim. In the past you could settle the indemnity portion of a claim and leave the medical open. This brings up another point, Florida Workers' Compensation law is changed regularly and the date of the accident determines what version of the law applies. Florida has some of the worst laws regarding injured workers in the country. A Florida attorneys will give you a free consultation and advise you of your rights.

Actual legal advice can only be provided by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, with experience in the area of law regarding your question. The information provided is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice.

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2 comments

Asker

Posted

1/5/11 was the date of injury. While I am grateful that my job is still there for me, if I keep returning to it could continue causing damage to my shoulder and elbow. As of now I am 3 surgeries in and looking at a fourth.

Dennis Alan Palso

Dennis Alan Palso

Posted

Mr. Alston Is correct about workers' compensation laws being specific to a state, at least as to private employees and local government employees. There are federal workers' compensation laws covering longshoremen and federal government employees but for a bout everyone else, the workers' compensation laws are state specific. Therefore, you should take with a grain of salt anything you hear from lawyers who are not licensed in the state governing your workers' compensation claim. Some of the advice I have seen is not only so general so as not to be much help, but sometimes is absolutely incorrect.I come right out and tell people that if they're workers' compensation law is governed by the laws of a state other than Florida, I cannot be much help to them and recommend they contact an attorney licensed in workers' compensation in that state.

Posted

Every injured worker is different and whether or not settling makes sense largely depends on what is most important to you. Certainly if you wanted to explore settlement as an option you can do that. Settlement is a voluntary process, meaning that settlement occurs only when you and the insurance company can agree on a number and any additional terms. What insurance companies take into account in settling workers' compensation cases is very different than in other areas of law and it is important to understand that before beginning settlement negotiations. Unfortunately, there is no consideration for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of earning capacity, etc. The insurance company looks at what they could expect to spend on you if you were to keep the case open: what kind of exposure for medical and lost wages. That is why it is extremely important to consult a workers' compensation attorney, to make sure that you are getting the maximum value for your case if you do decide you want to settle, and also to make sure that you understand your options and what you are giving up. Settlement is final. Make sure you are properly advised so that you can make the best decision for yourself.

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Posted

To answer your question, yes, it is possible to settle your case at any time. Whether settling would be a good idea or not is a very complicated question that only you can answer, and you should make up your mind only after having spent some quality time discussing the details of your case with an experienced workers' comp attorney. Not only is your medical future uncertain, but you also haven't really explained what would motivate you to want to settle (as opposed to keeping the case open, in case you change your mind about wanting surgery in the future). There are a lot of factors (medical, financial, and personal) that can influence whether and when settlement would be in your best interests. Most w/c attorneys will offer you a free consultation. Please take advantage of this opportunity. If you need names of some experienced workers' comp attorneys in the Sarasota area, please let me know. I know several who would be happy to talk to you.

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Posted

Yes you are able settle a workers' compensation claim in Florida. Please be aware there are certain legal rights that are often sacrificed when you settle a workers' compensation case, without legal representation you leave yourself vulnerable to those risks. You will want to contact a workers' compensation attorney to ascertain whether settlement is right for your personal situation and to make sure that your are not short changing yourself as to your case value.

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