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Workers Compensation settlement offer

Fort Myers, FL |

My husband suffered a back injury on July 23, 2012. He has a permanent partial impairment. The treating physician said he wouldn't release him to do anything but a desk job and gave him his MMI of 7% on December 14, 2012, he wasn't even finished with his physical therapy, the therapist said he needs more, his functional capacity evaluation is not until January 24th. The company he worked for does not have a desk job. The insurance company called a week ago and offered a settlement of $32,000.00 and sign off on all future benefits. Is this a fair settlement amount? What are his other options? Is it wise to negotiate with the insurance company?

Attorney Answers 6

Posted

Why is it always the wives on here for the husbands? Tell Bubba to hire a FL Workers' Compensation Attorney, who can look at the medical reports and actually render a competent opinion. There is no way that we can tell you what his case it worth without seeing the reports and working the numbers.
If they do not have lighter work they probably want him to resign in conjunction with settlement, so that is a side consideration if he has union benefits or retirement at risk.

We offer general concepts, but you should give ALL your facts to a licensed Attorney in your state before you RELY upon any legal advice.

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Posted

There are far too many case-specific considerations that go into determining whether an offer to settle is fair or reasonable than a forum like this would allow to be discussed adequately. Please make sure that your husband does not accept ANY offer to settle until he can sit down with an experienced w/c attorney and discuss the entire situation in detail and in confidence. If you need the names of some qualified attorneys in the Ft. Myers area who will talk to him for free, please e-mail me at kbs@flalaw.com.

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Asker

Posted

Thank you for your offer to help with finding a qualified attorney.

Posted

If it is the first offer from the insurance company, then odds are strong that it is not a fair offer. But your husband probably does not know enough about workers' comp to successfully negotiate a better settlement. He may be best served by not talking to the insurance carrier again until he gets some legal advice from a competent workers' compensation lawyer.

This answer is intended as general information and not as specific legal advice. If you want to have a free consultation with me, please contact me through AVVO.

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Michael Daniel McGrath

Michael Daniel McGrath

Posted

Florida Statute 440 limits the contingency fee a lawyer may charge in a workers' compensation claim to roughly 10% on settlements. For this amount of fees, you are doing yourself a disservice by not seeking competent legal advice from a Florida WC Attorney.

Posted

Before anyone signs any release of future benefits, explain the whole situation to a local workers comp lawyer during a free consult. Your husband's decision can have huge consequences, so he needs to know his legal rights and where he stands. That can't be done here on the forum.

If you need a referral for a top local workers comp lawyer, then contact me (just click on my profile for email, phone, etc.).

DISCLAIMER: We do not have an attorney-client relationship. Only those persons who have a signed written fee agreement and authority to represent with me is an actual client. This response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than my educated opinion or viewpoint. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. I recommend you consult a lawyer if you want professional assurance that this information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation. Do not act on any information in this response without seeking legal advice from an attorney in your area.

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Posted

The offer made by the insurance company is more than likely low. The adjuster has a certain amount of authority and they are testing to see if you take it. What if your husband needs more medical care? If he settles, then he will be responsible for paying for future treatment. The company is not required to take him back at work. They will probably fill his position with someone who can do full duty. You should speak to an experienced workers comp lawyer about what to do. The insurance company wants a closed file and to quit paying benefits and doctors who treat your husband.

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Posted

I hate answering a question with a question but how can they issue a disability rating before your husband has completed medical care? Illinois just adopted the AMA impairment system and it clearly states a PPI rating cannot be done until the employee has completed medical care. Anyway, I strongly agree with the other answer. The insurance company is hoping you are in need of money and will take their offer. Don't do it. Talk to attorney that concentrates in WC, at least 50% of their cases, so you can be confident you are getting good advice. Try to get as many of your medical records as possible before the meeting so the attorney can offer some specific advice.

One additional matter. In Illinois when a client gets a settlement offer in writing before hiring attorney, the attorney can only charge fee on additional money the attorney wins. You should ask if your state has the same rule.

Good luck!

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