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Thread: Worker's Comp, should we get an attorney?

  1. #1

    Worker's Comp, should we get an attorney?

    My husband was hurt 3 years ago. Complete T7, T8. Our w/c company has been very easy to work with- providing payment for anything medically necessary. They respond quickly and allow me to play a very active role in all decision making. His weekly pay from them is very low but he does get Social security offset. They provided us a housing settlement of around $80K to make modifications to our new home and we didn't consult an attorney. We do still have a fairly large mortgage left on the house.

    He's considered a "lifetime claim" so he can go back to work and continue to collect his small weekly checks. We're having a hard time figuring out what type of job he would be suited for that would allow him to miss every time he has a bladder infection or upset stomach. He was in construction before and certainly can't return to that. They've not mentioned settling at all and I haven't asked about it.

    Recently, I've been worried about the future. We're making it ok, as long as I don't get sick. If he were to pass away, there is no life insurance. I'm not greedy and don't want to consult an attorney that's going to advise me on their best interest but I also want to make sure I am taking the best care possible of our resources.

    Any advice? I realize we are so fortunate to have w/c to begin with and just want to make sure he can be cared for properly for the rest of his life.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    I would call your local bar association and ask for several referrals to a reputable workers comp atty and then interview them thos attorneys before you decide what to do.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Wesley's Avatar
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    in my opinion it wouldn't hurt to consult an attorney. It's great that your wc insurer has been cooperative up to now. WC law is complicated and arcane (at least Pennsylvania where I am). You don't want to miss out on a benefit or lose coverage. You have to remember that the insurer's primary interest is reducing its expenses. if you decide to consult an attorney, talk to a few before making a decision.

    Another reason to see an attorney would be if you felt your husband's injuries were caused by some other civilly liable party. That party would not necessarily have to be wholly responsible for his accident, but might've contributed in some way to its occurrence. Three years postaccident may be a little too late for that avenue, however.

    in Pennsylvania, workers compensation should provide enough care that spouses and family are not unduly burdened. Perhaps you need some advice in developing a care plan independent of WC insurer. You can't depend on a physician or rehab to maximize the legal benefits you have since they are creating plans for folks with less comprehensive insurance coverage. Developing a long-term care plan will give you a better idea of how WC coverage will change as you guys get older or if complications arise.

    PS, be careful of verbal reassurances of what you can or cannot do in terms of going back to work without losing coverage.

    this is tough stuff in that you want to maximize your independence and recovery of sense of self-worth, but you don't want to give up coverage unless you are truly able to maintain progress.
    Last edited by Wesley; 05-21-2010 at 02:55 PM.

  4. #4
    I would call one sooner than later since there are statutes of limitations on some things.
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  5. #5
    You bet call an attorney. For me, he got my wife a cargiver allowance that pays her more than they do me lol. Also, there are a lot of other things to consider when dealing with w/c other than just the spinal injury. Mine got me an additional allowance for being a "double amp" which I'm not, but under their classification, it fit the bill and other considered disabilities. You are right to be concerned for the future.

    The lawyer only took a percentage of what we received over and above what we normally would have received.

    You must remember that W/c is in business to save the state or who they work for money. It is their job to screw us. If possible find one that used to work for the w/c, they know the in's and out's of the process and how to get past them.

    Good luck, good for you to check it out.

  6. #6
    Senior Member medic1's Avatar
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    I dont have time to reply completely as I am in the middle of a move. Please PM me if you want to know anything. I am on work comp and have been for 7 years. I have a spinal cord injury. I will tell you you need an attorney especially if u are considering a settlement. You have to havea life care plan done and a set aside account established as medicare will not just pay for injury related problems. I have a ton of information. Just not a minute to spare at the moment please dont make any big decision yet. Please PM me and I will give you my email to correspond directly.

  7. #7
    Thanks! Medic, I will pm you for sure! Can anyone tell me if we can settle without settling medical?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Wesley's Avatar
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    go to a lawyer. do not use advice from the internet to make these kinds of decisions

  9. #9
    Senior Member rdf's Avatar
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    They'll try to settle by offering a 'large' sum of money, IF you drop medical. That's their standard approach. Don't take it, whatever they offer, if it involves giving up medical for the accident related injuries. Your husband should have medical for life under most policies, unless you sign it away, which w/c companies will try to get you to do using means not always honorable.

    As others have stated, talk to a few attorneys.
    Quote Originally Posted by ging1218 View Post
    Thanks! Medic, I will pm you for sure! Can anyone tell me if we can settle without settling medical?
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    Thanks!

  10. #10
    i didnt settle and glad i didnt my lawyer even advised me not to settle to much can go wrong and you will need to many things more than you can imagine
    to alcohol the cause of-and solution to-all of lifes problems [homer simpson]

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