Legal Question in Workers Comp in Washington

workers comp. self insured employer

i was off work for 83 days now im back to work full time. the orthapedic surgeon that i seen saidn i had a large tear in the rotater cuff of shoulder the orthapedic surgion said i had seven years to open the claim again he did as much as he could but i would have to have surgery in the next seven years most likly i got a letter from workers comp saying that as follows: (they were closing my case with such medical benifits & temp. disability compensation as provided to date and with such award for perm. partial disability,if any, as set forth below,and w/ the condition that you have returned to work with the self-insured employer. if for any reason you disagree with the conditions or duration of your return to work or medical benifits, temporary disability compensation provided, or or perm. partial disabilty that has been awarded, you must protest in writing to the dept. of labor and industries, self insurance section within sixty days of the date you recieve this order. if you do not protest this order to the department, this order will become final. What does all this mean i was never awarded any permanent patial disability.off work 42.86 a day. working $105.76 thats already less than half regular pay what are they trying to say

Asked on 1/28/07, 4:34 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Paul Bryan Paul W. Bryan, Attorney at Law
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Re: workers comp. self insured employer

There are a number of important factors to consider. The first is if you still need treatment. If so, you want to keep your claim open. If you are not receiving treatment and have a measurable impaiment, then a permanent partial disability award might be appropriate, however, be aware that in order to reopen a claim you will have to show objective signs of worsenning - for example, if you have a 4% impairment at closing, you would have to show 5% or more to reopen. Pain doesn't count. It is a good strategy to keep your claim open as long as possible, but a bad strategy to get as high a rating as possible, for it may impact your ability to reopen. Without reviewing your case in detail I cannot advise precisely. You my be owed some back time loss. I would protest the claim and get a lawyer to review. Don't let the claim close unless your sure that's what you want to do. We can provide that review if you like.

Yours Truly,

Paul Bryan

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1/31/07, 3:12 pm

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