I lacerated the tendon on my left pinky finger. I am right handed but i work in construction. Im a handyman for a property management company and i need power grip in both hands. The power for geip derives from the pinky so im losing grip in one hand that will not limit me from doing my job but it will affect how i get the job done. The doctor told me that even with surgery my finger would never be able to have a 100% motion or recovery. Also a possibility of a future surgery down the road.
I just want to know if i dont go through with the surgery since there would be no change in my recovery. Should i settle now before i open my hand up and have to miss more full pay checks? During surgery recovery...I am still going to be working for my employer.
Probably not. If the same WC Insurance still covers your Employer, they may not close the case completely. It may not be your decision. If the WC Insurance has changed since your injury, they MAY be willing to completely close your case. However, that will leave you saddled with a future surgery, and potentially some unpaid time off work.
There is no right or wrong answer, but measure twice...
Whether or not you want to have surgery should not be based upon a settlement amount.
If you are off work for the surgery and this occurs within 5 years of the date of injury and you did not settle your claim with a Compromise and Release closing out your future rights, you would be entitled to Temporary Disability to compensate you for lost wages. After 5 years from the date of injury or after you have exhausted 104 weeks of Temporary Disability you will not receive Temporary Disability while you are off for surgery.
I always recommend my clients to have any surgery they want to have before the case settles. People are sometimes hurt in surgery and if you are hurt, the case has already settled, and it is past 5 years from your date of injury, you can no longer Petition to Reopen the Case for new and further disability.
Bottom line if you want to have the surgery now, have it now, if you do not, then don't. Your final settlement will be based upon your level of impairment.
You only get one left hand (the replacement parts are not good) so my advice is to take as good a care of it as you can. If that means surgery, then do it. The money comes and goes but your had is for life. Ten years from now you won't know what you did with the money but you'll sure know how your hand feels and works.
What if you get in a non-work car accident next month, it crushes your right hand, and now the hand you need to wipe with doesn't have a functioning pinky??? And you can't get it fixed because you have to fix the right hand first??? LIKE MR. BORAH SAID, get the very best Plastic Surgeon For Hands you can find on that insurer's Medical Provider Network (NOT some US Healthworks hack, not a general ortho surgeon!!), get the left hand as fixed as it can possibly be, then think about a settlement. (I'd love you to see Ron Goldstein at the Institute for Hand and Micro Surgery near you on MacArthur in santa ana... he works little miracles.)
In maryland, if your decision to not have surgery is considered an unreasonable refusal, then you will be penalized for not having the surgery. A decision for surgery should never be based upon what that will mean to your settlement, but on what is best for your health. A delay in surgery can often lead to the likelihood of bad results later when you decide to do the surgery after an unreasonable delay
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