workman's comp. settlement
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Old 01-23-2009, 06:29 PM   #1
oldpunk78
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workman's comp. settlement


a while back, my wife hurt her wrist at work. she ended up needing surgery. she's all better now, but her doctor left the workman's comp case open just in case something reoccurs...

my question is:

the insurance company has offered her a settlement of $2000.00 to close the case. i know that the insurance company is trying save some money here. that's no where close to what it would cost us if she had to have surgery again.

can you haggle w/them to get more?
would you take the offered settlement?
should we leave it open?

this is pretty tough decision for us, and we're not sure how to handle it... with economy the way it is, we are almost struggling to get buy. that $2000.00 would be a nice net if one of us looses a job. they just cut my hours back at work to 3 days a week. this is fallowing a 75% lay-off just be for christmas. they are also considering cutting my wife's hours as well.

thanks for looking, opinions needed.
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Old 01-23-2009, 07:07 PM   #2
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I'm actually dealing with that issue currently. I appealed my settlement from the state worker's comp and am awaiting their answer. You really have nothing to lose by appealing and that's probably the easiest first step.

Suing can be time consuming and costly, depending on the outcome but it may be worth it if you can obtain a figure that's more likely to provide for the cost of any issues caused by the surgery or original injury which pop up down the road. Incidentally, my settlement was almost that exact same amount and I've had two surgeries on my knee. I can't imagine that $2000 will cover the problems I'll likely have 15-20 years down the road from deterioration because of the surgery. I, in no way, think a huge sum is appropriate in my case but would like something a little more realistic.

I don't know what the laws are in California but here, my claim will automatically be closed out in 7 years, unless I re-injure myself or can say that it's worsening so, maybe that's the case there?

Good luck to you guys, it's a difficult decision to make! Hopefully someone on here is in one of these fields and can offer some better advice!
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Old 01-23-2009, 08:49 PM   #3
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A little uninformed advice for your use (or not). I doubt that haggling a little bit will hurt. If you go about it the right way, they won't take the existing offer off the table. Then if they won't give you a larger payoff, you come back to the original decision.
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Old 01-23-2009, 09:12 PM   #4
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I'd get a 2nd medical opinion to weigh in on the chances of her needing another surgery before making any decisions or starting negotiations.
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Old 01-23-2009, 09:25 PM   #5
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if there were more surgery involved, what could it be and how much would be the cost? you can ask your dr. that. That might give you a more informed decision. If the surgery is more than $2000, then it's pretty clear.
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Old 01-23-2009, 09:53 PM   #6
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she had some kind of cyst(sp?) that somehow started to really hurt after lifting something at work. i think the surgery was in the $40,000.00 dollar range. and that cyst could come back(already got 2nd opinion). there is no way that we could afford it.

i guess we should just tell the ins. co. to kick rocks...

it's just hard to not consider settling, we could really use the money.
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Old 01-23-2009, 11:23 PM   #7
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oh yeah, don't take the settlement.. they're just tempting you... cysts can come back. $40,000 sounds insanely high for wrist surgery.. man, we need to rethink this medical system.
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Old 01-23-2009, 11:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
we need to rethink this medical system.
agreed
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Old 01-24-2009, 12:25 AM   #9
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I'm not sure if the laws have changed in CA, but back when I was working with Work Comp, Drs in CA put leins on your house as collatoral. You don't want to end up in a situation later down the road where the dr gets paid first if/when you sell your house.
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Old 01-24-2009, 12:56 AM   #10
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i take it that you meant if she has to have another surgery that we can't afford, if we were to take a settlement?
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Old 01-24-2009, 01:19 AM   #11
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i freaking hate workers comp. when i broke my back a couple years ago on some faulty machinery where i was working, workers comp released the hounds from hell on me after i asked for compensation for the medical expenses i had to pay and time i missed from work. being a teenage kid did not help. my lawyer told me to just take the 7 grand they offered or else it would begin a battle that we would not want to deal with. i took the advice because i just wanted to be done with everything. i'm sure its different for every case, but workers comp was an extremely terrible experience for me. i'm sorry for everything you have to go through
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Old 01-24-2009, 01:34 AM   #12
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Personally I wouldn't sign anything until reviewed by an personal injury lawyer. I know that can be expensive, but the insurance company wants you to go away. Their actuaries know exactly what you will probably cost them in the long run.

Hiring a lawyer can be good or bad or frustrating. In the long run you will be better off. Once you hire a lawyer the insurance company will up their offer or withdraw it.
There are also private insurance adjusters who work for you. Take your time but don't insult them or let them insult you.
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Old 01-24-2009, 01:36 AM   #13
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amono101 - if it was workman's comp, they should have picked up all the medical expenses related to your injury. plus, you should have gotten state disability while you were off work.
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Old 01-24-2009, 01:42 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbosman@msu.edu View Post
Personally I wouldn't sign anything until reviewed by an personal injury lawyer. I know that can be expensive, but the insurance company wants you to go away. Their actuaries know exactly what you will probably cost them in the long run.

Hiring a lawyer can be good or bad or frustrating. In the long run you will be better off. Once you hire a lawyer the insurance company will up their offer or withdraw it.
There are also private insurance adjusters who work for you. Take your time but don't insult them or let them insult you.
i wish i had the money to hire a lawyer. but then again, if i had the money for a lawyer, i wouldn't be considering a settlement, lol.
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Old 01-24-2009, 01:56 AM   #15
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sorry, i said that wrong. they paid for all medical expenses right away but i did not get paid state disability. i can't remember why, but my lawyer advised me not to collect. it may be because i was working 2 part time jobs instead of 1 full time job. instead, he told me to ask for compensation for time missed from both my work places and other things such as if something were to happen further down the road related to the injury. all the doctors i had visited told me bad back pains in the distant future were inevitable, but by that point workmans comp coverage would be long gone. there is still some amount of years that workmans comp is supposed to cover my medical if something happens again. the 7 grand was basically for time missed from work, all the pain i had been through, and all the pain that is to eventually come.
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