Workers Comp Settlement Tips No One Will Tell You!

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Workers Comp Settlement Tips No One Will Tell You!

When do injured workers typically get offered a workers compensation settlement at what point in their case does it happen?

So, sometimes people are offered settlements, sometimes we demand a settlement. So it could come from either side, I guess that's my opening talking point here. A lot of times insurance companies will make an offer, but more often than that, they will reach out to see if we have interest in settling. Insurance companies don't always like to throw out the first number, they like to get the first number, it's kind of a negotiation 101.

You do always want to try to get that first number from your opponent to see where they're starting at so you know how to go from there. Kind of gives you a little insight into what they're thinking. And insurance companies very, very rarely will throw out that opening number. It happens, but most of the time we're going to get a call or an e-mail. We're going to get a call or an e-mail from an insurance company saying something along the lines of please find out if your client's interested and if your client is interested in settling what's their demand. So a lot of times it comes as a demand from us.

If we get that letter or that phone call, I'll reach out to my client and I'll say, "Hey, the insurance company's talking settlement here, they want to know what you want to do." And if I hear that my client is interested, we will work up with demand and send a demand over to them and start that process. It could come at any time, it could come under any set of circumstances, and it's really case specific, in fact specific. As we know, every case is different.

Even you could take two of the most identical cases and there's still other factors that makes them different and can change the outcome one way or another. So a settlement offer or a settlement negotiation or a settlement dialogue between us and the insurance company could really come at any time. I've gotten settlement offers on cases before the first hearing. Sometimes if it's a very complex issue and it could go either way as to whether or not this particular case and this particular injured party would be covered, sometimes the insurance company is going to say, "Hey, you might not win this case. Here's X amount of dollars and you could just walk away from this thing." So sometimes that happens up front. If there's questions as to whether or not a case is truly compensable, you might get a settlement offer up front just to get rid of it so we don't have to go through that trial. We might look to settle a case like that.

If I feel as though the facts are not great and it might not be a workers' comp case, sometimes you could settle those cases as well and move on. Maybe there's coverage elsewhere. If a case has relatively minor injuries, sometimes an insurance company is going to say that there's no point in us fighting back and forth forever and ever over what are relatively minor injuries. Let's try to figure out the value of the claim, the value of the injuries, pay it and we could all be done with it. Sometimes you can get a little more than when your injuries might be worth because you're saving the insurance company so much money in litigation costs. When it comes to minor cases and questionable cases, we look at those and we call those nuisance value cases.

Sometimes we try to get whatever we can to just get rid of the case and move on. But it could also be on bigger cases, pardon me. One moment, this is an unrelated topic that just came in. Sorry folks. Give me two minutes on that, I'll get you an answer. We're always working here. Okay. But yeah, it could be a larger case too. We had a case, it wasn't very low. It made about eight or nine years ago though. A gentleman fell on a construction site, fell into a trench. He had shoulder issues. He had knee issues, both required surgery. The insurance company said, these are the bases, these are our defenses. This is why we're fighting this case.

They came up with a pretty good initial offer. They said, "We'll give you guys." I think it was $75,000. Was their initial offer to move the case and just get rid of it. It was very tempting for my client. He needed surgery. There was a lot of other issues there. We ultimately did not settle up front. We did litigate the case. We were successful and we got him actually a bigger settlement at the end. But it's tempting. It's tempting. And insurance companies know that it's tempting. A lot of times they will throw money at you hoping that you're going to bite. It's the bait technique. They throw a piece of bait in front of you and hope you're going to bite. And it does happen. I've had clients get that letter. Anytime an insurance company makes an offer, we're obligated to take you to our clients. And I always say, that offer could be $10. I'm obligated to tell you about it and discuss the ramifications with you. And there are times, there have been times where the insurance company will throw out an offer as undervalued as it might be and the person just needs money.

The insurance companies know that there are people out there that just need money and will take what's put in front of them and it happens. So people jump on it. It's important to have a good lawyer who understands what the value of your case might be. What the facts of your case are going to translate to in terms of dollar value and the long term. So you should have that discussion with your lawyer anytime there is an offer made. Don't just jump on it. Whenever my clients call me and say, I got the letter and whether they say, I'll take it or I don't want it. I always say, let's have a discussion about it first. So you understand, you have a full understanding of the ramifications of taking versus not taking the pros and the cons. I want my clients to be fully aware of what the factors are. The pros and the cons of taking or not taking or further negotiating a settlement. We don't just jump. We have discussions. We have to talk about it.

What makes a big workers' compensation settlement? What type of injuries or circumstances lead to larger settlements?

The easy answer to that is big injuries, usually the big settlements. The basis for evaluating and determining the value of the case. Cases are based upon the amount of money that you were earning prior to your accident, the severity of the permanent nature of your injury, and in some cases, lost time. So, you know, big injuries with highway journeys, with a lot of lost time, usually result in higher payouts. But it's not a hard and fast rule, especially when it comes to lost time. As we've discussed in prior videos and prior live streams, schedule loss of use.

A lot of times when you have a significant injury to an extremity, an arm, a leg, a knee, a shoulder, lost time is sometimes less of a factor. Sometimes you do better by going back sooner, regardless of how bad that shoulder might be, or, you know, how bad you need surgery. Because the basis for the value of, generally speaking, and again, every case is different, but here in New York, a shoulder injury, it's based upon the amount of money that you're getting. The value is based upon how bad that permanent disability is. Whether you go back to work or not, doesn't change how bad your injury is. Shoulders, elbows, wrists, same for legs, hips, knees, ankles, things like that. But bigger injuries generally result in bigger settlements.

Another factor is the extent and the type of treatment that a person will need moving forward. A major part of a settlement for an insurance company is buying out not just the money they're going to be forced to pay you into the future, but buying out your medical. And this goes to what Vic was asking before about leaving your medical open. Generally speaking, the vast majority of settlements, Section 32 settlements, which we're going to talk about the different settlements in a moment, but a Section 32 settlement is a very popular widely used settlement type. And it's a complete and total absolute closure of your case. And the reason why insurance companies do that is they don't want to be on the hook for anything anymore. They want to close your medical out.

So in circumstances where there is the prospect of a lot of future medical treatment that might be necessary, value will go up. And how that's dealt with varies from case to case. Okay. So what leads to larger settlements? The severity of injuries, treatment, things of that nature. Hello, she's always a follower. I'm always pleased to see her and she always has fantastic questions. No pressure if you don't have a question today that's fine, but I do always appreciate your company on these live streams.

How are workers' compensation settlements typically calculated and what factors have the biggest impact on the amount?

So generally speaking, in order to determine the value of a settlement, we need to look at a few factors here. And first, it's like I just discussed schedule loss of use versus non-schedule injuries. So the valuation of a head neck and back type of case is completely different from an arm or leg. You're looking at the severity of the permanent damage to that body part. And as I said before, we schedule loss cases.

We have the chart and everything kind of works off the chart. You look to the chart, you look to the medical treatment guidelines, you look to your clients specific injuries and limitations, and you figure out what the value is there. And obviously as a claim and eternity, we try to show that that severity is as big as can be. It's going to get you as much money as possible. We try to show all the problems that you're having as a result of this accident, these injuries. There's a lid floating around. With non-schedule injuries, head neck and back, the value is based upon the severity of your permanent disability and your loss time. You need to be out of work to get money on a case with a head neck or back, core body injuries, heart attacks and strokes are included in that traumatic brain injuries and things of that nature. If you have the worst back injury in the world, but you go back to work and you're earning the same or more money than you're earning prior to your accident, generally speaking, you don't get money for that. At that point, we're trying to buy a medical if we look at a set of your case. We have to look at the nature of your injuries and oftentimes you have a combination. You might not have a bed back and a bed neck and also a shoulder is included.

You've got to figure out which of the injuries has more value and you've got to look at whether or not the person is going back to work or has returned to work and where the value lies in the case. And also, future medical care is factored in there. So there's a lot of factors in figuring out how a workers' compensation case is calculated and the value of a settlement. Let's see, we've got some more questions popping up here. What happens if you get social security because of the injury you suffered in your job? Two back surgery. Since I had surgery, I had seven panic attacks and now I'm on four different medications. Well, if you're panic attacks, I hope you're seeing a professional for that. And I hope in New York, those might be deemed and this is what we were talking about before, consequential injuries. Oftentimes, psychological or psychiatric disabilities which set in after your accident but are related to the underlying accident injury can be included in the case as consequential injuries. Once they're included as consequential injuries, they're handed like any other injury as part of that case.

With respect to the social security aspect of your question, there is an interplay between social security, disability, social security benefits and workers' compensation benefits. And the combination of two cannot exceed a certain amount of money and it's something that doesn't have to be considered in cases where there is a social security component. Also, when we talk about things like future medical care, social security becomes a factor as well. If you are receiving social security benefits, if you are Medicare eligible or Medicare beneficiary, in those circumstances, we have to get a Medicare set aside. What is a Medicare set aside? A Medicare set aside is a calculation of the present dollar value of the cost of your future medical care. So let's break that down.

We need to get Medicare to tell us or at least approve the amount of money that is proposed to them, usually by the insurance company or a vendor that they use, as to the present dollar value of the cost of your future medical care. So how much will it cost to pay for the medical treatment related to these injuries from this claim for the rest of your life in present dollar value? And whatever that number is, Medicare says, well, you are going to settle this case for $100,000, we believe it is going to cost $50,000 today to pay for the medical treatment related to this case for the rest of this person's life. So you have to set aside $50,000. That's the value of the medical here. So if the indemnity portion is worth $100,000 and there is a $50,000 Medicare set aside, sometimes we can negotiate for more money there. And going back to what Vic said, this is one of those circumstances, Vic, can you settle your case and leave your medical open sometimes? This is a reason why that exact circumstance happens. If we reach and agree with the insurance company, that case is worth $100,000 and the Medicare set aside comes back and they say, well, we need $120,000 for Medicare set aside. Well, we can't take $120,000 out of $100,000. So the insurance company might say, look, why don't we just leave the medical open here? We'll pay those bills whenever they do come in. We'll deal with that and we'll give you $75,000 instead.

And sometimes that works out. It's sometimes that can be a fair deal depending on the particular circumstances of that case. So that is one circumstance, Vic, where we can settle a case and leave medical open. Generally speaking, a settlement, any settlement is an agreement between the parties and barring something that's illegal or unconscionable. Unconshiable is something that shocks the conscience. You can agree to do anything with the insurance company. If you and your lawyer and the insurance company sit down and you come to an agreement, you can agree to just about anything that two of you parties want to do. And theoretically, that agreement could include leaving medical open. The problem is most from a realistic perspective, insurance companies don't want to leave medical open. They're settling a case to get rid of it. So you could negotiate for it. You could agree to it. You could settle a case leaving medical open.

But insurance companies only do it when their hands are tied. They're kind of forced to do it. So that's the quick answer to that question about leaving medical open. Often times it's done where Medicare set-asides are prohibitive or we see it sometimes where a person is not really treating much anymore. The insurance company might be on the hook to pay somebody. They might have been classified with a permanent injury and they're getting payments for a prolonged period of time. And the insurance company looks to the file and says, "Well, this guy hasn't treated in three years. We're not going to give him extra money for future medical care. We're not going to go through the hassle of getting a Medicare set-aside because he's not even treating.

"Why are we going to kill ourselves and pay out on something that's not even happening?" So they'll offer you an indemnity only settlement. That's the name of those settlements where medical stays open. They'll offer an indemnity only settlement and they'll say, "Your guy's not treating anyway. Why are we going to pay for extra money for treatment?" We'll leave medical open. If he wants to see the doctor once a year, we'll pay for it. And generally, when you do go see a doctor once a year, they give you a hard time anyway, so they know how to fight the fight. But those are the general generic circumstances where you see cases where medical stays open. But Vic, I love the question. Vic is getting the gold star so far today. Sequana Imani, when my case has been going on for three years, when do you think they will settle? I don't know. I don't know enough about your case. I don't know who your insurance company is.

There's a lot of factors that I would need to know to give you a solid answer to that question. Three years is a long time. It really depends on who's your insurance company. There are insurance companies that don't settle cases for whatever reason. I don't get it. But we have some insurance companies that don't settle cases. We have some insurance companies that have in their inner workings and their dealings to get certain accounts. It's a business for them like anything else. So in order for them to get larger accounts, if XYZ insurance company wants to get the Home Depot account and do all the workers' comp for Home Depot, there's a lot of money there. Sometimes they have to give concessions back to those employers, target Home Depot, Walmart.

You see a lot of big companies, Delta Airlines, whoever it is. One of the things that happens is they say, because every time the insurance company pays out on a case, presumably the premiums for that policy go up. So if there is an injury at Home Depot, and I'll make it up these examples, if there's an injury at Home Depot and a case is brought and there's a payout on that case, Home Depot and now their premiums are going to go up because the exposure to the insurance company is higher. And what happens is those employers, when they make these deals with the insurance companies, they tell them, "Look, we'll give you our business, but we want to have some say in the settlement process. We want to know what's going on here. We want to have final approval of any settlements." And sometimes they will, I don't want to say they'll block a settlement or they'll turn down a settlement, but what I see is a lot of times we don't get answers. I was on the phone with an insurance company earlier today about this exact issue. We're at the final stages. We have the final hearing coming up next week, presumably.

And we're trying to work on a settlement, and the attorney for the insurance company keeps telling me that the adjuster is sending emails to the employer saying, "Hey, we've worked all this out. We just need your approval. Take a look at it." And they're not getting any response. They're getting crickets. So we're going to have to go in the court and tell a judge that we're all trying to resolve this case here, and I don't know what's holding it up, but maybe the judge is going to make a decision. Maybe the judge is going to give us another chance to try to work it out, but these are some of the roadblocks we face. So when you ask me how long, when do I think they're going to settle, there's so many outside factors that weigh in here.

But if you have questions and if you don't have an attorney and you're looking for some help, feel free to give me a call. As always, folks, this is where I toot my horn. Rex Zachofsky New York Workers' Compensation. If you're out of state, you need help. We do have a nice network of attorneys across the country. We can help with just about finding you help anywhere you need. My phone number here, 212-402-8989. And we are here to help.

S'quanna, I wish you all the best, and if you do need any help, please feel free to reach out. Let's see if we have any other questions that are... Vic is pushing my buttons today now. This is another good one. You've got a lot of good questions. We're going to touch on this one as well. "In New York, how does facial disfigurement work? Damage teeth and now have altered speech, 45-year-old male value." Great question. You hit on something that's not even in my notes, so we're going to talk about this. PM Galeria. Hold on one second. Let's see what we got here. Permanent Facial Disfigurement. I just want to check the law on this New York State Workers only because facial disfigurement. The law does change. Yep, I'm right.

The law does change and things change and it's still the same as it always been. Permanent Facial Disfigurement. So, how does permanent facial disfigurement work? Great question. If you have a horrible accident where you slice your arm and you have a horrific scar on your arm, discoloration... It's a gross scar. Let's just leave it at that. You get no extra money for the scar. As ugly and disgusting and horrifying as it might be, old lady shriek at the sight of your deformed arm and they run away, you don't get any more money for having that disfigurement. The value is based upon schedule loss of use. It's based upon loss of function.

So, if your arm functions perfectly but looks like it came out of a horror movie, you don't get money for that. The only time you get money for disfigurement is if it's facial disfigurement. Permanent Facial Disfigurement is any disfigurement of the face from the hairline to the clavicle bones, your collarbones. So, it's going to be from your collarbones up to your hairline from ear to ear. So, it's going to be in between the ears and I don't know if I could... We have a muscle that goes from the back of your ear down to your collarbone. There's one on either side. It's going to be in front of those muscles. So, on your face or the front of your neck, if you have any scarring or disfigurement, it doesn't have to be a scar. Discoloration. Anything as a result of an accident, you aren't held to an additional award. The award is anywhere from zero to $20,000 and it is up to the judge's discretion. Most of the time, we try to work it out with the insurance company beforehand. Nobody wants to be blindsided by the unknown, so we try to figure it out. But they do factor in various things. And teeth, PM Galleria, is one of them.

So, if you do have broken teeth that can't be fixed or haven't been fixed and they're permanent, you could get additional money for that. We also see it sometimes with people who have an injury where they have to have an eye removed and they have prosthetics. That is sometimes a factor. Try to think about what else broken noses with a crooked nose. Those are permanent facial affirming awards. What else? Think in here. Any disfigurement, any change to your face. So, it's up to the judge's discretion. Things that they factor in are your job. What do you do? If you're customer service for at the Clinique counter at Macy's, you're going to get a little bit more money than the guy who is shoveling gravel in a mind somewhere who doesn't face the public. Your age is a factor. Marital status can be a factor. The judge wants to hear your story and the judge is going to make a decision. But, like I said, normally we sit down and we try to hammer out the value there. So, you know, age is a factor. A younger person is going to get more money than an older person. But there's the value. It's anywhere from zero to $20,000. Fantastic question. That is a settlement. That is a permanent injury award. And I certainly appreciate that question. Man, the guy that you guys are flowing with the questions today. We're going to go a little further here. Try to finish up the slides and I'm going to tackle your questions.

Are there different types of workers' compensation settlements? And which one is right for me?

Yes. So, a permanent facial disfigurement award. That's a type of settlement. It can either be a settlement where we reach an agreement with the insurance company and settle the case. We could do a permanent facial disfigurement award via stipulation. And stipulation is another type of settlement. Stipulation just means agreement. And it's basically, I should find a stipulation form here. It's a blank form. It's a form where we put the case information at the top and signatures at the bottom. And the middle is blank and wide open. And a stipulation form basically just means agreement. If the parties are able to reach an agreement, we write it on the form. We all sign it at the judge agrees and improves the judge signs off and boom, it's done.

And a stipulation can address a minor issue in a case. Men to include the left pinky toe. Done. If everyone agrees to put it in, we could stipulate to it and put it in and be done with it. And we could also stipulate to 50% of the scheduled loss of use of the shoulder. And case closed, have a nice day. So stipulation could address any one or number of issues. It can address a small issue as a part of the case or a case in its entirety. A stipulated agreement, generally speaking, can be reopened under the proper set of circumstances if necessary. It's not an absolute total, 100% closure, like a section 32 that we discussed earlier. Stipulations can be reopened. Decisions from judges, unless it's a decision on a section third, can be reopened under the right set of circumstances. A section 32, which is a separate type of settlement, is an absolute closure. So whether that section 32 addresses the hold case or part of the case, like we were discussing with Vic before, once that portion of the section 32 is decided, approved and closed, it's closed forever and cannot be reopened. The only way it could be addressed is if all the parties agree to reopen the case, but why is an insurance company going to agree to reopen a case that they paid to close? They don't want to ever see it again. So in reality, those cases are closed forever. So the two big types of settlements, stipulations and section 32s, those are our two big settlements.

And section 32 is a subheading. You can have full and final, which are the majority of settlements, and what we call the indemnity onlys, which is where your indemnity, your monetary, your financial benefits are closed, and your medical stays open. We don't want to address medical.

How can injured workers increase the size of their settlement? Are there any strategies for getting a bigger payout?

I don't want to do this, but get a lawyer. We know the law. We know the rules. We know the judges and the insurance companies. We know which insurance companies don't pay out. So we're not going to waste our time or your time. We know which insurance companies are a little looser at their wallets. We know how to convince people. Part of being a lawyer is being a negotiator.

It's not just knowing the law, but it's knowing how to negotiate and apply the law and your facts all together and get you the best outcome possible. Nobody knows your story better than you. Nobody knows your facts and your circumstances better than you. But when you sit down with your lawyer and you tell them what's going on, they pluck out the things that they know are useful, and we use them to get you the best outcome possible.

And one example, and I kind of have it later on here in my notes, but one example that we're going to discuss is, you know, I sit down with my clients. They tell me what's going on. They tell me their story. And we take the information that's useful and we disregard the information that's not going to help us. And one big thing, and we hear about it all the time, and you could talk to any workers' compensation lawyer, people come in and say, "I need money. I haven't paid my rent in two or three months." I want you to tell the judge that I owe $12,000 in rent. And, you know, unfortunately, a judge is going to say, "I'm sorry to hear that. That's horrible, and I feel terrible." But there's nothing in the law that factors in the value of your rent in getting you more money.

So that's a fact that we're going to put aside. We're going to take what's important and what we could use to drive your case forward and get you more money. So getting a lawyer is probably the biggest thing for maximizing dollar value on a settlement of any type. We know what we're doing. And we've been doing it a long time. You know, the lawyers that do come know the law, know how to apply your facts, and know how to get you that maximum payout. So it's probably the biggest thing. Settling at the right time is also very important, and this goes back to getting a lawyer.

We know when it's the right time to settle. Like I said before, most settlements, most section 32 settlements are full and final settlements. So not only are we settling the money portion, we're settling the value of your future medical care. And the medical treatment guidelines, the workers' compensation board, medical treatment guidelines, which guide the doctors as to the treatment that you're going to be receiving that you're entitled to, don't allow you to treat forever. You can't get physical therapy for 25 years. It's not going to happen. Sorry for the air horns. You can't get treatment forever.

Workers' comp will not authorize lifelong treatment of whatever you want. As time goes on and as you get more and more treatment, that's less and less treatment that's going to be made available to you. It comes to a point. So as time goes on, the value of your future medical goes down. The more treatment you get, the less treatment it's going to be available to you in the future, and that value goes down. So if you are getting rid of the settle, you want to strike at the right time when you are presumably done for the most part with your treatment, but there's still some meat on the bone that you can get some value for future medical care there as well. So those are things that a lawyer is more familiar with and able to find the right time to settle your case.

What should injured workers ask themselves before selling their workers' compensation case and what should they consider before making their decision?

It's the same topic. The biggest thing that I tell my clients, whenever we talk settlements, whether it's the money's too low or this, my number one question is, and I say this line to people 15 times a day, where are you at with your treatment? Have you discussed this with your doctor? If we are going to settle your case, you need to know that you are more likely than not, your medical treatment is going to stop. You need to have a discussion with your doctor. If your doctor says, "Look, you could go home and I'll teach you how to do some stretches and get an elastic band and you can stretch and help yourself at home." If your doctor says that you need spinal surgery, maybe some of them are not such a good option at this point in time because we don't want to cut you off from your treatment. So having a discussion with your doctor and knowing where you are in the timeline of your treatment regimen is very, very important.

So you should be talking to your doctors and your lawyers when you're getting down to the point where you're considering a settlement. Future medical care is a huge consideration. So you want to talk to your doctor? I always recommend to my clients when we're getting to that point where we're negotiating a settlement or maybe we've agreed to a number or maybe we're signing papers. It could be the day that we're signing a section 32 papers. You have a couple weeks before that case gets closed and finalized. Go talk to your doctor. Get some home treatment exercises that are going to help you take care of yourself without your doctor so you don't have to pay them. Talk to your doctor about your need for medication. Medication is huge. The cost of medication is astronomical. We see Medicare set-asides come back.

The Medicare set-asides we discussed before. Sometimes they come back with these huge numbers, 100, 200, 300,000 dollars for future medical care. You look at the person in the interview and you're like, where does the number come from? Medication. Medication is so expensive that if this person is needing to take medication for a very long period of time, those numbers blow up. They can blow up a settlement because they can get so big. Sometimes it's worth talking to your doctor about medication. Also, do you really want to be on medication the rest of your life? I'm not a doctor. I'm not giving medical advice here. But it might be a conversation you want to have with your doctor. Maybe quality of life, getting off medication, weaning your medication. It's worth at least having a discussion with your doctor.

Again, I'm not telling you to stop taking medication or to start taking medication. I would never do that. But it's at least worth having a discussion with your health care provider. But future medical is probably the biggest consideration that injured workers need to think about when they're getting into settlement phase of their case.

Any pro tips for injured workers selling their workers' compensation claim?

Pro. I'm the pro here. Having a good doctor and a good lawyer is very important. A doctor who knows workers' comp, knows the forms, knows the law, knows how to do a schedule loss of use evaluation. Very, very important. We've dealt with people who are out of state and they go and see a doctor that's an out of state doctor. And we ask them for a permanency report. We ask them for a schedule loss of use or a comment on permanent disability. And we go and get a report back that reads like a different language because they don't know how to do a schedule loss of use evaluation according to the New York state rules. And it throws the whole case off.

Having a doctor that knows the rules, having a good doctor that's going to get you to a point of maximum medical improvement, a high level of improvement so that you got a lot better. And this way they know how to evaluate you for the deficit that's left. Very, very important. Having a lawyer who knows how to apply those guidelines and the law to the facts of your case also very, very important. Another thing that's important with respect to that same topic is having reasonable expectations. You know, talking to your doctor about what to expect from your treatment is very important.

Some people think that they're going to get surgery and they're going to be like an 18 year old who played soccer all over again because they got their knee fixed when they're 50 years old. You know, you need to have reasonable expectations about what is to come from your treatment and what's to come from your case. Here in New York state, workers' compensation cases are not million dollar cases, you know, rarely. By its very definition, by the nature of workers' compensation, you're paid a portion of your salary. You don't even get your full salary.

The goal, the legislative goal here, the goal behind the law is to get you to care and the benefits that you need to sustain you while you're getting better. And get your back to work as soon as possible, not to maintain you for the rest of your life unless it's absolutely necessary. So because of that, settlements are oftentimes less, you know, you very rarely read about a huge workers' compensation settlement in the newspaper. Part of me, we need some air. It's too hot and the staff needs air out there. Leave this with me. Another busy day here. So, I'm getting off topic for one moment and I certainly do apologize. Oh, Catherine. That should address your... Anyway, sorry folks. Let me get my notes back up here. Reasonable expectations, reasonable expectations.

You know, oftentimes, like the first thing we discussed today, an insurance company will reach out to me and they'll say, "Hey, is your client interested in settling?" And we have what's known as the settlement interest letter. We send it out. Any time there's any discussion with a settlement, I send my client a letter and we follow the phone call, "Hey, do you have an interest in settling your case?" And oftentimes, a client will want to come in and sit down and go... It's the right thing to do. And we sit down and go over the facts of the case and we try to come up together with evaluation. What are we going to ask for? What do we think the case is worth? What are we looking at? Expectations. And some people come in and they tell me, "Well, I want a million dollars." Well, I got the million dollar demand many, many times. If I had a nickel for every time somebody wanted a million, I might have a million. We need to have reasonable expectations. Just the other day, I had a client in here. Their doctors, their medical report, their doctors report would yield a pad of, I believe, was $5,000, $5,400. The insurance company's permanency report would have gotten them, I believe, $500. So we're looking at $500 or $5,400. The insurance company offered them somewhere in the range of $4,000. And the person's response was, "I want 10 grand." Well, we need to be realistic. We need to be reasonable. If the most, I can argue for, based upon your doctor's report, is $5,000, why on earth would an insurance company give me 10? We're not being realistic. We're not being reasonable. You need to be reasonable here. So that's very important.

Just because you want a million dollars doesn't mean it's going to happen, and we all want a million dollars. Let's take a look here at some of these questions. You guys are awesome. We talked about permanent facial disfigurement.

Another question here, "What are your thoughts on the E-case portal on the WCB website?" What are my thoughts on it? Take it with a grain of salt. I haven't been into the portal because I'm not a doctor. The E-case portal, traditionally, when... So we talked about the medical treatment guidelines earlier. This is a medical question. It's a medical authorization question. Workers' compensation is a set of guidelines.

Guidelines that doctors need to follow based upon the injury that a person sustained. And if the doctor follows those guidelines, they don't need to get authorization generally. There might be certain things here and there that they do need authorization for, but generally speaking, if they follow those guidelines, this is what the board says that you should do for treatment, and if you follow what the board says, you don't need to get any special preauthorization to do anything. If you want to vary from those guidelines, you need to get authorization. And traditionally, the doctors would request a variance.

And there was forms in the whole system that we had in place where the doctors would file these forms, and it's how they would get authorization if they wanted to vary from the guidelines. This is a basic overview. Recently, the Workers' Compensation Board got rid of the forms. No more paper forms, no more emailing and faxing and sending forms. Everything is done through the portal. Everything is online.

So the doctor needs to register for portal use and put his patients' information in. And when the time comes for them to request authorization, it's done through the portal. And it does streamline the process. We don't need to wait for mail to go back and forth and emails to go back and forth. And faxes to get lost and things like that. It's on the portal. It's all there in real time. The doctor hits send and boom. The insurance company gets it received on the other end and boom. It goes into your case folder and it's now part of your case that the doctors requested authorization.

And the insurance company is now on the clock. They have to respond. They have to have a good response and things like that. The authorization process, generally speaking, is a three-tiered process. So when your doctor requests authorization for surgery, the insurance company can turn around and they have 30 days to respond. No, we're not authorizing surgery. It's not a related side of injury. No, you haven't had enough conservative care. No, whatever reason, our medical expert says it's not necessary. If it's denied at level one, your doctor can request a level two review of that denial. If level two is denied, the doctor can request a level three denial. The beauty part about these denials is the insurance company has to give their reason for the denial.

So the doctor can see why it's being denied and address that denial. They could say, "Well, it was denied for this reason." Well, address it. If they're saying that not enough conservative care has been rendered, explain. Explain what conservative care has been rendered or why it wasn't rendered if unnecessary. It gives the doctors an opportunity to answer the denial. So do I like the system? It's streamlined and it makes things easier. And yes, I think it's working for the most part. What do I not like about it? I can't get my hands dirty and get involved as your lawyer. So when somebody calls up and says, "My surgery's not being authorized, what do I do?" I can't get in there and do something. I can call an insurance company and say, "Hey, you're denying the surgery. What can we do to get this authorized?" My client really needs surgery. But I'm not the doctor. There's not much I can really do here. And unfortunately, my advice to most people is you've got to go back and talk to your doctor. If his request was denied, he has to attend to that and deal with that through the portal. So it takes a little bit of our thunder away and being able to get involved like we once were. We can make calls. We can try to convince people to authorize surgery and do things like that. But really, it takes a lot of our power away when it comes to getting treatment authorized during the pendency of your case. So those are my thoughts, Vic, on the portal. You got me very upset talking about the portal now.

I'm just kidding. But great question. Another question here, "If you are on Workers Comp, can your employer fire you? And if so, can you collect unemployment?" Can your employer fire you? Your employer can do anything they want. They could fire you. They could set their own hair on fire. They could do whatever they want. Is it legal? So here's, I'm going to give you my scripted response. And you can take it forward.

Your employer is prohibited from discriminating against you for filing for filing a case or participating in, testifying in somebody else's case, a Workers' Compensation claim. They cannot discriminate against you for having filed a case because you got injured on the job. They can't discriminate against you if you're trying to help out a co-worker by testifying in their case or otherwise participating in a case. So that's the black and white of it. They cannot discriminate against you. If they do, you can file a Workers' Compensation Discrimination Action. You file it with the Workers' Compensation Board directly. Workers' Compensation Board judges hear those cases and they handle those cases. I do not handle them. Very few lawyers do handle them because the problem is oftentimes it comes down to it. He said, she said type of situation where you say, "Hey, I fell down and filed the stairs while carrying the boxes that my boss told me to carry." And then they fired me the next day.

And then you file a discrimination action and they say, "I didn't fire you. I'd fallen down the stairs and filing a case. I fired you because you're a terrible worker. I fired you because you're always late. I fired you because you were hitting on your co-worker. You were hitting on your co-worker. Whatever they want to say. They're problematic cases. You need to have very good evidence in order to pursue those claims. The other side of it is oftentimes they can't fire you. But your employer is running a business and you were doing a job for them. They needed you. So they can't fire you. But sometimes they can replace you.

One example I give is the Ford assembly line. I know I've given this one before on other videos. But if you work on the Ford assembly line making cars and you're the guy who puts the front brakes on the car and you get hurt and you're not there to put the brakes on the car anymore, well, what are they going to do? Stop the assembly line? No, they're going to get somebody to replace you because they need to get that job done and keep their business going. So if they have a reasonable reason for replacing you, they can do that. And that's a problem. Unemployment, I don't handle unemployment claims, so I don't know much about the law there. I do know unemployment is generally payable in circumstances where you are ready, willing, and able to return to work. So if you are claiming a disability, if you're claiming to be disabled from work due to an injury, then you might not be entitled to unemployment. But I don't do unemployment.

I don't know the ins and outs of the unemployment laws here in New York State or anywhere else. So I would recommend that you speak to an attorney who is more proficient in unemployment law. But fantastic question.

Somebody's asking if you can call me. You can always call me. 212-406-8989. I can't answer the phone right now until I'm finished here, but I will certainly do my best to help you out. I see some people here, spinal cord simulators, controversial treatment, but I find that people like them. I feel like I'm hurting myself more at work, but my permanency rating is next month. So this is a concern that people do bring up. You get hurt, and after a period of time you go back to work, and people feel like they're in danger of hurting themselves further, or they're actually hurting themselves further. It sucks. That's a doctor issue. You've got to talk to your doctor.

Explain to your doctor what you are doing at work. How much you're lifting, how far are you walking, how long are you standing, you're climbing ladders, what are you doing at work. Go over with your doctor and explain to them exactly what's going on. You don't want to hurt yourself further. The insurance company doesn't want to hurt you. You want you to hurt yourself further, nor does your employer. It's a very important discussion to have with your doctors. Let's see what else here. Truth seeker, a very frequent contributor. If your claim is denied for ten months causing you to treat with your primary care physician, if your appeal of denial gets overturned with the insurance company, it's going to be responsible. If you understand from your question, if your case is controversial, if the insurance company is fighting your case, or if you're one of your case and they're appealing it, so they're still not paying you, and you're treating through primary health, would the insurance company be responsible if you win, if you ultimately win your appeal or win your case? Generally, yes, your doctor really shouldn't be billing your primary health.

If they believe that this is a workers' compensation claim, if they know you filed a claim, if you told them that you got hurt on the job, if they know you have a claim, then you have a claim. If they know you have a pending case at whatever level, whether it's pending trial or pending a decision on an appeal, they really shouldn't be billing your primary health insurance. They should be going through the workers' compensation process until they get a final result. And then if it gets denied, they should go to primary health, not vice versa, but it happens. Sometimes doctors do go ahead and bill your primary health insurance for whatever reason, and always a fun phone call to have with them. But, yes, presumably, technically, yes, workers' comp should reimburse your private health carrier and pay those bills. So, great question, truth seeker, you're always a good contributor. You're in the President's Club, thank you. Jay Rivera, if you're trying to settle, but the insurance is offering low for the medicals, talk to your lawyer about why and what you can do about it.

Oftentimes, they'll low-volume on the medical because a Medicare set-aside or a formal Medicare set-aside is not required. Whenever we do a full and final section 32, when we close the whole case, if a formal Medicare set-aside is not required, we still do a set-aside. We still calculate the value of your future medical to the best of our ability and put it into your settlement to show that we're addressing both aspects of your claim, the medical and the indemnity. Why would the insurance company offer a low amount for future medical? There's a lot of different reasons. You could have run your course and used up, for lack of a better term, most of the medical that's available based upon your injury. Maybe you haven't treated it in a long time, like we said before, and they see that there's no real reason to keep paying or set-aside a good amount of money for future medical because you're not taking advantage of the future medical that's there for you. There could be a lot of reasons.

Talk to your lawyer about it. They'll have a better understanding of why the offer is low and how to potentially try to get some more money there. But that's a great question.

Chris, "I wanted to know if I'm 75% disabled before surgery, do I have to wait a year for MMI to be determined?" Well, your disability rating prior to surgery is immaterial with respect to when MMI gets determined. Your disability rating before surgery might be relevant in terms of what's known as labor market attachment. If your doctor is finding you to have a partial disability before your surgery, and that issue is raised by the insurance company and a judge directs you to look for work, you might have to do a work search before your surgery to ensure that you get your benefits before and after surgery. It's a very crazy thing that's going on with these work searches. I know I talked about it in other videos.

You really, really need to talk to your lawyer about it if your doctor is finding a 75% disability before your surgery. But in terms of the determination of MMI, when the doctor is going to find you at MMI, the guidelines usually give it a year. So do you have to wait a year? If you reach MMI before then and your doctor is willing to attest to that in his medical reports, go for it. It's just a guideline. It's not a hard and fast set-in-stone type of rule, so it's something you should absolutely talk to your doctor about. You might not have to wait a year. All right? Hope your IME went well.

"What happens if you have medical malpractice during your workers' comp?" Procedure. Chris, fantastic question. You could still pursue a medical malpractice action. It does happen. It's unfortunate. It's something that you never want to hear about. But you can pursue a medical malpractice action if the doctor did do something to cause you harm. And there are ramifications there, like any third-party action that's related to your workers' compensation claim. The insurance company is going to have to get involved here. I'm sorry if that did happen to you. I hope you feel better. I hope you find a doctor that's going to write the ship a little bit and get you through this, because it's bad enough having an injury and having to be out of work and having any treatment and potentially surgery, and then having something go wrong where instead of getting better, you get worse. But Chris, if you have any questions about that, please give me a call.

The mechanic, the machine, Marte. "I have a 2019 case and still in effect. Also, my third party case is $1 million policy. What are the odds to use the $1 formula to not pay back?" I don't know what the $1 formula is per se, but oftentimes you, there is, there is an interaction here. And why would be sitting here until my beard was down here, if we talked about third party cases and lean repayments. We have discussed it in, in other videos and I will, absolutely, it's, it's a very important topic. We'll get into it. Just not today, not in depth, but what I will tell you is this.

Oftentimes, most times when there is a workers' comp case and a third party case comes from that same accident. You have one accident, a car accident, you are a, let's think of a, I'm going to use the one, I always use your, you know, a car accident. The one I always use, you're, you're a guy who delivers appliances. I literally just had somebody here the other day. You, you drive a van, you deliver and install appliances and a cabbie runs a red light while you're making a delivery and he hits you. You have a workers' compensation case because you were hurt on the job.

You have a third party lawsuit where you're suing the third party, the cab driver. You have two legal matters coming out of one accident. So one injury, one accident, but two cases. When your third party case settles, okay, when that case and that lawsuit against the driver, the cab driver who hits you, settles, they have to request authorization to settle from the workers' compensation carrier. The workers' compensation carrier has the right to recover money that they paid out in your workers' compensation case. And there's a lot of, there's a lot to it. So it's important that your third party attorney and your workers' comp attorney work together here so that they can settle one or both cases at the right time while working with the workers' compensation insurance company to maximize what you put your pocket walk away with. So it's very important that you have good lawyers that know what they're doing and work well together.

"If I have a case and I didn't report another bodyport, can you include it in the case or can't be included since the case has already been in the process reported?"

Okay, so we're talking about additional injuries here. The first thing we need to discuss is direct injuries versus consequential injuries. A direct injury, I fell down a flight of stairs and your case is accepted for an injury to your knee, but you also realize that you hurt your shoulder or your back and you want to add an injury that was directly related to the accident. The rules apply the same to all the injuries. You have a two-year statute of limitations, you should have reported the injury within 30 days and you have two years to make the claim for that additional injury.

So if your injury is directly related to the accident, make sure you bring it up to the judge and the insurance company within two years. You're going to need a good explanation as to why there was a delay there and maybe it was because the fall down the stairs caused a compound fracture and the bone was sticking through your leg and you weren't so concerned about the pain in your shoulder until six months later when you were able to settle down, your shoulder was bothering you and you finally went to the dark and they checked it out. That's a reasonable explanation.

You need to have a pretty reasonable explanation as to why there's a delay there. But you have two years if it is a direct injury. Now we contrast that with consequential injuries. What is a consequential injury? A consequential injury is an injury that develops as a result of the injury that's directly related. So what we see a lot of times is I fell on the stairs. I blew out my left knee. I had surgery and a meniscus repair. I'm walking around on crutches for a few weeks. I'm walking around with a limp in a leg brace for a few weeks. I have a heavy limp and because I'm walking around with a heavy limp, my right knee is now bothering me. Or my back is bothering me. You didn't hurt the right knee in the fall. You didn't hurt the back in the fall. But because you're dealing with this injury, you are now over-compensating and you've developed a consequential injury. Another example I sometimes give is you broke your leg and you're in a cast and you go to take a shower. Your leg is wrapped up in a plastic bag and saran wrap and tape like you're supposed to do so you don't get your cast wet.

You have it sticking out of the shower and you're hopping on one foot taking a shower and you're slipping full and you break your arm. Well, that could be construed as a consequential injury. Those can come up at any time. There's no time limitation but you want to make sure it's brought up as soon as possible because you don't want to have to explain why you waited so long. So great question, consequential and direct injuries. And I sort of let's go start questioning right there. Good job, my friend. Vic,

Vic is back. "Is it worth settling your case for less if you have a third-party case?" I don't think so. You always want to maximize your dollar value. Yes, if you settle your workers' compensation case for a high amount, it brings the lean up and the insurance company is going to take more money back out of your third-party case. But you don't know what your third-party case is going to yield. It's an unknown number at that point in time, most likely because if it was a no-number you'd be settling it. So you don't know what you're going to be getting out of your third-party and they're not taking all of the money back. The workers' compensation doesn't take back all of the money that they've paid out in your workers' compensation case. They take back a portion. It's usually around two-thirds, but it varies case by case and it really depends on the facts of the case and the dollars that are moving on either end.

So you want to sometimes make sure you're locking with the sure thing and get that number as high as you can, more money is better. Oh, hi. Oh, the man will be in here. Everything is very, very happy. Definitely here. So that's how I feel. But if you have a third-party case and you have that question, there's nothing wrong. We do it all the time and I have a conference call on Friday. When I have a client that has a third-party case and we have the workers' compensation case, when there's any type of confusion or somebody's not sure about what to do, we get on a call. When I talk to the client, we talk to the lawyer and we all have a three-way discussion about the what-ifs of a case and the money and the dollar value and we put out like a roadmap of how we're going to handle both cases moving forward. And I've never had a comeback where they say, "Don't settle your workers' comp for too much money." So you always want to get as much as you can.

What is a 77 rating case worth? So if 77 percent, so if we're talking New York State, Jay Rivera, what I can tell you is a 77 percent loss of wage earning capacity, 77 percent loss of wage earning capacity gets you, 77 percent of your benefits, for 425 weeks, which is 8.17 years. Loss of wage earning capacity, as we've discussed in the past, is a calculation. It's a determination of your impairment, your physical or the impairment resulting from your disability, when we've factored in with your vocational factors. Your vocational background could bring your overall disability level up, it could also bring it down. But a 77 percent loss of wage earning capacity, so if we considered your physical, your disability that resulted from your accident and your vocational factors, if that brought you to a 77 percent L.W.E.K. loss of wage earning capacity, you would get 425 weeks or 8.17 years of workers' compensation benefits at the 77 percent rate, and you might have the ability to apply for additional benefits if in the last year of your cap, we call it the cap because you're capped at 425 weeks.

If within that last year of your cap you can display a hardship and you file the proper forms and you have the proper medical backing, you could apply for additional benefits. Good question, good question.

Wow, you're giving me all the factors here, a 45 year old male, $800 average weekly wage, a 2/3 income, 50 percent impairment in the year. Well, you want to know what the value of the case is, you're waiting on surgery, so we don't know what your overall level of permanency, your permanent disability or your L.W.E.K. is going to be. You say you're 50 percent, well, 50 percent for the PTSD component, I'm assuming. Surgery is supposed to make you better, so you might be 100 percent disabled right now, but the reason why you're going for surgery is to help you, it's to make you better. So, you know, that 100 percent could come down.

Then again, you need surgery, your injuries are clearly significant, so it's hard to really value what we're looking at there. If I was going to work at a settlement demand on a case like that, you kind of want to figure out the value of the surgery if you're going to forego surgery, because if you're looking to settle the case, I would not recommend a settlement if you're pending surgery, get your surgery, let them pay for the surgery. I have had clients come in and say, "Look, I'll pay for my own surgery, just settle my case," but you never know what's going to happen after surgery. It might not make you better, it might make you worse. God forbid, I'm not going to want to hear it. God forbid, we've had clients catch a staff infection or MRSA in the hospital. You don't want to mess with that stuff, and if you settle your case, you're stuck paying the bills, and it's a horrible place to be. Get your big treatments out of the way and then settle.

Again, every case is different, you want to make sure you talk to your lawyer about it, but that's an important thing. Gabriel Hart, if I'm hurt while out at lunch is that considered workers' compensation, fantastic question. And you want a yes or a no, there is no yes or a no to that one. It really, really depends. Every case with a lunch injury has to be looked at on its own merits. If you have a set lunch hour every day, if you punch out at 12 o'clock and you punch back in at 1, and you were running personal errands and you got hit by a car, the odds are you're not covered. If you, but one little fact in your fact partner can change the whole thing, if you're a portal to portal employee, if you're a home health aide, and every day you go, you leave your house and you go right to your patient's house. And every day you go to a different patient, and while going from patient A to patient B, you stop at the bank and hit by a car, well, you might be covered. If you're going out to lunch and your boss says, "Hey, while you're out, pick up a sandwich for me and you get hit by a car, you might be covered."

We really need to sit down and go over the facts of your particular case and try to figure out whether or not you're covering the workers' compensation or not. So, fantastic question, and those are one of those fact patterns that kind of, they're fun. It's not fun for you, you're hurt. And an attorney, it lets you be creative and figure out a way to try to find coverage for a person and highlight the factors that would get them coverage. So, it's a very, I don't want to use the word "fun" because we're talking about a guy who just got hurt, but as an attorney, it allows you to really test your skills in doing right by your client and getting them the benefits that you think they're entitled to. So, I like those cases, and if you want to go over that case, I'd be more than happy to sit down and go over things with you. I'm sorry you got hurt, and I'm very sorry that I'm saying there's anything fun about it. After one year of receiving workers' comp, I'm not told, I'm sorry, I didn't post this.

"After one year of receiving workers' comp, I'm not told to come back on light duty after having a settlement demand. Is this normal, and what should I expect as far as settlement?"

It's not abnormal. Sometimes employers will receive your doctor's medical report with the limitations that your doctor recommends. And sometimes they'll offer you light duty work based upon the recommendations. First of all, follow your doctor's instructions and guidelines and not anybody else's. So, if they offer you work based upon the IME, before you do anything, talk to your doctor about it.

But make sure you get back to them. I got your offer. I'm talking to my doctor about it. I'll let you know what he says. You know, that's fine. Don't just ignore it because then they're going to say, "Well, you're ignoring an offer of light duty work." A bona fide good faith offer of light duty work. You don't want to do that. Let them know you got it. Let them know you're going to talk to your doctor about it. And if it's in accordance with your doctor's recommendations, make sure they are. Talk to your doctor about that offer. And if it's something that your doctor and you feel you could do, go for it. Absolutely. King Williams, great question.

Drew Foster. Thank you for the great content. You're very welcome. "What are the best three things a client can do to gain a lawyer's trust?" I mean, what can a client do to gain a lawyer's trust or what can a lawyer do to gain a client's trust? I think it's a reciprocal relationship. You should both be trusting each other. Be open and honest. Have an open line of communication. Talk about your concerns both ways. And as an attorney, I talk to my client sometimes and it's like, I shouldn't have to pull teeth when I need information about you and your case and what's going on and how we can help you. You know, it's a relationship where you're both working for a common goal. Just because you went and got a lawyer doesn't mean your lawyer's going to do everything and you get to sit back and drink margaritas. You know, every once in a while, we'll ask a client, "Hey, we're trying to get your hospital records. Can you maybe stop into the hospital or help us out?"

And, you know, once in a while, we'll get the response, "Why do I hire a lawyer if I'm going to do all the work?" Well, you know, we're here to help you. And sometimes we need your help. Help me help you kind of thing. So that's a big thing. Trust, open lines of communication, and it's a reciprocal. You know, you guys are on even footing. It's a reciprocal relationship. You want to help each other. So, very good question. Thank you. All right, folks. Last couple questions here. We're going to start wrapping up. Mr. Rex has to go for a haircut today. Jose S. That's a great picture. Do all injuries end with some sort of settlement? No. But we try to.

So, you know, it's one of those crazy things where the good is the bad and the bad is the good. And there's a story from years and years ago where, back in the day, so we have IME's. You go to see the insurance company, Doctor Now. But way back when there used to be state doctors. And this is back when we had live court and there was one workers' compensation board here in New York. It was in Brooklyn. And back in the day, your doctor would file a permanent serial court. You say, "Judge, here's my permanent serial court telling you what my client's doctor, what his opinion is on my client's permanent disability. His schedule lost to the arm. He has a 25% schedule. Here's the report. And the judge would look at the report and say, "All right, go upstairs to the state doctor."

He'd write it a little form and they'd send you upstairs to the state doctor. And the state doctor would do his own examination very similar to an IME. And he would run their own opinion. And as the story goes, this particular client went upstairs and got the report from the state doctor. And the state doctor said that there was no loss of use. There was no permanent disability. And what the attorney did when she got the report, she said, "Sir, great news. You're fine. Go home." Because there wasn't going to be any money moving because they found no disability.

So, no, not every case ends with some sort of settlement. You know, some people get hurt and they get their benefits for their lost time and they get their medical treatment and they get better and they go back to work. And they put it behind them. It's just a bad memory of something that happened and they move on. And also some, you know, cases, they're not all winners. You know, the facts of a case lead it to the point of whether or not it's compensable or not. And if a case is found to be not compensable, for whatever reason, they're not going to be a settlement. So, very good question.

Let's see here. Milly Miller, I see you back. I have another IME to schedule to establish more body parts. Is it best to record it and have someone present with you to fill out the paperwork because their doctors try to rush you out? Is it best? It doesn't hurt. The one thing I want to tell you about recording your IME is you have to give them notice in advance that you're going to be recording the IME. If you're going to have somebody there that is helpful, yes, IMEs are oftentimes very, very fast. I don't have an IME in front of me here, but the doctors are required to record the start and stop times. And when we cross-examine them, I always bring it up unless it seems reasonable. But more often than not, you know, doctor, how long do you examine my client's neck back and bilateral needs? How long was the exam? If they remember that they recorded it, they'll tell you. But six minutes? You know, what is that? So, yeah, it doesn't hurt.

I'm going to wrap it up today, folks. This was a good one. You guys ask awesome questions. It really, it makes me feel good that I'm able to help. I'm setting that there's so many injured people out there, but I'm happy to help.

If anybody ever has any questions, please give me a call, 212-406-8989. My name is Rex Zachofsky. I am a New York Workers' Compensation Attorney. But if you are from a different state or jurisdiction and you need help, we do have a nice network of attorneys out there. We can always find some help for you. But you're in New York. Give me a call with any questions you have.

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