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What can I expect?? Maryland

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  • What can I expect?? Maryland

    I injured my back at work while lifting a 20lb surround sound subwoofer. I ended up herniating 2 discs in my back. This was on July 3, 2006. I've had 3 steroid epidural injections, fluoroscopically guided, and didn't get any relief from any of them. I have pain and numbness down my right leg, and severe pain in my lower back. Workers comp has approved everything thus far..(knock on wood). I have a level 2 fusion scheduled for April 19. The MRI's showed that I have degenerative disc disease also, which just adds to the pain.
    When I went to the IME, the doctor seemed very quiet, and studied every move I made. He had me try to bend over to touch my toes, arch my back, and bend from side to side, which I could barely do any of those. He tested my reflexes in both legs, I assume to compare them, then while he was touching my outer calf on my right leg, asked me if I could feel it and to what degree.
    At the end of his examinaton, I asked him if he could tell me what he was going to report to workers comp. He said that he was going to tell them that the treatments so far haven't been working thus far. I said "thats it??" and he said "basically". He said that he was going to report that my reflexes in my right leg weren't as strong as in the left, and sensation in my right leg was diminished.

    I guess what I want to know is how much of a settlement can I expect?? I an 32 years old and the injury occured when I was 31. I do have an attorney and his secretary has been very helpful so far. I've only spoken to my attorney one time, and that was when he called me back to try to get me to retain him.

  • #2
    At the end of his examinaton, I asked him if he could tell me what he was going to report to workers comp. He said that he was going to tell them that the treatments so far haven't been working thus far. I said "thats it??" and he said "basically". This was an IME doctor, not your treating physician. The WC carrier just wanted an independent medical evalulation of your current medical status and whether your treatment to date was providing any benefit. There's nothing to be concerned about in how the doctor responded.

    I guess what I want to know is how much of a settlement can I expect?? Nobody here could even hazard a guess. It will depend on your degree of permanent impairment when you reach end of healing (whenever that may be), whether you will be entitled to/in need of vocational rehab, a settlement for loss of earning capacity, etc. Maybe your own attorney will be willing to make a guess for you but until the final medical reports are in, it's impossible to even comment.

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    • #3
      Right now it is way too early to talk settlement. You have to get the treatment first. After the treatment, once you have reached maximum medical improvement, then you can begin to talk about either a PPD award or a settlement. Typically, this is about a year post surgery.
      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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