Two knee surgeries with replacement...
I was injured at work as a postmaster, but they contested the injury because I was previously in the military. I had one surgery that didn't go well, and then had a total knee replacement 7 months later. Three months after that I was hospitalized for 3 days with a blood clot under my knee.
I've been on workers' comp since May 2012. I'm still having swelling and pain, taking pain meds and using a cane to help with walking. I'm still on the books with the post office. My question is, when and how should I ask for a settlement award? Thank you.
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ANSWER for "Two knee surgeries with replacement...":
Mark (Severville, TN):
You shouldn't consider a settlement award until such time as your treating doctor(s) determine that your injuries are healed, or more likely, they have decided you have reached MMI or "maximum medical improvement."
Maximum medical improvement refers to that point in your medical or chiropractic treatment beyond which you are not expected to get any better from further treatment.
This doesn't mean your treatment is complete. In many cases you may still require treatment, but the treatment will only be intended to maintain your current level of health and ability to function at home, at the workplace, or both.
Once you have reached MMI you should begin the settlemet process. Presuming you will not be able to continue performing your customary work duties, your settlement process should include an award for partial or total disability.
Your case is serious enough for you to consider consulting with an experienced workers' compensation attorney. Most won't charge for an initial office consultation. Get several opinions and go from there.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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