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WC and multiple surgeries? North Carolina

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  • WC and multiple surgeries? North Carolina

    Ok I am pretty sure I know the answer to this but was just thinking about it and figured I would ask you guys, long story short I crushed my foot with a forklift in April 2010. I had immediate surgery, another surgery in November 2010 and went back to work in March of this year but only because I was able to go to roughly an office position which wont last, still having pain so they are wanting to go back in and reconstrust my whole heel and achilles. This will be my 3rd surgery, question is when it comes time for you to settle does it make a difference on how many times you have had to have surgeries? I assume its only goes off your perm disability, I really dont want this next surgery because I will be out of work for at least 6 more months and the pain I am having I really dont feel it will fix.

  • #2
    question is when it comes time for you to settle does it make a difference on how many times you have had to have surgeries?
    No... not the type or amount of treatment you have received.
    I assume its only goes off your perm disability
    That's part of any settlement negotiation.
    I really dont want this next surgery because I will be out of work for at least 6 more months and the pain I am having I really dont feel it will fix. .
    Listen to your doctor/surgeon. If you go in with a negative attitude on whether or not the surgery will be successful, it probably won't help.
    Consider too... while no one can force you to accept any recommended treatment, any comp benefits you may be entitled to could be suspended. Including weekly wage replacement.
    Listen too to your attorney.
    There is a terrific NC WC atty on this board... Bob Bollinger, he'll likely be along soon.

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    • #3
      PPD is based upon the degree of disability after all treatment has been rendered, not what it took to get you to that state. Typically though, those with multiple surgeries do result in a finding of a greater degree of disability than those that just have say, PT for a short period. This is largely because surgery typically means a more substantial injury to begin with as well as sometimes leaving you with residual effects such as scar tissue.

      Do not base your decision to have or not have surgery on what you think your settlement or PPD award might be. It is your body and you have to live with it. I've seen far too many people try to let the pay off dictate treatment and they never come out ahead. The difference in money is not going to be all that great in the WC system and you end up suffering in the meantime. Not to mention if you do end up with the surgery at a later date, you can bet the outcone is not going to be as positive as if you got it done when recommended.
      I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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      • #4
        Thanks, CAIW. For a serious injury like the OP's in NC, the settlement analysis will depend on whether the OP can return to "suitable employment" and earn as much as the pre-injury gross wage. In many NC cases, the disability percentage is really irrelevant to the settlement outcome. Kendel, you have an "election of remedies" under the Gupton case and your lawyer should explain this to you.

        If you don't already have a lawyer, then you can contact a NC Certified Specialist in Workers' Comp attorney as any of them will give a free consultation. Our comp law was changed significantly as of 6-24-11 and some of those changes may apply to your case. But trying to discuss settlement with the insurance company when you don't know all the nuances of the law will almost certainly be a mistake. And I agree with ElleMD that getting better is the most important thing. You will not get enough money from your settlement to retire, so concentrate on doing what you need to do to support yourself and your family into the future.
        Last edited by complwyr; 10-18-2011, 07:28 PM.
        Bob Bollinger, Attorney
        Board Certified Specialist in NC Workers' Compensation Law
        Charlotte, NC

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