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Questions Answered by Nancy J. Wallace
1 Answer | Asked in Workers' Compensation for California on
Q: Maximum percentage of attorney fee that could be taken out of settlement with two liens on the case.

Hi,

1) What is the maximum percentage from the settlement amount that a a judge could award to each attorney, if there were TWO liens for attorney fees on the case?

2) Is any law or code in this regard in workers comp system and if yes what is that code?

3) If an attorney... Read more »

Nancy J. Wallace
Nancy J. Wallace answered on Jan 5, 2021

The Labor Code just says 'Reasonable', it doesn't limit the judge to a maximum percentage. THAT said, some WCAB judge award 18% in the 'high rent' regions, most limit it to 15%. The fee withheld is split between all the attorneys who worked on the file. If the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Workers' Compensation for California on
Q: Trial scheduled for disputed attorney fees.

Hi,

I am an Applicant In pro per. I settled my WC case before trial thru a signed C&R. I dismissed my attorney a year before the settlement reached for "cause''. He now wants 15% of the settlement amount and has filed a DOR for it which I have objected and the case is set... Read more »

Nancy J. Wallace
Nancy J. Wallace answered on Jan 4, 2021

JUST ANSWERED YOUR QUESTION ON AVVO: Be Careful!!!

Yes, if the matter goes on the record, the Judge has to call a Court Reporter. Yes, if you find a serious error of fact or law, you have the right to file a Petition For Recon.

NO, YOU CANNOT judge serve a Petition for...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Workers' Compensation for California on
Q: Hello, I went to a deposition and did not receive a copy. What happens after 30 days?

I was informed that I must go over it and sign it in order for it to be valid and used in court. What happens after 30 days? Does it expire? Do I have to do another deposition?

Nancy J. Wallace
Nancy J. Wallace answered on Dec 16, 2020

You really need to remind your attorney to send you the transcript ASAP. At the end of the proceeding, the attorneys agreed to a certain number of days AFTER RECEIPT of the transcript for you to review the transcript and submit any changes. Did your attorney get your transcript? They should have... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Workers' Compensation for California on
Q: Hello, Is there a deadline for submitting mileage paperwork for California Workers Comp case?
Nancy J. Wallace
Nancy J. Wallace answered on Dec 10, 2020

The only deadline is BEFORE the Judge issues an order approving a final settlement. Remember: mileage rates change each year. If you are adding up trips from 2017, you have to go get the 2017 form : https://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/forms-Mileage.html (if that link doesn't take you to Workers... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Workers' Compensation for California on
Q: QME form

After filling 2 QME forms I sent one to my adjuster and the second to the state compensation places, and this is because my adjuster closed my case because Concentra gave me a zero impairment rating, now I called my adjuster today to confirm he got the mail but could not answer his phone, but the... Read more »

Nancy J. Wallace
Nancy J. Wallace answered on Oct 21, 2020

The Labor Code FORCES the adjuster to authorize the QME to see you. So this phoning around is 110% waste. You don't need to involve any adjuster anyway. You just mail the completed QME REQUEST FORM to the Medical Unit in Oakland, the po box is posted right on page 2 of the form. If you... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Workers' Compensation for California on
Q: workers comp- Cant get hold of my adjuster and his supervisor but apparently the case has been closed

My lower back got injured at work on august as a result of my companies negligence, I was sent to concentra did all dr's visits and therapies, hot and cold packs, medication and 8 weeks later I was released on full duty. A month later I had not heard from the adjuster so I called him to check... Read more »

Nancy J. Wallace
Nancy J. Wallace answered on Oct 16, 2020

First, your case is plenty 'ripe', scrap that lawyer and get a real lawyer, who needs to rush you far, FAR AWAY from concentra hacks. Next, adjusters blow off people on the phone. Concentra doctors routinely write that patient fully recovered with zero permanent disability and zero need... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Workers' Compensation for California on
Q: Do I HAVE to release my medical records for my worker's comp claim?

I strained my lumbar region at work just short of a month ago and I have gone the course of alerting my employer of the strain, going to treatment, and was pending response about lost wages until this week. I received a check for lost time so far, but also received a packet containing paperwork for... Read more »

Nancy J. Wallace
Nancy J. Wallace answered on Sep 28, 2020

You do not have to release the records, BUT the insurer can decide to deny the claim for failure to participate fully in discovery. It shouldn't be permitted but it is. When you ask Workers Comp insurance to pay benefits for treatment and disability, the insurer is entitled to see if you... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Workers' Compensation for California on
Q: my workers comp attorney is not doing there job and is letting the other party stall and/or put things off

its been going on for sometime and i was promised x amount of money and so far i cant even get my out of pocket expenses paid back

Nancy J. Wallace
Nancy J. Wallace answered on Sep 17, 2020

Sadly, the regulations and the California Labor Code let a party delay to obtain all medical and employment records, and get a replacement list of doctors (the QME panel), and the pandemic rules let doctors set appointments out as long as 90 days from the date you call. Your elected officials give... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Workers' Compensation for California on
Q: If a person has an open worker’s comp claim can your company let you go for good without completing the claim?

Person works for the airline industry and is being let go as part of airline cutbacks.

Nancy J. Wallace
Nancy J. Wallace answered on Sep 14, 2020

Yes, sadly, having an ongoing workers comp claim is no guarantee that you won't be laid off. That said, if the person with the open claim is the ONLY ONE laid off, that is likely a violation of Labor Code 132a. But you have to prove the true reason you were let go was the employer... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Workers' Compensation for California on
Q: I sustained a work injury and I went to the doctor he sent me back with restrictions job can't accommodate i was put on

Oc leave i don't know what that is or if i will be paid

Nancy J. Wallace
Nancy J. Wallace answered on Sep 10, 2020

Your employer looks at the doctor's words on the Modified Duty Order. Then the employer decides if there is work there that matches those words or if you need to be sent home. IF YOU ARE SENT HOME try to get something in writing from the employer to show to the Insurance Adjuster. The... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Workers' Compensation for California on
Q: I won my case after 4 1/2 years I was awarded back money and expect the remainder by check twice a month.

how can i get a breakdown from adjustor WC on the remains of my award? My attorney is not responding to my questions, I cannot contact the WC advisor as I have an attorney? can you help?

Nancy J. Wallace
Nancy J. Wallace answered on Aug 21, 2020

Sorry, from just this, nobody can know.

Did a WCAB judge make a Finding and Order that you were Temporarily Totally Disabled with a start and stop date?? If not, no Temporary Disability payments are due.

Did a WCAB Judge make a Finding and Order that you have a certain percentage...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law and Workers' Compensation for California on
Q: Immigration and workers comp

My mother who is an immigrant and an employee of a company where she works as a farm worker in California, was recently put on workers comp due to her having nausea and dizziness that made it unsafe for her to work. after getting the OK from her doctor to go back to work, she went to the main... Read more »

Nancy J. Wallace
Nancy J. Wallace answered on Aug 12, 2020

Labor Code 132(a) makes it a misdemeanor crime for the employer to demote or terminate an injured worker just because they requested workers comp benefits. The trouble here is the employer can defend by claiming it really had nothing available for Mom with her skill set. CAN MOM PROVE that this... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Workers' Compensation for California on
Q: I was at a hotel for company business, I used the spa/pool. When leaving the spa to use the pool I slipped and fell

Face forward down the steps. My employer stated this was not a workers comp case since being at the hotel “ was like being at home and I was involved in a leisurely activity”.

Nancy J. Wallace
Nancy J. Wallace answered on Jul 31, 2020

Your employer is just WRONG. SKIP contact with this cheap boss and put everything IN WRITING to the Workers Comp Insurance Company listed on the poster in the 'conspicuous' location at the workplace (required by law). Here's the case where a guy dove in the shallow end of the pool... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Workers' Compensation for California on
Q: A workman's comp doctor just MMI me based on an 18 percentage with stipulations of no bending lifting more than 10 lbs

Or for more than 20 minutes per hour or sitting more than 20 so my question is I was told I was no longer able to do my job that I've been doing for 30 years and disability dropped temporary disability and gave me permanent disability based on 18%. My question is so if I'm not able to go... Read more »

Nancy J. Wallace
Nancy J. Wallace answered on Jul 24, 2020

1. APPLY FOR UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE IMMEDIATELY. You were Unemployed the day after the QME found you were at Maximum Medical Improvement. When the QME wrote permanent work restrictions the employer cannot accommodate, you became Unemployed. You need to set up an account at www.edd.ca.gov .... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Workers' Compensation for California on
Q: My wc claim was denied at day 92. Decision date was set for 8th and the response letter was dated 10th.

What are my odds of having that denial deemed invalid? Carpal tunnel claim and anxiety.

Nancy J. Wallace
Nancy J. Wallace answered on Jul 21, 2020

To prove the defendant went passed the 90 days, you have to have PERFECT proof the employer had the written claim form on a certain date. Your testimony you gave it to someone on a date won't work, because the other guy will just claim you gave it 2 days later and the judge won't know... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Workers' Compensation and Employment Law for California on
Q: I won my workers comp case after 2 yrs. & need to pursue the 132a that was filed. My lawyer doesn't handle 132a.

I'm having a tough time finding a lawyer to take my case. My employer pretextually discriminated against me & fired me for filing workers comp. I have a strong case. Any help would be much appreciated.

Nancy J. Wallace
Nancy J. Wallace answered on Jul 20, 2020

Sadly, you may have to proceed unrepresented. [You may even have a legal malpractice claim.] The Petition for 132a increases must be filed and served WITHIN ONE YEAR of the discriminatory action. So if you file the petition within one year of that termination and you didn't serve the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Workers' Compensation for California on
Q: What information do I have a right to request during a workers comp investigation and how long do they have to comply?

My supervisor was interviewed in the course of my workers comp claim investigation, do I have a right to request a summary or the recorded audio of that interview and if so, how long does my employer or the insurance company have to comply with my request for that interview? What other information... Read more »

Nancy J. Wallace
Nancy J. Wallace answered on Jun 22, 2020

You don't have the right to the "work product" of the defense investigator/attorney UNLESS it is submitted to the reporting doctor for review and comment. YOU can set deposition of the supervisor, but you have to pay the court reporter hundreds for the original and a certified copy... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Workers' Compensation for California on
Q: Workman's Comp is now working with my attorney and WC Judge to come to a settlement. This is a four year situation.

my question (my attorney is out of town and not available to answer this question... Any. the case is about to be

settled. I was just informed by an x-co worker, that the company that this accident happened. WAS SOLD ON

FRIDAY! Will this effect the settlement outcome in any way?... Read more »

Nancy J. Wallace
Nancy J. Wallace answered on Jun 16, 2020

i strongly encourage you to reach your lawyer. The answer is "It Depends".

Is the employer self-insured, meaning the defense attorney and adjuster have to go to the company representative for approval of any settlement money??

Does this adjuster have independent...
Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Workers' Compensation for California on
Q: Do I have to accept what they offer?

If work comp just sends me a settlement check with no communication at all, do I have to accept it or can I negotiate the amount? How do they figure what the points are worth? How do they put a price on the loss of use of a body part?

Nancy J. Wallace
Nancy J. Wallace answered on Jun 11, 2020

The adjuster would NEVER send 'a settlement check with no communication at all'. the Labor Code requires that within 14 days of a new payment or stopping an existing payment, the adjuster issue a notice of what the change in payment is and why. The adjuster IS REQUIRED by the Labor Code... Read more »

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4 Answers | Asked in Employment Law, Personal Injury and Workers' Compensation for California on
Q: If I become handicapped from my job and I habe a spinal cord injury and I'm in pain everyday and can never work again.

Is there anything I can do to sue for mental distress . my Employer took advantage of me and worked me to the core because I am Mexican. It doesnt sound right to just get a 132a case. I will never be the same. They purposely broke me down.

Nancy J. Wallace
Nancy J. Wallace answered on Jun 4, 2020

You MAY add an Injury to Psyche to your Claim Form and Application. An 'Injury To Psyche' claim now must come from a sudden or extraordinary event (generally). An example is the SanBernardino Terrorist attack. You can claim a psychiatric injury but you would only get a little... Read more »

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