Insurance settlement for work shoulder injury

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Latest post 08-02-2007 3:28 PM by KansasPILawyer. 4 replies.
  • 07-28-2007 10:27 PM

    • dustov
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 07-28-2007
    • Posts 1

    Insurance settlement for work shoulder injury

    Last year I had an accident resulting in a torn rotator cuff. I have had the surgery, the rehab, several months paid off work to recover, and was released by the doctor to return to work several months ago. I have been back to work, working as I was before without problems, in the landscaping industry, since then. Several days ago, I recieved a message from the insurance company that handled my case for my employer informing me that the doctor had released me with a 12% permanent shoulder impairment and they wanted to discuss terms for the settlement. I had no idea I was going to get any settlement, I thought everything was done for my case. I don't remember my doctor telling me specifically that I had a 12% permanent impairment. I just recall him saying that I probably would not have full use as before. Could anyone give me advice as to how to deal with negotiating the settlement? How much should I expect to get in a case such as this? Could I benefit by having a lawyer handle the negotiation for me; i.e. would an attorney be able to get me more money.? PS -- The accident did NOT involve negligence.
  • 07-30-2007 2:54 PM In reply to

    re: Insurance settlement for work shoulder injury

    If you are injured at work (regardless of negligence), you are entitled to a settlement if you have a permanent impairment. The work comp insurer probably asked the doctor to give you a permanent impairment rating, which appears to be 12% to your left or right upper extremity. It is not totally unusual that you have not been provided a copy of the doctor's rating, although you have a right to see it if you ask.

    What you are entitled to based on the 12% depends on your average weekly wage. Also, you are entitled to get another opinion. Often doctors who treat you who are paid by the work comp people do not give the most favorable ratings to you.

    It is up to you to decide whether to hire a lawyer, but in general I believe if a lawyer works hard on your case, you will end up in better shape, even after you pay his or her fees of 25% of the recovery.
  • 08-02-2007 12:08 PM In reply to

    re: Insurance settlement for work shoulder injury

    I can't speak for Kansas WC law and how settlements are computed.

    But try substituting your own figures into the following example.

    Age 35.
    30 years to retirement
    Income 25000 x 30 = 750,000
    12% of 750,000 = 90,000

    The settlement theoretically should be the Present Value of the 90,000 at a reasonable rate of return.

    Present Value is the amount of money you would need now to grow to 90,000 in 30 years.

    Using 5% as a reasonable rate of return, the Present Value is 20823.97.

    Here's the calculator:

    http://1040tools.com/html/wc.dll?cptest1~calc2~pv~my

    I have not adjusted for inflation or potential raises because that would make the calculations too complicated for just illustration purposes.

    True, an attorney might be able to get the 12% rating kicked up.

    But there's no harm in waiting till you see what the offer is before seeing the attorney.

    Once you get an offer, if you feel the need for an attorney, make sure you get a written contingency agreement based on any additional amount the attorney can get for you, not the whole amount.

    You certainly don't want to pay the attorney 25% of money you already got offered on your own.

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 08-02-2007 12:20 PM In reply to

    re: Insurance settlement for work shoulder injury

    Just thought of another way of looking at it.

    Take 12% of the annual income of 25000 = 3000.

    Then figure how much you'd need now at 5% to provide an income of 3000 per year for 30 years.

    As best as I can figure you'd need about 45,000 to 50,000.

    Also not adjusted for inflation or raises.

    One thing you can do when you get the offer is ask for specifics on how it was calculated. I doubt if they are going to just pick a figure out of the air.

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 08-02-2007 3:28 PM In reply to

    re: Insurance settlement for work shoulder injury

    It is completely statutory. You take your percentage of disability, look at the statute for how many weeks of wage that equates to, and then multiply that amount of weeks times 2/3 of your average weekly wage.
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