I have a Workers Compensation Case Riverside County, California (approximately two years now) that is going into a settlement hearing, proposed by my attorney.
My question(s) are that in California, am I entitled to be reimbursement for?
a) Mileage expensed that I had to take on, going to monthly medical review and evaluations appointments with the medical staff, which were set-up by my attorney?
b) I had to Use My Own Vacation/Sick Time, to go to monthly medical review and evaluations appointments with the medical staff, which were set-up by my attorney?
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1 Answer from Attorneys
You're paying you attorney Thou$ands, maybe tens of thousand$, you deserve a face-to-face meeting with your attorney on these questions.
A) Mileage is due on 'reasonable' medical treatment with physicians withint the Medical Provider Network. The carrier wiil refuse to pay for trips to doctors outside the network, or you just drove to an MPN facility with appointment just to get info, the carrier will refuse to pay.
YOUR ATTORNEY SHOULD HAVE PROVIDED YOU WITH WCAB MILEAGE FORMS for each year of medical treatment travel. The carrier should have provided checks in advance for each medical-legal exam. Your attorney should have demanded mileage if you drove to any depositions.
B) You are NOT due payment for missing time for medical treatment. so if 'monthly medical review' means a re-evaluation by a treating physician, then there is no reimbursement for those lost accruals.
Possible exception: If the treating physician (on the mpn) wrote your were Temporary Totally Disabled for the date of the exam, you are entitled to one day of TTD for that date. (That TTD notation needs to be on the PR2 or the Work Status report already.)
IF the DEFENSE arranged appointments on behalf of the insurance company, then the insurer was supposed to send one day of Temporary Disability indemnity in a check prior to the defense doctor evaluation. That only applies to QME, AME or defense-requested evaluations (not your 'monthly medical').
GET THE MEDICAL TREATMENT MILEAGE completed and rushed to the adjuster immediately; if you wait until the date you are brought in to sign the C&R, you will have to re-write part of the C&R... the compromise & release agreement typically closes all further claims for expenses (including mileage). If you submit the mileage tomorrow and it is not paid on the date you sign, and you sign anyway, YOU SURRENDER YOUR RIGHT TO COLLECT TWO YEARS OF MILEAGE EXPENSE.
if your attorney failed to handle this situation for you, I'm really worried about what other benefits are due to you your 'attorney' has neglected... are you certain you have a real attorney representing you, or just an office secretary???