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Ratings, MMI questions North Carolina

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  • Ratings, MMI questions North Carolina

    On Friday I have what I expect will be my final visit with my ortho surgeon. I've had 2 surgeries (ACL replacemen/meniscus repair and debridement) and have been in physical therapy and on WC for 8 months. I'm not gonna be able to return to my job as a decorative painter - I can't effectively climb a ladder or bend my knee very well, so I'm clearly gonna have to find another job. My Dr. and I have never discussed the rating process, altho' I'm aware of it. What should I expect? I'm kind of scared he's gonna cut me loose and my benefits will end and I'll have no job; I don't know what's supposed to happen, I don't know how a rating is established, what that rating translates into, etc. I've been to the North Carolina WC website, but it doesn't make any sense to me. I have no idea what to expect or what I'm entitled to; I don't even know if the benefits I'm entitled to are significant enough to get a lawyer or if I just go with the flow. Can someone tell me how this process is supposed to wind up? Thanks.

  • #2
    Even if the doctor says you have reached maximum medical improvement, he will still give you a rating. That rating can be plugged into a formula that is set by statute and this gives you the amount of your permanent partial disability award. Receiving PPD does not end your entitlement to medical benefits should you need future care. Depending on the rating, the insurance carrier may send you for an independent medical exam (IME) to get another rating. The likelyhood that these ratings will be the same is slim to none. Don't get too hung up on the actual numbers as far as your life goes going forward. Focus more on the actual restrictions your doctor recommends not the number.

    If you are getting a straight PPD award, there isn't really the need for a lawyer though certainly if you have a lot of questions or the ratings come back radically different, or you are offered a settlement (which is different than a PPD award) you would do well to consult with a lawyer.

    The type of injury you had should not prevent you from climbing ladders in the future but by all means, talk to your doctor, there may be more going on there than just what little you shared. If you aren't able to return to your former occupation, you should inquire about vocational rehabilitation benefits. This is job training and placement assistance.

    The NC site has a lot of good information on it, but it can be overwhelming as you have to know where to look to find what you are looking for. The FAQ section does have some good basic information and would be a good place to start. http://www.comp.state.nc.us/ncic/pages/faq.htm I'd recommend the PPD section and the back to work section at this point.
    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.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for your response. The more I read about WC, the more complicated it seems...maybe I'm overthinking it. I guess I'm uncomfortable about my ability to do the physical work my job entails; my boss, who I see for lunch pretty regularly, also seems a little queasy about putting me back on a ladder -I still have a limp, and the knee is still clearly swollen. I guess he's concerned about his liability in putting a gimpy person on a ladder with a bucket of paint in somebody's house. My doc is pretty rah-rah about how great my leg is..we'll see how he feels about it today. I have a pretty gravy job, and I love it, but I guess ultimately I have to decide myself whether or not I can keep it up. Thanks again.

      Comment


      • #4
        If you still have these types of symptoms after the type of injury you had, you aren't at MMI. Give it time. Yours is just taking longer to heal than some.

        Talk to your doctor and employer about maybe using a different type of ladder or lift. I've had employees use Genie lifts or the ladders with the built in scaffolding in similar situations, WC or not. Either may be an option for you.
        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.

        Comment


        • #5
          If the doc releases you from care but you cannot do your job, then it does not really matter what your rating is. IN NC, you are allowed to choose the more lucrative remedy between the rating, which in your case will be 10 to 15% to the leg and worth 20 to 30 weeks of your TTD check, or ongoing benefits (TTD) until you are able to return to suitable employment. IF your suitable employment is for less pay than your pre-injury AWW, then they will owe you PPD based on the wage loss, which is usually a lot more over time than the rating. You get to choose, not the insurance carrier. They have to pay you the rating as your minimum recovery, and they will not tell you about these other rights you have.

          You need to talk to a good lawyer because you are about to either get screwed or shoot yourself in the foot. You are about to give up a lot of your rights and benefits under NC work comp law simply due to your own lack of knowledge and the incorrect but well-intended information you may be getting.

          For the most knowledgeable NC work comp lawyers, look for a Board Certified Specialist in Workers Compensation Law. IF I knew what town you were in I could recommend someone, but otherwise, go to the NC State Bar website and look at the Specialist Directory. Good luck.
          Bob Bollinger, Attorney
          Board Certified Specialist in NC Workers' Compensation Law
          Charlotte, NC

          Comment


          • #6
            No referrals on the board, please. Also, this post is almost six months old by now.
            The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

            Comment


            • #7
              If someone in NC needs a lawyer referral they can send me a private message and I will reply.

              I don't understand why you wish to so severely limit the flow of useful information on this forum when an injured worker has a question or need, but that seems to be your pattern. Please enlighten me. Is this forum just for employers and their agents?
              Bob Bollinger, Attorney
              Board Certified Specialist in NC Workers' Compensation Law
              Charlotte, NC

              Comment


              • #8
                No, it's not. But I doubt you will find very many message boards, if any, that will allow referrals. That is for liability reasons.

                Additionally, most message boards also prefer that old threads not be opened since it detracts attention from current threads, with current posters and current problems.

                No one is asking anything different on this board than most boards of the same type. If you are unwilling to play by the rules of the site, you are welcome to open a site of your own where you can make the rules.
                The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I will refrain from any referrals on the forum.

                  But I do not understand why a referral by a poster would cause any legal liability to be assessed against the forum itself. There is no proximate cause.

                  Where in the "rules" does it say not to post to older threads? Where are the "rules", anyway?

                  I read the registration form but do not recall any such "rules." Please tell me where the "rules" are so I can read them and abide by them.

                  Thanks.
                  Bob Bollinger, Attorney
                  Board Certified Specialist in NC Workers' Compensation Law
                  Charlotte, NC

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    4. Limited License; Permitted Uses.

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                    Your license for access and use of the Site and any information, materials or documents (collectively defined as "Content and Materials") therein are subject to the following restrictions and prohibitions on use: You may not (a) copy, print (except for the express limited purpose permitted by Section 4 above), republish, display, distribute, transmit, sell, rent, lease, loan or otherwise make available in any form or by any means all or any portion of the Site or any Content and Materials retrieved there from; (b) use the Site or any materials obtained from the Site to develop, of as a component of, any information, storage and retrieval system, database, information base, or similar resource (in any media now existing or hereafter developed), that is offered for commercial distribution of any kind, including through sale, license, lease, rental, subscription, or any other commercial distribution mechanism; (c) create compilations or derivative works of any Content and Materials from the Site; (d) use any Content and Materials from the Site in any manner that may infringe any copyright, intellectual property right, proprietary right, or property right of us or any third parties; (e) remove, change or obscure any copyright notice or other proprietary notice or terms of use contained in the Site; (f) make any portion of the Site available through any timesharing system, service bureau, the Internet or any other technology now existing or developed in the future; (g) remove, decompile, disassemble or reverse engineer any Site software or use any network monitoring or discovery software to determine the Site architecture; (h) use any automatic or manual process to harvest information from the Site; (i) use the Site for the purpose of gathering information for or transmitting (1) unsolicited commercial email; (2) email that makes use of headers, invalid or nonexistent domain names, or other means of deceptive addressing; and (3) unsolicited telephone calls or facsimile transmissions; (j) use the Site in a manner that violates any state or federal law regulating email, facsimile transmissions or telephone solicitations; and (k) export or re-export the Site or any portion thereof, or any software available on or through the Site, in violation of the export control laws or regulations of the United States.
                    I was going to quote the entire thing, but DANG, it was long. So, I just decided to post the most relevant part.

                    You were supposed to read the terms of use and click that you HAD read them before you could register.

                    No soliciting. Period. To me, espcecially as you are an atty, it seems a bit too close to soliciting when you are offering referrals. So, if this poster just so happens to be in Meck. County or Gaston County (just an example of geographically within your area) would you still refer them to another atty and accept no referral fee or would you just try to convince them that, well HEY!, you're right there close...you can represent them? See what I mean?

                    As far as necroposting, it is just rude and annoying, especially when you have been asked repeatedly from multiple other users to stop.

                    If it is you intention to post correct information, just start your own thread with the information you wish to impart.
                    Last edited by mommyof4; 09-21-2007, 08:05 AM.
                    HOOK 'EM HORNS!!!
                    How do you catch a very rare rabbit?
                    (unique up on him)
                    How do catch an ordinary rabbit?
                    (same way)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Making a referral is not soliciting.
                      Bob Bollinger, Attorney
                      Board Certified Specialist in NC Workers' Compensation Law
                      Charlotte, NC

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        That may be.

                        But I have been advised, whether rightly or wrongly, that referrals can create liability on the part of LLT. Whether that is correct or incorrect, it came from a creditable source, and I see no reason why the forum owners should take the risk.
                        The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by complwyr View Post
                          Making a referral is not soliciting.
                          Please read the edited post. I wasn't done.
                          HOOK 'EM HORNS!!!
                          How do you catch a very rare rabbit?
                          (unique up on him)
                          How do catch an ordinary rabbit?
                          (same way)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Since this little tete a tete seems to be mostly about me, please be advised that I don't accept referral fees. I don't think a NC lawyer can ethically accept referral fees, per state bar rules. And no one else thinks that offering a referral is the same thing as soliciting. They are not even close to being the same.

                            If someone wants to contact me directly, they can certainly send me a PM or find my web site on Google. I don't need to troll the forum for clients.

                            I will, however, continue to post generic info that I think injured workers need, especially those in NC, even if it does seem to aggravate some of you that a Plaintiff's lawyer is posting reliable information.

                            I will refrain from posting referrals simply because the moderator asked me to do so, and because I have no desire to cause the forum owners any concerns about liability.
                            Bob Bollinger, Attorney
                            Board Certified Specialist in NC Workers' Compensation Law
                            Charlotte, NC

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Bob it would almost seem as if some here can't handle being upstaged and corrected when they post erroneous information. Especially when that correction comes from a credible and reliable source such as you. As for myself I have found your posts to be very enlightening. I currently have an open WC claim in GA. Much of what you post concerning NC WC has been very helpful to me. Thank you.

                              Regardless of the age of the post more often than not the content is still applicable. Of course if you are a professional electronic Internet bulletin board poster I can see the cause of frustration. Seems like some of the posters here all flock to a new post like flies on a, ah make that bees on a flower, like it really makes a difference of when they post first of last. I certainly don't understand it but I suppose whatever makes them happy and makes them feel important and needed.
                              Information posted by me is my "OPINION". I do NOT give legal advice to anyone as like most here I am NOT an attorney.

                              Comment

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