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Workman's comp help....Settlement??

Helen, GA |

I have been on workman's comp for almost 2 yrs now. I fell at work and ruptured 2 discs in my low back which has caused awful radiating leg pain and numbness & I can't walk or sit long. My treating WC doctor says that I am not a candidate for surgery bc I have severe arthritis and narrowing of the spinal canal and this would worsen the pain. I am a 32 year old female and did not know I had the arthritis until the MRI results for this injury showed my other spine issues. The doctor says I will never go back to doing the physical labor work prior to my injury because of the injury which also aggravated the arthritis. I hate being under workman's comp. I want to see my own drs. I was told that I can settle. What is a good settlement? The lawyer I spoke with wouldn't say an amt?? Why??

Attorney Answers 9

Posted

There is actually no way to determine a proper value of your case based on the information you provided. For example, we do not know how much you received each week in workers' compensation benefits or anything about your permanent disability rating, which are both important factors in determining the value of a case. You attorney may not have all of the information that he needs in order to properly assess your case. I am sure you will know everything you need prior to the case being settled. Good luck.

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Posted

I am sorry to hear your situation. I understand that workers' compensation can be frustrating. As far as "what is a good settlement," there is no set answer. A good settlement, for you, is what ever you are comfortable with accepting. A workers' compensation lawyer, like myself, could look at your claim and assess the appropriate value. Good luck.

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Posted

It is likely the lawyer you spoke to would not say an amount because he has not reviewed the medical records and therefore cannot assess the possibility that your case might be catastrophic. There can be a big difference between the value of a catastrophic case versus non-catastrophic case. I am assuming this is a lawyer you just talked to and did not sign an attorney fee contract with. You should talk to an attorney that specializes in GA workers' comp.

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Posted

I would have been skeptical if any lawyer would give you a specific value of your case based upon this limited information that you provided in your question. It is necessary to review all of your medical records, and perhaps get the opinion of another doctor (which you are entitled to), before beginning to assess the case for settlement. It definitely sounds like you need a good lawyer to help you through this process. There are several outstanding workers' compensation attorneys who respond to questions on this website. I would strongly recommend that you speak with one or more of them, and hire one of them to represent you on your case. Good luck!

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Posted

There are many factors which determine the settlement value of a workers' compensation. No two similar injuries are the same. Factors to be considered are your average weekly wage, whether your disability or restrictions are permanent and to what extent, your disability rating and what your future medical treatment will entail. Without all of that information it will be difficult to get an estimate of the true value of your claim.

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Posted

You really need to see an experienced Workers' Comp Attorney to discuss your options. We need more information to give you an informed opinion. You may have the option of using your 1 time IME (Independent Medical Exam). You may be able to use your one change on the panel and see another doctor and then see an Orthopedic Surgeon. I would purse these options before you settled your claim. Good luck.

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2 comments

Asker

Posted

I was referred to a neurosurgeon from my WC doctor. THe neurosurgeon and WC dr and pain management dr all agree that surgery is too risky and that I won't be able to return to the prior work that I was doing. The neurosurgeon said I would never do that type of physical job ever again. Can I still get another doctor??

Vernon L. Chambless

Vernon L. Chambless

Posted

Your lawyer would need to review your medical records. If you have not used your one change to another doctor on the panel you may be able to do that and then be referred to an another back specialist. I would get a second opinion before I settled my claim.

Posted

I am not a Ga. atty so I would be able to give you a value even if all the facts were there. The best settlements come from experienced attys that deal with the ins carriers on regular basis. I suggest you consider one of the specialists here or use the find a lawyer section to locate someone that does primarily or only workers compensation in your area.
I will tell you that the insurance carriers always want to settle, and especially if they can get what they consider a good settlement for them. In my state they did a study that showed that the ins carries paid, on average, 60% more in total benefits in those cases in which someone had an attorney. I believe this is because the atty knows what you are entitled to, and how to make sure those benefits are paid when they are denied. The same is true for settlement.

If this information has been helpful, please indicate by providing feedback that the answer was either "helpful" or "best answer" as appropriate. Legal Disclaimer: Mr. Connell is a Colorado attorney licensed in only that state. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question.

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Posted

No responsible lawyer can give you a number without taking a thorough look at your case. It would simply be irresponsible. We can sometimes "ballpark" estimates but given information over the phone, that's just not enough information. You should consult, and hire, an attorney to fully evaluate your case and negotiate your settlement. Good luck!

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Posted

Without a proper review of all of your information including but not limited to medical records, no one here on this site can put a proper value on your case. You need to go and sit down with an attorney for a complete review of the matter.

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