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Old 07-17-2003, 06:22 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: San Diego
Posts: 203
Michaela HB User
Post Workmans Comp Settlements

I'm wondering what I can expect in a workmans comp settlement, I know I still have alot of recovery ahead of me, but Im curious as to how they work this out, and is there some kind of table that they go by, in the way of how bad your situation was, or the type of surgery that you had to have, I just want to know as much as I can find out, and also wondering if there is a web site that might give me the information that I'm looking for...I know that they go by what kind of damage (like nerve damage) or the disabilitys that I might have after words, although I could be wrong... I just want to do my homework so to speak, so when I do meet with my attorney I know what the heck hes talking about...so far I am doing well, still have the zing in my leg now and then, but hey, I can walk now, as before surgery I could hardly walk, but the doc says that the zing down my leg was normal, I guess from all the scare tissue that they found after they opened me up, theres a women who lives in my complex and she went thru the same thing, had a disectomy, took her 4 years, and she came out with $110,000.00 and that was about 9 years ago, so I really not sure what to think, but was hoping that someone here surely has gone thru this, and knows something...hugz to all...and hoping for lots of pain free days to all...takecare
Michaela
__________________
August 29th 2002 Injured back at work
from August 2002 till late Nov, roller coaster ride with pain etc.
Dec Friday 13th 2002 laid off job.
Dec. 26th pain starts back up again, lasts for 6 weeks before pain got better then turned to sciatic pain for about 10 weeks.
April 1st had MRI.
April 4th MRI read by my doctor, reading L5-S1 herniated disk W/8mm bulge, pressing on nerve in spine.
Doc says I need surgery.
Then I was investigated (pictures & video taped)
Had second opinion Doctor appt. and Workmans comp didn't notify me till the day after the appt. by usa mail. I was ******!
I did go to the appt. on another day, thank god I did, cause it was the icing on the cake at my hearing. I won!
Then had surgery for Laminectomy/Disectomy June 18th 2003.
I also had ALOT of scare tissue, surgery was longer then expected.
now I am over 4 weeks post op.
still get a zing down left leg, but I can walk.
7/30/2003 still having low back pain, like an ache feeling at the end of the day (6wk po)

 
Old 07-17-2003, 06:33 PM   #2
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Mizcriz HB User
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Hiya... type Workers Comp. Injured Workers Forum. There is a lot of info there. As a whole, but also by individual states. Also, on this site, there is a section if you scroll down that is labeled Workers Comp. Hope this helps you.

------------------
Injured 5/2/01 in a fall. 43 yr old. Suffering with Sciatica with tingling and numbness on the buttock, leg and entire foot. Recently has started being symptomatic in the right leg, as well. MRI 2/03 Showed straightening of the normal lumbar lordosis. L4-L5 bulging disk assoc. with posterior spondylytic changes. Effacing the ventral thecal sac. Slight hypertrophic changes of the superior articulating facets. L5-S1 central bulging disk with annular tear. Effacing the ventral thecal sac. Disk desiccation is evident at the L5-S1. Assoc. end plate degenerative changes involving the inferior and superior aspects of the L5 and S1. Mild hypertrophy of the superior articulating facets and ligamentum flavum. EMG of 4/03 shows basically a normal read, however the Dr. did note that the left tibial velocity and the left sural sensory nerve latencies are reading borderline.
__________________
Injured 5/2/01 in a fall. 43 yr old. Suffering with Sciatica with tingling and numbness on the buttock, leg and entire foot. Recently has started being symptomatic in the right leg, as well. MRI 2/03 Showed straightening of the normal lumbar lordosis. L4-L5 bulging disk assoc. with posterior spondylytic changes. Effacing the ventral thecal sac. Slight hypertrophic changes of the superior articulating facets. L5-S1 central bulging disk with annular tear. Effacing the ventral thecal sac. Disk desiccation is evident at the L5-S1. Assoc. end plate degenerative changes involving the inferior and superior aspects of the L5 and S1. Mild hypertrophy of the superior articulating facets and ligamentum flavum. EMG of 4/03 shows basically a normal read, however the Dr. did note that the left tibial velocity and the left sural sensory nerve latencies are reading borderline.
DDD is also present.
MRI 8/18/03 L5-S1 is now a 5mm herniation. L4-L5 is now a bulging disk with annular tear. L1-L2 and L2-L3 show decreased height. Disk Dessication is evident from L1 to L5. S1 is noted as a segmented disk.

 
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Old 07-17-2003, 07:19 PM   #3
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Concord, CA, USA
Posts: 676
successtory HB User
Post

Hi Michaela,

Glad to hear things are on the up and up! I know you always do your homework....good girl hehe

There are caps to workmen's comp settlements in most cases. Your settlement has many factors...the number one being they LEAST amount they can pay is what they will go for. They will also try to "buy out" your life-time medical benefits.....NO NO NO NO !! They (the medical coverage for your injury) will be worth well over $250,000 later in years. Our spines are going to age a bit faster than someone who hasn't had work done on their backs. So instead of thinking 60 or 65 you might start getting arthritis (just throwing out an ailment here...arthritis is not a given for people who had their backs worked on)...you can figure you'll start feeling arthritic when you are around 55 or 60 (or something like that). So do NOT ever compromise your life-time medical benefits (because W/C will go for that right away...hoping you are weak from so much time that has passed and will take "anything" to pay off your bills and such). NO

All the other stuff...will be based on your current education and skill set, your retrainability, your age, and others. The benefit award amount also takes into consideration the length of time and benefits already received in your W/C case. There ARE caps to the funds available through W/C. Like the $17,000 vocational rehabilitation benefit cap. Or the $10,000 "pain and suffering" cap. There is a third "capped fund" that goes up to $8,000 (if I recall correctly).

These caps CAN be moved up. However, there must be extenuating circumstances like the employer was negligent, or was done on purpose...or things like that. Then yes...caps are lifted off these award funds. But the reason we have W/C is because there ARE caps....which is why companies aren't going out of business because of workers' lawsuits. These caps are strictly enforced and "maintained". But like I said, there ARE issues and reasons for a benefit cap to be lifted...your lawyer should know how to proceed here. You DO have a lawyer...yes?

I hope you found some information on the website for W/C. Good luck to you!


------------------
successtory
Oct 2000: Repetitive Stress Injury-Inverted Hernia
Feb 2001: MRI. Shows only slight bulge at L4-L5
Dec 2001: Discogram/CT scan shows Inverted Hernia at L5-S1. L4-L5 & L5-S1 ruptured in all 4 quadrants. Unable to walk.
Feb 2002: IDET, Nucleoplasty, Intra-Discal Injections
Sept 2002: Rated in the top 10% for successful patients. Retraining for new career.

 
Old 07-17-2003, 08:00 PM   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: San Diego
Posts: 203
Michaela HB User
Post

well let me tell ya, I was laided off from my job, they told me on friday dec 13th that they no longer could afford to keep me. 1 1/2 weeks before they had hired someone else. Figure that one out...he must have been my replacement and I figured he was replacing someone else in the office, but no, it was me. and I knew almost all the aspects of an optometry office. So I was an asset to the company...then pain started up about dec 26th 2002, and then I thought it would go away, after 2 weeks it didn't let up, it got worse, and then decided to hire an attorney, and called up the doc office, and even then had to wait almost 10 days till I saw the doc. but they did tell me to come in for pain meds as they have them right in the office, which is good...then saw the attorney, and got things rolling with him...and of coarse not to forget the roller coaster ride with the adjuster (what a b***h) I am glad to be where I am so far (knocking on wood) and keeping fingers crossed, lol, now when I went to the doctors office a few days ago, the receptionist told me that wc had been calling to find out if I could be released, or when will i be released, I just thought to myself they are being pushy, sometimes I wonder if these people are even human, doesn't seem possible, I know so many of you have gone thru sooooo much more then I have, but I still have a long journey ahead of me...and I know its going to take time... I had 6 years in the optometry field, I enjoyed it alot, and hope to do the same thing when Im recovered, as it will allow me to sit for a while and stand for awhile and walk around for awhile, but I'll have to limit my bending, anyhow thanks for the replys, sorry if I rambled on, I get so bored being a bum these days, lol, ttyl..
Michaela


[This message has been edited by Michaela (edited 07-17-2003).]
__________________
August 29th 2002 Injured back at work
from August 2002 till late Nov, roller coaster ride with pain etc.
Dec Friday 13th 2002 laid off job.
Dec. 26th pain starts back up again, lasts for 6 weeks before pain got better then turned to sciatic pain for about 10 weeks.
April 1st had MRI.
April 4th MRI read by my doctor, reading L5-S1 herniated disk W/8mm bulge, pressing on nerve in spine.
Doc says I need surgery.
Then I was investigated (pictures & video taped)
Had second opinion Doctor appt. and Workmans comp didn't notify me till the day after the appt. by usa mail. I was ******!
I did go to the appt. on another day, thank god I did, cause it was the icing on the cake at my hearing. I won!
Then had surgery for Laminectomy/Disectomy June 18th 2003.
I also had ALOT of scare tissue, surgery was longer then expected.
now I am over 4 weeks post op.
still get a zing down left leg, but I can walk.
7/30/2003 still having low back pain, like an ache feeling at the end of the day (6wk po)

 
Old 07-18-2003, 04:22 AM   #5
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Mansfield,Ohio USA
Posts: 1,176
jdlfmc HB User
Post

Micheala,Hi hope you are finding the info you need and pray you win your case I lost and it stings but I am trying to accept it as I have to move on!!So good luck!!

backtobasics& Michaela,I think we may have touched this on another thread not sure,I have to ask one thing I have been informed that you can not get pain and suffering when settleing a workers comp case is this a state to state thing do you think??I had originaly been told it would take about $2500. to take this to jury trial and since my Dr. has moved out of state and other circumstances it has gone up to close to $6500. my records are still here but with a discogram it is important for the residing Dr. to give the testimony as reading a report is not as effective as having been there, also the Dr. that did it gave such a good written report they want his testinony unfortunatly this is the same Dr. that caused me to lose my last appeal bt taking 14 months to get that letter to the attorney!!!Anyway I want to state I agree if there is anyway you can keep your case open without settling for a cash settlement do it I hate to think now of all the liftime bills we will have to deal with because there is NO WAY the settlement will be for enough to even cover a yrs worth of medical!!Also if I could afford to keep this open and fight then I would qualify for loss of wages and partial disability so please don't rush into settleing without really looking into all aspects of you future that cash sounds like a little piece of heaven when it's really only opening the dorrs to HE**!!Thanks for listening and Good Luck!!
Linda

 
Old 07-18-2003, 06:58 AM   #6
Inactive
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Columbia,SC USA
Posts: 169
aroberts HB User
Post

Michaela
Having been thru workers comp for the past 5 years, I would advise you to go see an attorney with all your questions. They are free the first visit. I know everyone here means well and are willing to help people sometimes we are given abd advice. If a person has not gone thru WC and into the final settlement stages, it is hard for them to give sound advice.
Seek an attorney and get peace of mind.
I hope I didn't offend anyone. Not my intention at all. I was on another site and saw some very bad advice given and a person got screwed in his case.
Take care and good luck
Alex

 
Old 07-18-2003, 11:47 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Spring Lake, Mi. USA
Posts: 234
acme HB User
Post

Don't settle! I've been in and out of court from my W/C back 3 times. Each time I won & didn't settle. You never know if your back can be fixed.....& you get stuck with the bills.
My last surgery (fusion and I'm doing great) Costs around $100,000.00! W/C paid!
I injured my back when I was 38yrs old....At 54 it's fixed!! 16 yrs. of pain ...failed back surgeries....waiting to go to court....but I never settled!! Just my opinion & experience!
__________________
Prowler

 
Old 07-18-2003, 03:26 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: San Diego
Posts: 203
Michaela HB User
Post

I'm not going to settle right now, I'm just trying to do my homework and find out what others ended up doing, and your all right, I have no idea if I'm going to need another surgery or not, we never knoe till it starts leaning that direction, so thanks for the great replies, I'm just going to hang out and wait and see....I have had an attorney for several months, I think wc is in a hurry to be done with me though...like someone said before, they don't like having open files, but you know what? they can kiss my A**, I will do what ever it takes....also, was wondering what the cost is for laminectomy/disectomy, and 3 days in the hospital run?? just curious... Thanks everyone, huge hugz to all of you...
Michaela
__________________
August 29th 2002 Injured back at work
from August 2002 till late Nov, roller coaster ride with pain etc.
Dec Friday 13th 2002 laid off job.
Dec. 26th pain starts back up again, lasts for 6 weeks before pain got better then turned to sciatic pain for about 10 weeks.
April 1st had MRI.
April 4th MRI read by my doctor, reading L5-S1 herniated disk W/8mm bulge, pressing on nerve in spine.
Doc says I need surgery.
Then I was investigated (pictures & video taped)
Had second opinion Doctor appt. and Workmans comp didn't notify me till the day after the appt. by usa mail. I was ******!
I did go to the appt. on another day, thank god I did, cause it was the icing on the cake at my hearing. I won!
Then had surgery for Laminectomy/Disectomy June 18th 2003.
I also had ALOT of scare tissue, surgery was longer then expected.
now I am over 4 weeks post op.
still get a zing down left leg, but I can walk.
7/30/2003 still having low back pain, like an ache feeling at the end of the day (6wk po)

 
Old 07-18-2003, 03:37 PM   #9
Inactive
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Columbia,SC USA
Posts: 169
aroberts HB User
Post

Michaela
don;t blame you on waiting. I am getting ready to settle my case within the next couple weeks. The insurance company finally agreed that I am whole body disabled and they also agreed to lifetime meds. So I get the final settlement and also am protected if I need any further surgery on my knees or back, plus all meds are covered. Hopefully SS will be approved this time and that will start in a month or so.
As far aas the surgery you mentioned. I think mine 2 years ago and it was only i night in hospital cost over $26,000.
Good luck
Alex

 
Old 07-18-2003, 06:09 PM   #10
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Mansfield,Ohio USA
Posts: 1,176
jdlfmc HB User
Post

Hi all and one question I read all these post and all I want to do is cry,what does a person that only squeezees by to make ends meet do when you don't have the money to go to trial I have NO means to get it or I would i think it SU*** that I have to lose just because I'm not well off enough to fight !!I got my MRI results back to day and I will suffer the rest of my life and unless I have the money to go to trial I can't present this eveidence to WC or the company I worked for!!So anyone do you have any answers because I haven't been able to come up with any I think it is a sin to be treated this way!!So sorry I just am having a hard time accepting this!!
Linda

 
Old 07-18-2003, 07:09 PM   #11
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Concord, CA, USA
Posts: 676
successtory HB User
Post

Hi All....

MICHAELA: Good for you. Keep 'em going for as long as you can. Even after you settle though...you have up until 5 years to re-open the case. (just an FYI)

LINDA: You mention you do not have enough money for a lawyer...I take it we are talking a W/C lawyer? Actually (and you are gonna love this)...no money comes out of your pocket for your attorney! It comes out of your settlement...and specifically, out of the Vocational Rehab fund (that has $17,000 in it). So as I was getting my VRM benefit while in school...my lawyer was taking his cut out of those benefit checks. I don't get VRM anymore (it's all gone), and I am no longer paying the lawyer (today) anymore.

All in all....it generlaly works out to be approximately $2,500 or so from your total benefit amount. Pretty nominal compared to the 5 digit number you are eligible to get. But if you are talking a private insurance company....I can't help you there. I hope this gives you something to go on. Take care.


------------------
successtory
Oct 2000: Repetitive Stress Injury-Inverted Hernia
Feb 2001: MRI. Shows only slight bulge at L4-L5
Dec 2001: Discogram/CT scan shows Inverted Hernia at L5-S1. L4-L5 & L5-S1 ruptured in all 4 quadrants. Unable to walk.
Feb 2002: IDET, Nucleoplasty, Intra-Discal Injections
Sept 2002: Rated in the top 10% for successful patients. Retraining for new career.

 
Old 07-19-2003, 03:18 AM   #12
Inactive
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Columbia,SC USA
Posts: 169
aroberts HB User
Post

jdlfmc
Hi Linda,
If you don't have a WC attorney, please go see one. I have never heard anyone having to pay for a trial or hearings. Even if you don't have an attorney, a WC case doesn't cost you, but, to be sure go to your WC office and ask them or look it up on the web. I agree,we are treated bad enough by insurance companies. Also,, some advice you get here does not apply to you. Each state is different when it comes to WC. If you need help, I will gladly research some for you.
Alex

 
Old 07-19-2003, 04:04 AM   #13
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Mansfield,Ohio USA
Posts: 1,176
jdlfmc HB User
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succssesstory,this is a wc attorney and this is the 2nd one I've had and yes the money would not have to be upfront if we could have proved the case without going to jury trial it would have just been a percentage of monies gotten through loss of wages,partial diability or settlement, since I was unable to prove my calim by having incompitent drs in the beggining and beign denied testing I needed to prove my claim, I had the test done on private ins and by the time I got the results and info back I had loss my last wc appeal which then means in this state my only alternative now is to go to county court and have a trial by jury and this means I have to put all the money up front that will be spent to take my case to trial that means filing fees, money for dr testimony(usually at least $2500. each),court reporters,video crew to tape testimony and on and on and if I win my case I do get all that money back but if you don't have it to go to trial what does it matter,so this is where I stand or end now how ever you choose to look at it!!The reason that you have to pay the money up front for jury trial is if I should lose the case I can not get a settlement or wc assistance even for the existing claim that I did win as to that was only for a strain/sprian which means the attorney wouldn't get money from the case either and that case has been closed,I know that this sounds unreal and like there is something else I could do I have talked to attorneys I know that don't handle wc and this is it this way or no way,if I could come up with the money and go to trial they so far have had at least 5 drs to dispute evrey dr I have my attorney is real sure I could win if I went to trial as my claim is real and the injury severe,so why won't he take it pro-bono til I do win,I guess the firm won't do that and gee why am I suprised you know they are all after the quick easy money and trial by jury isn't the quick buck!!!I'm sorry for ratteling on I am not ashamed of not having money I have worked for every dime I have ever made since the day after I turned 11(38 yrs) and would be willing to work til the day I die if my back would let me and I am just so sick of justice beign for those that can afford it or those that have the right connections!!I really don't mean to sound harsh and I truly am happy for those that win thier claims and deserve it, but I know people that have won claims for such stupid false cases that it makes me sick to think about it and that really bothers me!!!
So in a nutshell this is it for me,now the opposing side does not know yet that I can't afford to take this to trial as my attorney wants to get a settlement for as much as possible on the STRAIN/SPRAIN that they do admit I had,so there is a depositiopn set up for Aug.5th and he said that is so they they can ? me and see what kind of witness I will make in front of a jury and by that they will decide on how much they want to settle for,now of course in the deposition we can't claim or discuss conditions that have not yet been proven as that if I went to trial would be for the jury to decide if the conditions were indeed real and from my accident at work,so they will settle for my alloweed condition and the settlement won't reach over $25000. of which my attorney gets 33%,as I stated before I don't know about other states but in this state when it's wc you can not get pain and suffering payment!!
Okay I promise not to bore you all with this anymore I just had to get it out and I want others to becareful and stay on top of everything that involves thier cases never leave details to attorneys or others all ways make sure all the i's are dotted and every t is crossed ,I have to say a lot well for the most part this has happened as to putting to much faith in my first attorney and I didn;t always follow up on things he should have had done!! I felt because I was telling the truth I would win ,just cover you backs !!
Linda

 
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