Legal Question in Workers Comp in California

I am 42 years old, I worked as delivery driver/ unloader, for 7 years. I was injured with back and knee. The AME gave me 5% whole person impaired with future medical, no repetitive bending or lifting. I don't work at that job anymore, I have a different job, suitable for my injury. I have a msc in two weeks, how much should I expect in the settlement?

Asked on 4/30/12, 11:22 am

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1 Answer from Attorneys

Nancy Wallace Nancy Wallace
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If there is an AGREED medical Evaluator, you have an attorney (or had an attorney).

YOUR ATTORNEY is going to take a 15% chunk of your money.

Why are you not insisting on a face-to-face or at least an email with anticipated recovery being discussed????

if the employer made a special new job for you, any award gets chopped by 15%.

If the employer fired you and you went out and got this new job yourself, your award gets boosted 15%.

5% WPI on just a knee might go up to 10% Permanent Disaiblity for a 42-yr-old trucker, but 5% WPI on a spine might just stay around7-8 permanent disaiblity...

...so was the 5% WPIon the knee or the back? if it's both, the judge can't use it and you'll be sent back to the AME to clarify.

Did the AME write that any of your 5% is pre-existing and not the employer's responsibility?

Then it's cut down by what the AME wrote is not the employer's responsibility (we call this apportionment... fancy term for cut the worker's recovery).

Consultative Ratings from the Disability Evaluation Unit are free... this is what the State Rater would assign as permanent disability IF the judge sent her the report with instructions (after trial) to rate for all factors of permanent disability found by this AME.

5% permanent disability (not WPI but straight PD) equates to $3,450... 15 weeks @230/wk.

That said, the Whole Person Impairment might translate to 10% Permanent Disaiblity $6957.70.

If you're still seriously impaired, 5% isn't enough...your attorney should be confronting the AME at a deposition about factors of disability he missed.

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Answered on 5/03/12, 1:06 pm

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