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Legalease
Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 14451
Experience:  15 years exp all aspects of general law
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I have 4 workers compensation cases from being hurt while

Customer Question

I have 4 worker's compensation cases from being hurt while working all my 30 years and 2 are severe be fore the old guide lines. I collected worker's comp. My therapist is established secondary to chronic pain from injuries and my psychological health suffered and he says I'm 100% disabled as well as a IME agreeing with him but he did not write the med report in percentage form and neither did the IME. My attorney would never counsel me or meet with me as of 3 years ago when I began to advocate my case. I asked why he was settling for 50% when the surgical orthopedic said I was permanently at 66 2/3 %? He resisted going to court and I insisted and won a rate increase 2 years ago. Permancey of disability came up recently and he would not meet with me but kept saying the Doctor gives you 75% I can get you more money and that is all he would say. I got that but the Doctor should had put my cases under the old guide lines and even the Judge asked about that. It was the Doctor that did that. The 10% on my elbow that have been established both elbows for surgery and I can't find a Doctor to help with the elbows because I seen a Doctor and he sent me for nerve conductive and said wrote a detailed medical report that I had Ulnar nerve and needed surgery and the disease was present and degenerative but at that time the elbows were not yet established. They are now. He wouldn't take the case. I was shocked when I went to the permanent hearing and my head was spinning as my Attorney's took me to a room and said "they want to give you $12,000 for the left elbow and reduce your compensation and I was confused because he had not met with me in 3 years and would relay messages through his secretary and I even sent a friend to him and he calls her on his personal cell phone. He has treated me terribly with no respect and won't meet with me cause he says I ask too many questions and don't leave and that is non sense. Well that day last Thursday the Judge made the ruling and I lost $550.00 a month in worker's compensation benefits a month. Then my attorney says, "Well maybe I'll appeal." I said ,"maybe you will appeal?" then he said he would appeal. All the crap he told me failed and Judge said cases closed after I refused the offer. If I had more information and knowledge I would had accepted and now I only get $240.00 bi weekly. I called my therapist and he is on board as secondary to my chronic pain and I was sent to 2 IME therapist and one agreed with my therapist. The judge wants percentage in numbers and I kept telling my therapist about that. I called him so distressed and he said " There must be something you can do and I will give them what ever they want." The IME didn't give a numerical number either. My attorney treats me shamefully but he is not crooked. The other co hort who is old and not really my attorney is yelling at me in the street and I left a voice mail and I told him he wasn't really my Attorney that I liked him and appreciated a few things he did but "Don't you ever talk to me like that again." I noticed I have to keep up on things and ask the secretary did Allan appeal? once before as you only get 30 days and he decided to do something different but they don't tell me. I now can't live on $240.00 bi weekly a month. I was making over $500.00 bi weekly and it's cut more than half as the Judge ruled. I absolutely don't know what to do as other Attorney won't take my case but I have one who will hear me through his legal aids and then decide if he will take my case. I'm afraid to contact the Barr Association in NY and my therapist has it all recorded for the last 4 years as to how I've been treated as a client by my Attorney. What should I do please help me. I'm a single disabled woman who can't work and live alone. Please is there any hope for me or does the review board just go along with the Judge's decision in an appeal case. Thank you Sincerely XXXXX XXXXX Rochester New York 14620
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.

Hello Mary Ann -

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I have extensive experience with worker's compensation cases in MA and NY (beginning with my own husband who was injured on the job and was out of work for 8 years). I can tell you that the worker's compensation laws fall far short for many people who are fully disabled but are unable to get the doctors to give reports that they need in order to increase the payments (or at least keep the payments the same) for long periods of time and the attorneys themselves get very frustrated because it is hard for us to explain to clients that when you receive worker's compensation payments they are based upon your paycheck and it is very difficult to get any type of decent lump sum settlement payments. That being said, can I ask you the following questions:

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1. What were the dates of each injury and how long were you collecting on each injury? At some point did the injuries all run together?

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2. Were all the injuries suffered while working for the same employer?

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3. What was the last date that you worked (full or part time)?

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4. Have you applied for Social Security Disability benefits? If you were denied, when was the date of denial?

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MARY

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi, the dates of my injuries are April 2002 back and neck from lifting, June 2000, elbows, 2002, I had 2 carpal tunnel surgeries, Jan. 30 2006 , cervical and neck after lifting something heavy. I came out for good March 11 2006 after going to the Spine clinic and diagnosed with cervical injuries and got a Doctor that sent me to a Orthopedic in Buffalo NY. I then thought I'd get rehab at first and return to work but the injury was more serious and I'm a surgical candidate. I was no longer able to go back to that job. I then collected worker's comp.



2,) Yes all injuries were from the same employer.


 


3.) The last date of work March 11 2006

4.) Yes I have S.S.D. and that was reduced because of worker's comp payments.




The thing is the treatment of my attorney over the past 3 years. He had not met with me in his office cause he said I asked to many questions.


He kept telling me if we get 75% I can get you more money.


My Psychiatrist has given me 100% secondary chronic pain disability related to the injuries and so did an IME but they did not write the report numerical. I have severe injuries to neck and back along with others and I just don't know what to do and can no longer tolerate how badly my attorney has treated me and it's recorded he has not met with me for counsel in 3 years and I told my therapist who wrote him a letter. He does not care or respond. What do I do now? Mary

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I recieved S.S.D. the first time back in 2007 as my job was held for 1 year and my Doctor said I could no longer do that job and I'm also not a candidate for vocational rehabilitation. Are you there Attorney? Mary

Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.

Hello again Mary Ann -

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Thank you for your responses. It sounds to me like you went from a total temporary payment under the worker's compensation laws to a partial temporary payment under the worker's compensation laws. Please give me about a half hour to 45 mins to research the worker's comp exact laws in NY (and to type the answers) so that I can give you some reason why these things are happening and hopefully some indication of what you can do moving forward. I will also address the actions of the attorney in that answer as well. You do not have to remain online -- you will receive an email when I post the answer to you and you can return to the Just Answer website.

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MARY

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you so much, I don't know your name but thank you. I just want you to know he says he's appealing but I don't know what. DO you think the board review will side with the Judge? I'm worried and need help and don't know where to turn. I just want you to know my therapist recorded my complaints about him and even wrote him a letter telling him to treat me as a proper client and meet with me. He didn't. Sincerely XXXXX XXXXX Rochester NY 14620

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I worked full time and I worked all my life since age 16. My last job was at Monroe Community College in Rochester NY. Full time.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Are you there Attorney?


 

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

It's 2:00 p.m. and I have not heard your advice and your off line. Mary Ann

Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.

Hello again Mary Ann -

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Under NY worker's compensation law, there are four types of disability classification and the choice of one of the classifications will determine how much money you are entitled to each week in your worker's compensation claim. The types of disability classification and length of time that an injured worker can collect under each type is as follows: (A) Temporary Total Disability -- this is when a person is first injured and cannot work at all -- the law assumes that an injured worker will recover from the injuries and the law permits an injured employee to be paid 66 2/3 of their paycheck (or of the state average weekly wage, whichever is lower) for up to 5 years; (B) Temporary Partial Disability -- this is when a person is injured and can work part time hours -- the law provides for payment of 2/3 of the portion of the paycheck that the employee is not receiving while working less hours -- this payment can also last up to 5 years and if you have already received 5 years of Temporary Total Disability you can still follow that by up to 5 years of Temporary Partial Disability payments for the same injuries; (C) Permanent Total Disability -- this is when the doctors all agree that an employee is permanently totally disabled and then the employee will be paid 2/3 of the average weekly wage for life -- this cannot even be applied for until after the person has exhausted the temporary total disability payments (giving the company and insurer a 5 year period to try to force the employee into a recovery); and (D) Permanent Partial Disability Benefits -- ALso paid to an employee only after a period of either temporary total disability or temporary partial disability when a doctor determines that the employee will never be able to work at the same job or full time in any capacity every again.

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Under your circumstances, it sounds to me like you were receiving payments under the Temporary Total Disability program because you were receiving the maximum amount every 2 weeks that could be paid out by law to a fully injured employee who could not work at all. After the 5 years of receiving these payments, you are no longer entitled to receive a full amount of total disability payments and your lawyer must try to convince the worker's comp court that you are permanently and totally disabled. Only if the lawyer is able to convince the judge of this permanent and total disability will the judge find that your disabilities are permanent and total to a point where you can never work again in any capacity and then award you your full payment again that you had received prior to your benefits being terminated at the end of the Temporary Total Disability Period of 5 years. It is very, very difficult for a lawyer to prove that a client is permanently and totally disabled and can never work again in any capacity to the worker's compensation board -- the judges at the worker's compensation board almost always reject a claim by an injured worker that you can never perform any kind of work ever again unless the injured worker is in a wheelchair from the work related injuries.

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So, from what you describe, it sounds like your last hearing in front of the worker's compensation board resulted in the judge rejecting your lawyer's claims that you are permanently and totally disabled (your lawyer was trying to get your full check reinstated to you) -- the fact that the worker's comp board sided against you is NOT uncommon and you may have better luck at an appeals hearing especially if you can get your doctors and the IME doctors to agree that you have reached a medical end point and to give you what your percentage of disability is for these injuries. If the appeals court finds against you, however, then you will be stuck with a designation of being Permanently partially disabled and only entitled to a partial monthly payment of your lost paycheck each month for the rest of your life. These payments are in addition to the social security disability payments that you already receive --- (social security disability designations are less difficult to get than a permanent disability designation from a worker's compensation board to a work related injury).

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Regarding the actions of your lawyer -- worker's compensation cases do take a long time to get any action and to finish up because of the amount of time that it takes for an injured client to heal to a point where the lawyer can try to get some kind of determination on the medical end point and percentage of disability. It may seem like the lawyer forgets about you sometimes but from the actions he has taken so far and his offer to appeal the claim, it sounds like he is handling the matters correctly. If you want to file a complaint against him with the NY bar association, you can certainly do so (you can find them online), but I suggest that you wait to see what happens with the appeals process and try to be patient for him to handle it and to give you updates (in most cases if there is nothing new on a case then a client may not hear from a lawyer for months or years at a time -- especially in worker's compensation cases that can go on for many years).

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I believe that I have covered all of your questions, but please feel free to ask any additional follow up questions that you may have in this matter or ask me for any clarification that you may need on anything that I have said above.

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MARY

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Please press the 3rd, 4th or 5th smile face below so I will be paid for my time. I am paid NOTHING for this question unless you press a positive rating below. Pressing the 3rd, 4th or 5th smile face below will not cost you any additional money -- it simply acts as a trigger to Just Answer to pay me for my time. THANK YOU

 

Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.

Hello again Mary Ann -

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Do you have any further questions for me? I do have further information on the NY WOrker's Compensation laws regarding the one time payments that are made to permanently disabled workers (either total or partial permanent disability) based upon your medical end point and your percentage of disability and I am wondering if your lawyer has applied for that payment to you yet ? However, at this point I have done quite a bit of research into the NY worker;s compensation laws for you and given you a comprehensive answer based upon the facts that you gave to me and you have not yet pressed a positive rating to pay me for any of my time (I am paid NOTHING unless you press the 3rd, 4th or 5th smile face underneath either the ANSWER box above or this ANSWER box). If you have further questions or you want to continue on with the additional questions regarding the Loss of Use payment that you are most likely entitled to in addition to your bi weekly worker's compensation payments, then I ask that you press the 3rd, 4th or 5th smile face underneath this ANSWER box so that I will be paid for my time and I will gladly answer the additional question on loss of use and share that additional research with you.

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MARY

-

Please press the 3rd, 4th or 5th smile face below so I will be paid for my time. I am paid NOTHING for this question unless you press a positive rating below. Pressing the 3rd, 4th or 5th smile face below will not cost you any additional money -- it simply acts as a trigger to Just Answer to pay me for my time. THANK YOU

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