I injured my dominant right shoulder at work. I have been under workmans comp since my surgery in Jan. I have received a Form 26A from the insurance company. My average weekly wage is 579.98 and my permanent impairment is 10%. What should my compensation be? Also, if I settle for what they have offered what does that mean as far as their future responsibility for the injury. Thank you.
3 Answers from Attorneys
I would not settle or sign anything until you speak with an attorney. You are entitled to a second opinion on your rating which you may want to get. In addition, signing a 26A may or may not be the best option for you. This is only one of many ways a workers' comp claim can settle.
Right now, you would receive 24 weeks of benefits for your injury...100% disability to the shoulder (arm) is worth 240 weeks , 10% of that is 24. Benefits are calculated at 66 2/3 % of your average wage so .6667 x $579.88 = 386.61 and 386.61 x 24 = $9,278.64.
Thanks for your question and feel free to follow up.
I agree with Mr. Shapiro. However, there is an additional issue that I would raise.
Beyond your right (by law) to a second opinion on the permanent partial impairment (PPD) rating of 10%, which could easily be too low, there is the question of whether you have truly had the benefit of all medical treatment necessary for your shoulder injury after your right shoulder surgery 6 months ago.
The shoulder is a fairly complex part of the body, with bone, muscles, tendons, etc. all coming together to move your arm and use your arm to pick up things, etc. Hopefully you have had a good recovery and do not need more treatment.
If you receive money under a Form 26A to pay out a PPD rating, then you shorten the time span within which you are eligible to ask for additional treatment. That might well not be in your best interest.
If you have other questions or concerns, please feel free to follow up.
You have multiple issues. These include whether you would be better advised to take a wage loss claim, keeping the file open for a total of up to 500 weeks, whether you need a second medical opinion on the shoulder and whether future medical care is needed. Look at Form 18M, which the comp carrier probably did not discuss with you. http://www.ic.nc.gov/forms/form18m.pdf
I would be concerned with your long term medical needs, whether you can return to work, what retraining may be necessary, and who is going to pay for it. Get a Board Certified Specialist ASAP: http://www.nclawspecialists.gov/results.asp?SpecialtyID=1111
Good Luck, George