You need to immediately get legal advice from a workers' compensation lawyer there in your jurisdiction. You may have an election of benefits that you need to make. Do not rely on the adjuster to have your interests at heart.
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.
I agree, call a local worker’s comp. attorney ASAP to finds out your best course of action.
DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.
It sounds like you can continue to work as a secretary, or contemplate retirement.
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.
First issue, do you have a lawyer? I am fairly certain that you do based on several factors listed in your question. If so, he/she is the best person to ask this question. Second guessing your lawyer by asking other people, even other lawyers, who simply do not have enough information about your claim to provide meaningful advice will only lead to a great deal of stress and frustration.
Assuming that you do not have a lawyer however . . . .
Given what you have stated it is clear that you sustained a serious injury to your knee. Trying to handle a District of Columbia Workers’ Compensation claim without the assistance of a lawyer is very unwise. It is downright foolish, for lack of a better term, if you have a serious injury.
Just one doctor saying you have a 35% impairment is not necessarily a deciding factor as to how much you are owed. It is just one piece of a very large puzzle. Your actual disability may be more or less. Perhaps significantly so.
Is it possible in your case that you are entitled to a scheduled member award but that said award will not also cover you ongoing wage reduction? Very generally: Yes.
All of the above assumes you are not an employee of the District of Columbia or the Federal Government. If you are, different rules may apply.
If you don’t have a lawyer, please get one now.