I was injured on the job in '89 and had 6 surgeries to my foot. It resulted in a pemanent partial disability. Last surgery resulted in a triple arthrodesis with a screw in May 1994.. I believe the screw is coming loose and may need to come out. The compensation case was resolved in 1998. Being that there was a 3rd party, NYS got 1/3, the attorney got 1/3 and I received the other 1/3. Would this be covered under worker's comp? Is there a "special fund"? How would I proceed? I am on SSDI for something unrelated and unable to work. Thanks.
There is insufficient information to determine your eligibility for compensation. Questions regarding how the underlying comp claim was resolved, your work status and whether or not you have been receiving deficiency payments should be addressed. It is recommeded that you consult with a workers compensation attorney in your area as soon as possible. Time is not necessarily on your side.
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I agree that a close evaluation of your current condition with your old Attorney (if he is alive) or a new Attorney is your best call.
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As pointed out previously, further details of your claim and how it was resolved are necessary to give a proper answer to your specific situation. However, some general principles apply and may allow you to determine your course of action. Naturally, the first thing you should do is contact your former workers' compensation attorneys and discuss the situation with them or if they are not available, bring all of your information and documents and obtain a consultation with a licensed attorney who is experienced in handling workers' compensation claims. Having said that, assuming the workers' compensation carrier in your case reserved their right to offset under Section 29 of the NYS Workers' Compensation Law, they would have a credit against the net amount (after disbursements for expenses, attorney's fee and repayment of workers' compensation lien) of your recovery from the third party action. They would not have to make any payments for lost time or medical expenses until the credit has been exhausted. Different rules apply if your injury involved an automobile accident in NY. Once the credit is exhausted you can seek reopening of the claim for payment of causally related medical expenses and possibly indemnity payments if you can prove you are partially or fully disabled due to the work related injury. If you settled the workers' compensation claim under Section 32 then you may be out of luck, but I don't think Section 32 settlements were being done back then. If you had a lump sum settlement (the old type), the case could possibly be reopened if you can prove a change in medical condition not contemplated at the time of the settlement. If you did not settle on a permanent basis at all, then it should be much easier to reopen. Good luck.
This answer does not constitute legal advice nor does it create any attorney client relationship. It is provided for general purposes only and you should not rely upon it in making any decisions. You should consult with an attorney licensed in your state who is experienced in the area of law involved in your question.
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