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Legalease
Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 16288
Experience:  15 years exp all aspects of general law
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Second opinion] - I had a work injury in 2013. I had surgery

Customer Question

Second opinion] - I had a work injury in 2013. I had surgery in October of 2014, but it was not 100% successful. Workers compensation has paid 8000 in benefits so far. I recently had to go back to the doctor and after seeing him a Worker's compensation representative, Leslie, contact me to offer me a settlement: 30k minus the 8k they already paid me. The condition is for me to close the claim permanently. I called Leslie with a counter offer of 30K plus a training voucher. Leslie declined my counter offer. Would I be mistaking in accepting their offer? Is there a way to negotiate a better settlement?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Legalease replied 2 months ago.

Hello there --

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I note that it says you are seeking a "second opinion" on this matter. Whether or not you accept this settlement really depends upon what the extent of your injuries are and where you are at in your physical recovery as well as your age and level of education. Unfortunately, worker's compensation payment laws are very different from general personal injury lawsuits brought in a civil court. As a person accepting WC payments, you have actually given up your legal right to sue the employer in a regular courtroom case in exchange for a weekly or bi weekly paycheck which amounts to about 60 percent of your gross pay for the year leading up to the injury date. The payments also have a time limit of ten years (between full weekly payments and partial weekly payments if you actually get to the ten year mark without a settlement being negotiated and paid to you, then you are no longer entitled to receive a settlement or benefits each week). So the amount of money that you are "entitled" to overall actually decreases with time as you are paid out on a weekly basis and the worker's compensation board / commission in your state is responsible for hearing any complaints or disagreements between you and your employer.

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So, it may be beneficial if you at least consult with a local worker's compensation attorney to determine what the average person or client would do under the same circumstances and faced with the same choices. The attorney can tell you overall what you would be entitled to in the 8 or 10 year payment limit and how much the 23K actually goes to compensate that time period and for your injury. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as being able to sue for pain and suffering with worker's compensation cases and the weekly payments made and any settlement paid are calculated based upon what you were earning every month in a paycheck -- the pain and suffering of the injury does not matter to the WC commission in charge of your case.

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I hope that helps. Please let me know if you have further questions. If not, can you please press a positive rating above in the star rating section so I will be paid for my time. I am not given credit for assisting you unless you press the middle star or the fourth or fifth star to the right of the middle star above. Doing so will not cost you any additional money -- it simply acts as the trigger to Just Answer to credit me for assisting you today. Bonuses are not mandatory but are also greatly appreciated !! THANK YOU VERY MUCH

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MARY

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