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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 38879
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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i am in california, i have a closed worker comp claim with

Customer Question

i am in california, i have a closed worker comp claim with stip for open medical, DOB 2002. Diagonsis: three discs with DDD. I had a fusion at one of the levels, doing better now, adjuster wants to close the open medical (C & R?) and cash me out for 100K. I have done the research, I can get private insurance for my pre existing condition so I feel safe that if I need future medical attention, I have access to it. With the economy the way it is, is it wise to settle? Is this a fair offer? thank you
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  TexasAtty replied 5 years ago.
It seems a little low, but a lot depends on your future prognosis from your doctors. If you are expecting more surgery then it is low. If they are saying you won't need anything else then it is just a little on the low side.

Thank you for allowing me to assist you. As you know, we work on the honor system here and cannot always provide you answers that you like. I believe I have answered all of the questions you asked so I would request that you please click the ACCEPT button so I receive credit for my work and leave feedback if you have a chance. Please consider clicking "BONUS" as a nice way of saying "thanks" for a job well done, although this is neither required nor expected. I believe in giving information that is to the point, but please remember that I can only base our answers on the information you provide and sometimes a misunderstanding as to what you are looking for or already know occurs so feel free to ask additional questions or for clarifications. Be very careful about looking at other internet sites that just post generic information without any inquiry into your facts because often those answers are dated, wrong, or wrong as applied to your facts. Please be aware that my answer is not legal advice, it is merely information. You should always contact a local attorney for legal advice.

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Type mistake on the question- ...DOB should be DOIYour answer is exactly what I believe myself! The CA states, in writing, that his offer is based on calculations based on the fact that I will NOT need future surgery. However, my condition is degenerative, so there is a likelyhood for future surgery, especially to the disc right above (L4-L5) the fusion surgery already done, -that adjacent disc is also part of the claim. In one hour I will be seeing the Treating Doctor, a highly respected Nuero surgeon in Southern California. For the short term, he will probably release me from his care. Perhaps I can provide you with more details of future prognosis after my visit.The purpose of using this service was to try to gauge the "fair market value" for my injury (three DDD's in lower back), I was only 22 at time of injury, and now I am 32.May I ask what enterprise you have with California work's comp? Especially with spine injuries....(That will help me to have confidence with your advice, nothing personal)
Expert:  TexasAtty replied 5 years ago.
Not much with CA workers comp law but a lot with PI in general. A whole lot. I can opt out if you prefer someone else.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
yes, i would appreciate that, and I appreciate your time to discuss this matter and since your a PI attorney, i have a possible case for you, if your interested, please leave me your outside email and i will send you the complete facts.....SUMMARY: THE REASON I HAD THE FUSION SURGERY IS BECAUSE THE ARTIFICIAL DISC INSTALLED BEFORE THAT FAILED. A LOCAL ATTORNEY SAID I MIGHT HAVE A CASE (WITHIN STATUE OF LIMITATIONS) BUT WANTS ME TO PUT UP THE MONEY TO HAVE AN EXPERT GO OVER THE MEDICAL RECORDS...PERSONALLY I THINK THE DEVICE, NOT THE DOCTOR IS AT FAULT BECAUSE THE DEVICE DIDNT PERFORM AS INTENDED AS INDICATED BY THE DOC. THE DEVICE CAME OUT THE SPINE COLUMN! HE HAS DONE THESE IMPLANTS MANY TIMES SO I THINK ITS UNLIKELY THAT THE DOC WOULD HAVE MESSED UP, AND I COULD NOT FIND ANY LAWSUITS AGAINST HIS PRACTICE. I WAS GIVEN INFORMED CONSENT ON THE SURGERY IN GENERAL, NOT ON THE DEVICE. I HAVE COMPLETE MEDICAL RECORDS).....but again, thats another matter, please opt out of my original question, so I can get an attorney that specializes in work comp and send me your email if your interested. thank you very much !
Expert:  socrateaser replied 5 years ago.

Different expert here.

Where serious medical issues are concerned, $100,000 is chump change. One spinal surgery can completely wipe out that amount. The question is whether or not you have financial resources that permit you to continue without insurance from the workers' comp system. If you can, then maybe $100,000 is a reasonable settlement. If not, then settlement is ultimately a loser for someone your age, because you almost certainly will need additional spinal surgery in the future, and when you do, that will be the end of your settlement value.

Re the lawsuit concerning the medical device, you can't sue for damages caused by the device itself -- it's barred under federal/FDA law. You can only sue the physician for negligent use or installation/implantation of the device.

You say that you believe the device and not the physician is at fault. If so, then you have no case whatsoever for personal injury (unless you can show that the manufacturer defrauded the FDA in obtaining the device approval).

Hope this helps.

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