I am 67% permanently disabled now. I was just accepted into college to learn a new career and the insurance is demanding that I find a full-time job on top of going back to school after the judge initially told me to find a new job or go back to school to further myself for a different career that can handle my limitations, all the while showing proof of my searches and achievements. (which I have). My lawyer refuses to speak with me until after each hearing. (out of three hearings, he's only been to one) I'm having trouble finding a job with my limitations without college degrees and I'm afraid the insurance will cut off my assistance again, which they threaten to do if I don't find a full-time job and provide my first three paystubs so they can settle. What can I do? I'm very confused.The insurance company is also refusing any medication prescribed by Pain Management because the two nerve blocks they insisted I have never took to my system and I am deathly allergic to the meds they want me to take. They have only admitted a TENS unit which barely provide a slight distraction from the spasms and nerve pain. Again, something my lawyer knows about but wont bring to the attention in court.
Talk to your attorney about your concerns. Next, send him/her a letter detailing your concerns. You can always try to make a switch.
In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship. You are not to rely upon my note above in any way, but insted need to sit down with counsel and share all relevant facts before receiving fully-informed legal advice. If you want to be completely sure of your rights, you must sit down with an experienced criminal defense attorney to be fully aware of your rights.
Speak directly with your current lawyer about your concerns and the way you feel about the lack of communication...If you aren't able to resolve these issues then look for another attorney. Use the layer finder tool here on AVVO. It is located on the header bar in the right corner. Also, I am moving this posting to the Workers Compensation topic so you will get more appropriate responses from Workers Comp lawyers. Good luck.
FOR LEGAL ADVICE CONTACT AN ATTORNEY OF YOUR CHOOSING AND RETAIN THEIR SERVICES. Responses to postings here are for informational purposes only and are NOT legal advice. The information provided here does not constitute legal advice and this answer is based solely upon the information included in the question posed. NO ATTORNEY CLIENT RELATIONSHIP IS ESTABLISHED BY THE PROVIDING OF THE INFORMATION IN THIS RESPONSE.
Ask to meet with your lawyer in his office.
I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been handling criminal defense and personal injury cases for over 18 years. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails, is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.
Dear Madam or Sir:
When your own doctor says you have a partial disability, or if the Judge makes a formal finding that you have a partial disability, (like a Permanent Partial Disability), then by law, you have a Partial ABILITY to return to work. The Judge ordered you to fill out C-258 forms recording all visits to Work Force/One Stop and each phone call or visit to an Employer made in order to seek a job.
You are required to look for a job; you are not required to get a job.
You don't want to look foolish applying for jobs you cannot do. A person with a bad back should not apply for a job lifting 80 pound boxes; you shouldn't apply for jobs as an Air Traffic Controller, if you never did such a job.
Now, you mentioned going back to school. If you are actually attending school full time then you cannot work. It wasn't clear whether the Judge was told you would be going to school and if he had a comment. There are Court cases that exempt you from looking for a job if you are in school full time in order to be trained for a new career consistent with your physical limitations.
You didn't mention, but we suspect the Judge found you to have a PPD, found a 67% Loss of Wage Earning Capacity (LWEC) and stated the statutory CAP on your payments in terms of a specific number of weeks. At the same time, he probably awarded an Attorney Fee to your lawyer. No more fees would be awarded at future hearings.
For that reason, a new attorney might decline the case because there would be no further fees.
However, if your current attorney received a "classification fee", as we think he did, then he is your attorney and has to appear for hearings on trivial issues about medical bills and more serious issues such as your Work Search Efforts recorded on C-258 and/or whether Full Time Schooling exempts you from that.
Make an appointment to see your lawyer in his office or to meet you at the Hearing point, whichever is more convenient for him. You had best continue with him.
If you are not actually in school full time, then you MUST fill out the C-258 forms, make visits to One Stop and make phone calls to look for a job.
p.s. you closed with a word about Settlement. I don't know where you got the idea that you need 3 paystubs to settle the case. A case can always be settled, whether you returned to work, to school or are still out of work. It takes a Carrier willing to pay a figure and a Claimant willing to accept that figure, to go away.
The foregoing is based on the little information provided; additional facts may change the comments given.
As you have been found to have a permanent partial disability, in general terms, you have an obligation to remain attached to the labor market. Attachment can be shown in any number of ways, such as a job search made in good faith, or enrollment in school. I am not sure why you are being advised that you must find a full time job and go to school at the same time. In addition, there is no requirement that you find full time work. Rather, the requirement is simply that you look for work that meets your restrictions. If the work happens to be part time, and if this is all that you can physically handle, you may be entitled to reduced earnings.
As far as treatment, depending upon your injury, your case is likely governed by the New York State Medical treatment guidelines. The guidelines mandate that certain care is automatically covered, regardless of whether an insurance company disagrees. However, if the treatment is not covered under the guidelines, or if your doctor wishes to perform treatment which exceeds that which is allowed under the guidelines, your doctor would likely have to complete a variance form.
You certainly have the right to have your questions answered. As suggested by others, you should likely schedule a meeting with your attorney and discuss all issues together. Good luck.
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