Legal Question in Workers Comp in South Carolina

workers comp question

Hi, I had acdf with fusion on c5-c6

last May and it looks like the Dr. is

going to finally declare me MMI next

month. He's already told me that I

have an automatic 25% impairment

rating in my neck and that I have a

25% chance of having another

surgery on the disc above or beneath

in the next 10 years. He made it

VERY CLEAR that I shouldn't close

future medical for anything less than

20 grand since this is what another

fusion would cost at a minimum.

When I was off work my weekly

check was around 360.00. Does

anyone have a clue what I can

expect as a settlement offer? Do you

think they'll even come close to

offering that much to close future

medical? I don't currently have an

attorney and honestly haven't

needed one up to this point... Would

it be wise to get one just for the

closing of this case? Thanks in

advance for any advice!


Asked on 2/27/08, 11:05 am

3 Answers from Attorneys

John Griffith Smith & Griffith, LLP

Re: workers comp question

You definitely need an attorney to negotiate a fair settlement for you. The fee should be a 1/3 contingent fee of the amount the attorney obtains for you above the value of you current rating.

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Answered on 2/27/08, 11:24 am

Alton L. Martin, Jr. Martin & Martin Attorneys, PA

Re: workers comp question

I do not think $20,000 would come close to your future medical needs. It may pay for the surgery if everthing goes well. It would not pay for physical therapy, medication or follow up care.

You will not likely receive a settlement offer anywhere near the value of your case. Depending on your limitations, your case could be worth more than $125,000 plus future medical costs.

I would strongly recommend getting an attorney as they can negotiate for you and tell you if you are receiving a good offer. Also, there is certain language you will need in any settlement to avoid problems with Social Security later. If you receive an offer from the insurance adjuster, an attorney can only charge you 1/3 of the amount that they negotiate over the settlement offer that you received on your own.

You are welcome to contact me directly with any other questions. I would be happy to assist you with this claim.

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Answered on 2/27/08, 11:32 am
Randall Hood McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC

Re: workers comp question

Our firm has an attorney that practices only in the workers comp arena. He has advised me that you need to seek out a settlement based on permanent disability to the back of more than 50%. We had workers compensation reform in SC last year but it appears your injury occurred before that date and may qualify you for permanent full time disability. It will be imperative to keep your options open in regard to future medical care. If you were declared permenently disabled, you would be entitled to 500 weeks of your average weekly wage that would be prorated for the time value of money and offset by benefits you have already received. Please feel free to call my firm toll free if we can help in any way. Thanks in advance. Have a blessed week.

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Answered on 3/03/08, 10:12 am

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